A South Carolinian with a self-described "gumbo of crunk, snap, and other popular Southern rap styles," Lil' Ru earned his first stutter-start as a teenager in 2001 when fellow Palmetto-stater Angie Stone took him under her wing and got him inked to Elektra Records. While label shake-ups would stall the MC's breakthrough, Lil' Ru continued to compose local classics, his trawling drawl only a slight bit less guttural than Lil Jon's. By 2009, the rapper had rebounded to Capitol Records and had a breaking hit with the strip club-touting "Nasty Song," off his debut 21 and Up. ~ Jason Thurston, Rovi