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Introduction to 5th Ward Boyz

5th Ward Boyz (originally called The Most Wanted Boyz) were a southern gangsta rap group hailing from Houston, Texas’ 5th Ward neighborhood. They were active throughout the 1990s, dropping albums repping H-Town’s streets when the city’s local hip hop sound first started gaining traction nationally.

Core members included rappers Dizzee, Psyko III, Woodwick and Kloud. With hardcore, uncompromising lyrics over bass-heavy production, 5th Ward Boyz captured the struggle and grind of Houston’s notorious Northside 5th Ward – known as one of the city’s most impoverished and dangerous areas.

This article will give an overview of 5th Ward Boyz history as key players during Houston hip hop’s national breakthrough era in the 1990s – including details on members, musical style and legacy.

5th Ward Boyz Members

Outbound Link to 5th Ward Boyz on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/5thwardboyzofficial/

As the 5th Ward Boyz name suggests, group members grew up embedded within Houston’s 5th Ward community from childhood. While various affiliates flowed in and out of the group over their career, main MCs included:

Dizzee – Real name Theron Foucha, considered the group’s de facto leader. Hard-spitting rapper with a quick, aggressive flow. Started rapping freestyles on street corners in early teens.

Psyko III – Patrick Greer. Slowed-down smooth delivery packed with wordplay. Also produced a share of 5th Ward Boyz’ musical tracks.

Woodwick – Randy Harrison. Gritty storyteller praised for creative lyrical imagery spotlighting 5th Ward life firsthand.

Kloud – Jacob Williams. Rhyme technician with punchline-driven animated flow capable of danger-laced threats or slick humor as needed.

With their uncut looks into realities of the streets over production drawing on Houston hip hop signatures like chopped & screwed tempos, haunting keyboards and booming 808s, 5th Ward Boyz authentically encapsulated their city repping motto “Straight from the heart of the Ghetto”

5th Ward Boyz Discography

Discogs site for full 5th Ward Boyz releases – https://www.discogs.com/artist/344813-5th-Ward-Boyz

Although they never achieved mainstream success on the level of Houston peers like Geto Boys or UGK, 5th Ward Boyz have a solid catalog reflecting hip hop’s 1990s golden era in the South:

Studio Albums

  • Ghetto Dope (1993)
  • Rappers’ Ball (1995)
  • Wicked Wayz (1996)
  • Plot of the Dope Fiend (1997)
  • Throwed in Tha Game (1998)

Collaboration Albums

  • The Takeover (with DMG – 2000)

Album Details

As expected from their name, 5th Ward Boyz catalog covers typical gangsta rap ambitions – chasing women and paper while not hesitating to retaliate violently against foes. Songs spotlight grinding, hustling mentality needed to survive poverty in the 5th Ward along with resilience against losing friends and options.

Ghetto Dope (1993)

Their debut album Ghetto Dope immediately resonated as a street classic. Hard-hitting tracks like “Murda, Murda, Kill, Kill” and “Here Is Something You Can’t Understand” perfectly captured early 1990s struggle rap direct from Houston’s trenches over minimal production. Dizzee and Kloud’s raw aggressive flows shine throughout.

Rappers’ Ball (1995)

Follow-up Rappers’ Ball found 5th Ward Boyz progressing their style with more polished flows and incorporation of Houston hip hop signatures like chopped & screwed remixing and references to candy-painted slab cars. Standout cuts include “Mash for My Dream” and the smoothed-out title track.

Wicked Wayz (1996)

Wicked Wayz showcased 5th Ward Boyz’ talents reaching new heights, with more personal lyrical content balanced by on-point street anthems. Psyko III also handles a decent share of production like screwy ode to hometown loyalty “5th Ward Texas.”

Plot of the Dope Fiend (1997)

Plot of the Dope Fiend ranks among 5th Ward Boyz deepest creative efforts – a full concept album following an everyman’s descent into drug addiction, violence and strained relationships. Songs showcase impressive versatility across members amid stories showcasing causes and effects of dope game immersion.

