ABN (hip hop duo) – Members, Albums, Songs & Career of the 1990s Rap Group

Introduction to ABN – The 1990s Houston Rap Duo

ABN (short for “Always Ballin’ Never Broke) was an American hip hop duo based out of Houston, Texas who were active in the 1990s golden era of hip hop. The group consisted of rappers Juice and Kam. They are best known for gritty, southern gangsta rap style and singles like “Comin’ a Long Way” and “Skurk.”

ABN has its origins in Houston’s South Park neighborhood and were pioneers of the city’s hip hop scene in the 1990s along with groups like Geto Boys, South Park Mexican and many others. Their raw lyrics gave voice to Houston’s streets at a time when the West Coast and East Coast hip hop styles were more widely known nationally.

This article will give an overview of ABN’s history, members, discography, musical style and legacy over their career.

ABN Members – Juice and Kam

ABN on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/abnofficial/

Juice and Kam have been close friends since childhood, growing up together in Houston and bonding over their shared love of hip hop music from an early age. They officially started rapping together as a duo around 1993 when the hip hop scene in Houston started gaining traction. They derived their name ABN from the motto “Always Ballin Never Broke,” a mindset they wanted to embody, focusing on hustling and the hip hop lifestyle over letting financial circumstances hold them back.

As a rap duo, Juice and Kam have a natural chemistry and balance each other well – Juice delivers hard-hitting verses with an aggressive, rapid-fire flow while Kam has a slower, more laidback delivery peppered with quick wit and wordplay. Kam usually handles the production side of their tracks while Juice focuses more on song concepts and hooks. Their gritty, unapologetic lyrics capturing street life and grind in Houston struck a chord and they started building a local fanbase.


  • Real Name: Anthony Henry
  • Age: Believed to be early 50s currently
  • Early Life: Grew up in Houston’s South Park neighborhood, met Kam at a young age.
  • Style: Aggressive punchline-heavy flow


  • Real Name: Ronald Henry
  • Age: Believed to be early 50s currently
  • Early Life: Grew up with Juice in South Park neighborhood of Houston
  • Style: Laidback flow with clever wordplay

Together they formed ABN and started releasing music independently to local success before getting wider attention in Houston’s emerging 1990s hip hop scene.

ABN Discography and Songs

Although they never broke through to achieve mainstream commercial success, ABN has an influential catalog of gritty street anthems that represent Houston’s sound in the 1990s era of hip hop.

Studio Albums

Songs and Singles

  • “Comin’ a Long Way”
  • “Skurk”
  • “Retaliation”
  • “Ride Till We Die”
  • “Never Expect”
  • “Trust Nobody”
  • “Gotta Be a G”

“Comin’ a Long Way” and “Skurk” were their biggest singles, receiving airplay on regional radio stations in Texas and the south. Songs like “Retaliation” and “Ride Till We Die” also became underground hits among their fans.

Their subject matter covers typical gangsta rap ambitions – hustling, grinding to get rich, loyal friendship, not trusting anyone but your crew, staying ready for beefs and coming out on top in the end. Houston’s car culture is also represented with frequent references to slabs – custom cars on oversized rims.

Overall ABN delivered raw, resonant street anthems that resonated in Houston and established them as pioneers during a classic regional hip hop era alongside other legends like the Geto Boys, Lil Troy, South Park Mexican, Lil Flip, Z-Ro and more.

Album Details

It Is What It Is (1994)

ABN’s debut album, It Is What It Is was released independently in 1994 through Mystic Sound Records. It featured the singles “Comin’ a Long Way” and “Skurk” which helped them break through to a wider audience in Houston’s underground hip hop scene.

Songs like “One Day” featuring Lil Troy and Eddiie K also garnered regional airplay and fan favorite status. Other tracks highlight ABN’s frenzied flows over beats laced with classic Houston screw elements. The raw, uncompromising lyrics paired with authentic production backing showcased ABN’s talents and represented Houston’s streets fully.

Highway Robbery (1996)

For their sophomore album Highway Robbery, ABN continued evolving their style and separating themselves from other Houston acts with inventive flows and wordplay. Songs like the title track and “Playaz” cover typical hustling themes while songs like “Homeboys Hangin'” shed light on lost friends and deceased fellow rappers from the region.

