- Ying-Yang Twins
Although they didn't achieve national success until teaming up in 2003 with crunk overlord Lil Jon and a Britney Spears in search of club cred, Atlanta's Ying Yang Twins have actually been twurking around the edges of the southern hip-hop scene for years. D-Roc and Kaine joined forces in 1996 and made noise in the Dirty Dirty with a couple of independent albums that predate the current crunk explosion, even denting the lower reaches of the Billboard charts with rowdy, party-centered hits like 2000's "Whistle While You Twurk" and "Say I Yi Yi" in 2002.
But it was "Salt Shaker," set in the usual crunk locale of the local strip club and featuring the magic touch of fellow ATL up-and-comer Lil Jon, which vaulted the duo into the Top 10 in 2003 and set the stage for a contract with TVT Records -- and appearances on Britney's In the Zone (on the heavy-breathing "[I Got That] Boom Boom") and her subsequent network-TV special. The Twins' platinum third release, Me & My Brother, spawned a remix album and DVD last year, firmly -- and finally -- establishing them as the crunk titans they'd always threatened to become.