Throwed in Tha Game (1998)

Throwed in Tha Game built on strengths of the previous album with inventive lyrics and skull-rattling bass-fueled production backing their reality raps. Club anthems like “Get Crunk” also showcase 5th Ward Boyz expanding their style to appeal to Houston’s emerging chopped and screwed music scene.

Record Labels

Penalty Recordings site – https://www.penaltyrecordings.com/

Throughout most of their career run in the 1990s, 5th Ward Boyz were signed to prominent Houston indie label Penalty Recordings alongside peers like South Park Mexican, Klondike Kat, Blac Monks and more.

Penalty provided studio resources, distribution channels, and promotion helping 5th Ward Boyz music reach fans regionally. However, members have cited receiving uneven splits from album and show revenue as motivation to eventually branch out on their own.

After fulfilling contract duties, members looked to start small independent imprints – Psyko III founded Psychotic Sound Recordings, Dizzee launched K.K. Records. But similar to many 1990s hip hop groups, 5th Ward Boyz didn’t quite gain the fame and earning power to fully capitalize off their talents on their own.

Musical Style & Influences

As pioneers during Houston hip hop’s national breakout period, 5th Ward Boyz both shaped and reflected the city’s signature sound – slowed down “chopped and screwed” production elements, front porch backed smooth flows repping neighborhoods, dense streetwise lingo and references.

Founding member Dizzee has cited Geto Boys, 2Pac, UGK, Scarface and Houston originator DJ Screw as early influences. 5th Ward Boyz absorbed their elders’teardown south styles and evolved it into their own niche – lyrics colouring outside the lines of traditional gangsta rap subject matter to touch on deeper concepts without sacrificing hard edges.

Song topics run the gamut – hustling to get by, paranoia and entropy of street addiction cycles, memories and trauma associated with the ride or die game, resilience through the struggle. Their production backs layered realities with sinister keyboards, syrupy basslines, and erratic beat switchesflows shifting from languid to aggressive.

As peers to other emerging Houston names during the era like DJ DMD, Big Moe, Lil’ Troy, Botany Boyz and more, 5th Ward Boyz masterfully blended authenticity with creative breadth in ways that endure through current generations.

Collaborations

Throughout their tenure, 5th Ward Boyz collaborated with numerous fellow staples of Houston’s local scene. Appearing together on albums, mixtapes or live shows helped boost all artists’ profile regionally and build bonds:

  • Point Blank – Hard-spitting southern rap duo. 5th Ward Boyz collaborated on songs like “You Ain’t Talkin Nothin”
  • South Park Mexican – Fellow Houston legend SPM appeared on album cuts like “H-Town Thang” showcasing lyrical prowess from two respected acts.
  • Klondike Kat – Penalty label mate featured together on classic Texas gangsta rap anthems
  • Seagram – Song “Danger Zone” highlights two emerging Houston MCs making impact at the time
  • Lil Troy – Together helped cement Houston’s late 1990s hip hop explosion into southern mainstream
  • Big Mello – Collab single “Yeah Huh” capturing Mello and 5th Ward Boyz repping the city’s Northside

Beyond guest verses, 5th Ward Boyz tapped into a cooperative scene – sharing fanbases with aligned acts, co-headlining local tour stops and promoting hip hop community over isolated success.

Tour & Performance History

5th Ward Boyz were mainstays on Houston’s active local hip hop scene in the 1990s – constantly performing at nightclubs like Club 59, small music halls and community festivals to build their fanbase. Beyond Texas, they also hit various southern rap hubs like Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida and opened for more pop-recognized acts in other regions.

However, similar to peers from their era, 5th Ward Boyz never quite crossed over to huge mainstream popularity that would facilitate expansive national tours with high production value. Most available performance footage captures their raw, gritty energy rocking smaller venues in the Houston scene they emerged from.

But for their loyal core following in Texas’ streets and others devoted to 1990’s southern rap styles, 5th Ward Boyz onstage power radiated strength – crowd engagement feeding off their aggressive flows and bass-heavy backing music. As hip hop settled into slicker pop fusion sounds moving into later decades, their shows embodied fiery golden-era concert experiences.

Personal Life and Controversies

While rap feuds and rivalries are frequent, 5th Ward Boyz navigated relatively little controversy behind the scenes compared to peers who dealt with serious legal issues. They mostly avoided high profile beefs to keep focused on recording and performance ventures.