Overall Highway Robbery showed growth in ABN’s skill sets as rappers and producers – pairing whistles, funky basslines, guitar riffs and syncopated screw elements into a distinctly southern but original hip hop sound. Guest artists again include Houston staples Lil Troy, Klondike Kat and K.B.

ABN Record Labels & Business Ventures

Record Label Rap-A-Lot – https://www.rapllotrecords.com/

Early on ABN partnered with established Houston indie label Rap-A-Lot Records, home to groups like Geto Boys and Devin the Dude. The label gave their music an extra promotional edge regionally but ABN also wanted to build their own company and tap into additional revenue streams aside from just rapping and producing.

In the late 1990s Juice and Kam launched their own independent labels Ridah Records and X-Ploit Records to put out their later albums and give them more control over career decisions and distribution. They had plans to sign additional rap artists but their activity slowed down by the early 2000s.

Over the years ABN members had various other side businesses including car customization shops, clothing lines, real estate ventures, storefronts selling herbs, oils, incense and more. Their entrepreneurial spirit was reflected in their music and they took pride in owning their masters and handling career moves themselves rather than signing to a major label.

Musical Style & Influences

ABN has stated Houston rap pioneers like the Get Boys, DJ Screw and UGK as early influences growing up. As they starting developing their style as a duo their local influences expanded to other peers like South Park Mexican, Lil Troy, Klondike Kat, Big Moe, Big Hawk, Fat Pat and others putting on for Houston in the 1990s.

ABN absorbed Houston’s car culture, slang, street stories and sounds including chopped and screwed mixes and incorporated the city’s swag into their lyricism and production. Their beats even featured prominent use of car alarm sounds representing Houston’s slab scene. Through collaborations, crew affiliations and performances the group formed close ties with many related acts from their H-Town scene and beyond.

Lyrically ABN focus mainly on ruthlessly hustling, grinding out the mud, repping your set, not hesitating when it’s beef time. Their rhyme schemes are creative, alternating between frenzied, technical flows and slowed down smooth slabs of wordplay. Their vocal chemistry bleeds authenticity from experiencing so many similar struggles and motivations growing up together.

While respected for their lyrical talents first and foremost, Juice and Kam also handled a decent share of their own production. They crafted bass-heavy beats laced with synthesizers, funk guitars and other live instruments blended with the lush slowed down remixing Houston is famed for. The musicality in their tracks gave them a bit more dimension than standard boom bap beats.


Beyond their solo songs as ABN, Juice and Kam have done many lively collab tracks and guest features with fellow trailblazing names from Houston and other regions:

  • South Park Mexican – SPM and ABN have multiple collaboration albums highlighting the lyrical camaraderie between the acts. SPM has cited Kam as one of his main early influences.
  • Big Hawk – Tribute song “Gone But Not Forgotten” with Hawk’s brother Fat Pat, released after the tragic deaths of Big Hawk and Fat Pat
  • Lil Troy – Appeared together on songs “One Day,” “Wanna Be a Baller”
  • Klondike Kat – Collab album “The Album” blending their signature styles
  • Lil Flip – Shared Texas heritage and musical craftmanship
  • Devin The Dude – Fellow Houston rapper praised for brilliantly unorthodox style
  • Al-D – Member of Screwed Up Click
  • Big Unk – Appeared together representing Houston hip hop scene in its prime era

Beyond specific songs, during their prime run ABN frequently collaborated with regional peers by appearing on each other’s albums, shows and screwtapes and sharing fanbases rooted in repping Houston hip hop culture. While each had their own distinct style, they circulated within a supportive scene.

Performance & Tour History

While ABN never became big enough to mount major national tours at large venues, they were fixtures in Houston’s lively local hip hop scene in the 1990s. They performed frequently at small clubs, music halls, block parties, high school assemblies, car showcases and similar events around the city, building a fanbase from constant grinding.

Their local tours also extended to other parts of Texas like Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. They also made trips to other southern hip hop hotspots like Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia and even ventured into different regions for select shows over the years. Footage is limited but some rare concert clips have surfaced on YouTube and exhibit the raw energy and crowd engagement ABN generated on stage.

