One of the few successful rap groups from the South in the early '90s, Poison Clan played an important role in the development of the Dirty South movement that would arise late in the decade. The group began as a 2 Live Crew-sponsored group on Luke Records and came to an end when the group's driving force, JT Money, went on to a more successful solo career after a business-related dispute with Luke. In retrospect, though Poison Clan struggled to gain notoriety outside of Miami in the '90s, the group's style of sleazy, club-orientated, bass-driven rap provided the template for the late-'90s Dirty South movement.
Originally, Poison Clan was a duo featuring Debonaire and J.T. Money as featured on 2 Low Life Muthas (1990). The two Miami rappers had impressed Luke enough for him to sign them to his then-fledging label, Luke Records, and have Mr. Mixx, 2 Live Crew's DJ, produce the album. 2 Low Life Muthas became a modest sensation in the South with its blend of dirty rap, gangsta rap, and Miami bass. It was Poison Clan's second album, Poisonous Mentality (1992), and its big hit, "Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya," that expanded the group's reach outside of the South. Furthermore, Poisonous Mentality found J.T. Money taking over as Poison Clan's driving force -- though Poison Clan paraded itself as a collective, it was actually more of a solo project.
Successive albums -- Ruff Town Behavior (1993) and Strait Zooism (1995) -- had moderate success, but none had songs that were as popular with national audiences as "Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya." By this point in the mid-'90s, 2 Live Crew and, in particular, Luke, had fallen off the map, resulting in tensions between Luke and J.T. Money, allegedly over unpaid royalties -- as the story so often goes. And it wasn't a surprise, then, when J.T. Money parted ways with Luke and embarked on a solo career that got off to a great start in 1999 with "Who Dat." That same year, Luke released The Best of J.T. Money & Poison Clan, which collected the best moments from Poison Clan's five-year run. ~ Jason Birchmeier