The CunninLynguists have been, in many ways, an exception. The duo – later on, a trio - had represented more or less the backpack rap tradition in a place, the Dirty South, where it scarcely existed. Also, in an anachronistic way, they have been loyal to some 90's and Dungeon Family inspired kind of hip-hop, at a time when Atlanta had moved to other subgenres, like crunk, or trap music. And curiously, by the mid-00's, with their third album, A Piece of Strange, they started meeting some success, at least on the critics side, exactly when their kind of rap had seemed rejected to the dustbin of history. As a matter of fact, by the end of the decade, the group was fully part of the hip-hop landscape; it could mix with people coming from other worlds than indie rap, and be a full part of the game by 2009, when mixtapes reached an unequaled status, when they were all the rage.
By the year 2000, the indie backpacker hip-hop style had spread over almost all places in the United States, except maybe its Southern parts. Essentially, the most popular form of hip-hop, there, was its complete opposite: it was dirty, sexual, gangsta, and aimed at clubs. It had so few to do with New-York and its boom bap heritage. In the Dirty South, actually, only a handful of rappers in Florida could, more or less, be related to indie rap; plus, of course, the CunninLynguists.