However, the trappings of street life still impacted members heavily at times. Kloud suffered critical gun wounds from armed robbery attempts during their come-up years. The shooting left lasting physical damage and influenced his rhyme topics focused on escaping grim fates.

Members’ family and personal relationships also faced strains from their immersed lifestyles and mental health issues. But musical brotherhood and loyalty as a crew persevered through decades of evolution in Houston’s rap scene since first emerging in the early 1990s.

Net Worth and Income

There are no definitive net worth estimates publicly available for individual 5th Ward Boyz members or group totals. Based on moderate regional album sales, independent label deals and touring, educated guesses would likely put members’ current wealth somewhere in the low hundreds of thousands.

For context, while hugely successful mainstream rap stars boast valuations near $100 million, even legends like the Geto Boys have estimated net worths closer to $10 million as a peak after longer careers. Underground-recognized acts tend to earn less than radio rap giants.

In 5th Ward Boyz’ case, loyalty to their early independent label Penalty Recordings likely reduced their upside from record deals compared to bigger imprints. But regardless of chart success, their 1990s run still cemented their status – creating a lane for Houston hip hop to thrive nationally, helping the next generation eat.

Where Are They Now?

The members stay actively involved with Houston hip hop culture years later after their studio album peak. Dizzee has stayed releasing solo albums and collaboration projects keeping his gritty, inventive mic skills sharp as ever.

Kloud battled health issues for years but by early 2010s started dropping mixtapes solo and featuring 5th Ward Boyz potentially hinting at a reunion. Psycho III produces for local talent and explores passion projects like wrestling promotions. Woodwick steps away from rap focus but reunited with Dizzee by early 2010s foreshadowing possible revival energy.

While new music output isn’t as frequent as their 1990s breakout run, all members still connect with local media and appear at Houston events where they’re welcomed as returning veterans – reminding crowds where much of the city’s current hip hop wave spawned from.

Judging by their recent activity and social media, fans can hope the Drawing Board click may have more stories in store repping the 5th Ward soil that cultivated their bumpy but resilient roads.

Legacy and Influence

5th Ward Boyz never became household names, but their fingerprints exist within Houston rap’s rise and progression through the 1990s pivotal era. They expanded concepts of street rap – shining light on systemic inequality driving so many youth to grind illegal paths just to eat, the sobering cycles of addiction plaguing neighborhoods.

Through durable albums and regional tours, 5th Ward Boyz gave Houston’s disenfranchised voices mass appeal formula to build off for the next generations. As the Geto Boys took horrorcore rap extremes into the mainstream, 5th Ward Boyz flushed out more layers to street rap’s emotional consequences – the ptsd drug trade soldiers inherit just to survive childhoods.

While charting hits eluded their catalog, their efforts capture integrity – staying grounded within Houston communities rather than chasing flashier paths to fame. Their pivotal role strengthening Houston hip hop’s national foothold can’t be understated regardless of fame measure.

Frequently Asked Questions About 5th Ward Boyz

Where did the 5th Ward Boyz get their name from?

Their name pays homage to Houston’s 5th Ward – the neighborhood where group members grew up together and where they continue repping through present day.

What record labels were 5th Ward Boyz signed to?

Throughout most of the 1990s run, 5th Ward Boyz released music through Houston indie label Penalty Recordings – which also put out albums by South Park Mexican, Do or Die and Titanic.

How would you describe 5th Ward Boyz musical style?

Aggressive, inventive gangsta rap reflecting realities of Houston’s streets – intense lyricism fused with the city’s iconic chopped and screwed production, deep basslines and keyboard atmospherics.

Did 5th Ward Boyz collaborate with any big name rappers?

They frequently collaborated with fellow emerging Houston rap stars of the 1990s like SPM, Klondike Kat, Point Blank, Seagram, Big Mello to boost the city’s rap scene overall.

Are the 5th Ward Boyz still making music today?

The group hasn’t release a formal album together since the 1990s but members like frontman Dizzee continue dropping solo projects. Other members hint at a possible group revival in the works building on their legacy decades later.