Beyond their own songs, high-energy ABN shows also featured tributes to fallen peers like Big Hawk and Fat Pat, showcasing their ties to city’s rap heritage. Like many groups during hip hop’s gritty earlier eras, ABN never quite got recognition and financial backing to become global stars, but for legions of Houston fans, their banging local shows during the scene’s peak era represent a golden age.

Estimated Net Worth

There are no confirmed reports on definitive net worth figures for ABN’s members past or present. Based on album sales, touring revenue, independent record labels and other business ventures mentioned, educated estimates would put Juice’s current net worth somewhere between $500,000 – $1 million. Same range likely applies to Kam.

As pioneers during Houston hip hop’s breakthrough era, they generated decent regional sales and show money which was multiplied by owning their label situation instead of signing to a major record company. Income from side businesses also perhaps buffered periods where music industry cheques weren’t steady.

While likely much lower than contemporary mainstream rap stars worth tens of millions, they earned healthy sums for indie hip hop acts – especially ones mainly beloved just in their local city versus nationally. After initial buzz faded post 2000s, income slowed but during their 90s prime, bag chasing and a loyal homegrown fanbase kept ABN’s wallets right in line with their “Always Ballin’ Never Broke” credo.

Where Are They Now?

After dropping their Playaz Thang album together in 2001 then Illa State of Mind as solo artists in 2002, the duo slowed down their official group releases as attention shifted to the next generation of Houston rap talent and screwed up sounds around the mid 2000s rise of Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire and others.

However both Juice and Kam have stayed active within the city’s hip hop scene through recent years – guest features on tracks by newer artists, collaboration albums together as ABN or SPM, production work through their Ridah/X-Ploit imprints and occasional performances around Texas for fans of the golden era Houston sound.

Judging by recent music and interviews, their passion for expressing stories from Houston’s streets still burns strong decades later even if the hot spotlight of their initial breakthrough success has faded. Both also continue operating various side businesses in addition to music output keeping that “multiple streams of income” hustler spirit ingrained in their DNA.

With over 25 years clocked in as respected Houston hip hop pioneers since first hitting the scene in the early 90s, don’t expect the ABN brothers to hang up the mic anytime soon even if releasing new albums isn’t a priority.

The Legacy of ABN

While they never became household names beyond Houston city limits, true hip hop heads recognize ABN as crucial building blocks during the Texas city’s rap explosion in the 90s. They repped hard for their South Park stomping grounds while helping expand Houston’s style and slang into wider hip hop vocabulary.

Alongside Geto Boys, UGK, DJ Screw and other local stars, ABN gave Houston its own raw, slowed down, ride-ready soundtrack after years of hip hop being East Coast and West Coast focused.Juice and Kam always made sure to pay it forward too – collaborating with and inspiring subsequent generations of Houston talent while steadily handling their business moves in an independent spirit.

So while ABN’s catalogue might not be as widely known internationally as peers like the Geto Boys, their deep-rooted legacy survives through Houston hip hop history and culture. Any acts repping H-Town are standing on the shoulders of ABN’s hustle and draped in the lane they helped pave. Legends in their own right for day one followers of Houston rap’s rise – forever ballin’ hard and never broke.

Frequently Asked Questions About ABN

Where did ABN rap group get their name from?

ABN stands for “Always Ballin’ Never Broke,” representing their hustler mindset of chasing paper nonstop and not letting financial struggles hold them back.

Are ABN rappers Juice and Kam related?

No, Juice and Kam are childhood friends who grew up together in Houston’s South Park neighborhood – not blood relatives. But their brotherly bond did span over 35 years and counting going back to elementary school.

What record labels have ABN been signed to?

Early on they partnered with established Houston rap label Rap-A-Lot Records to gain more exposure regionally. But they also later launched their own imprints Ridah Records and X-Ploit Records to have more control over their music and revenue.

How would you describe ABN’s musical style?

Gritty, aggressive, technically proficient hustler rap with Houston’s signature slowed down, chopped screwed production elements like deep bass, haunting keyboards, bluesy funk guitars and more.

Were ABN involved with any beef or controversy?

Beyond a few isolated incidents, ABN generally avoided major beef and controversy to focus on music and business. Any lyrical jabs were mostly just battling other MCs for rap supremacy the way reflection of competitive Houston hip hop culture.