Rather than taking the underground route like most Southern rappers, Petey Pablo took the direct route into the rap game: he went straight to the top. Though few knew much about him, Pablo suddenly broke in late 2001, and not just in the South but from coast to coast -- MTV rotated his video and urban radio championed his debut single. That single, "Raise Up," took the U.S. by storm, breaking into Billboard's Top 30 pop singles and Top Ten R&B singles, not to mention the endless weeks of airplay. Before his debut album even streeted, he was a household name. Pablo's widespread success and commercial acceptance is perhaps most fascinating because the North Carolina native is anything but glamorous. Often shirtless and unadorned with jewelry and representing either the ghetto or the country, Pablo represented an earthier and more realistic embodiment of the stereotypical Southern black man.