We all know Memphis got some real true lyricists, past (Playa Fly, Gangsta Blac..) and current (Virghost, Snipes..) but I have a topic that I’d like to hear other opinions on.. I’ve heard all kinds of claims of who is a better rapper but a lot of times I think the topics get centered more around who is bigger or who is selling more like who is King of Memphis (DJ Paul, Yo Gotti, Juicy J…), but that’s not this topic!
This topic is who are the top 5 Memphis rappers of all time – lyrically. IMHO, (in no order) it’s Playa Fly, Skinny Pimp, MJG, Gangsta Boo and Eightball maybe Koopsta Knicca, Miscellaneous?
My #5 is Fathom 9 because I have always been fond of scientific & intricate lyricism. Plus, his beats are pretty fly too. Only reason why he only ranks 5 is because I can’t bump his music casually around most w/o them looking at me like wtf O.o???
#4 for me is Fridae Blaque. He, imo, is a new spin of the more hood side of Memphis emcees who’ll rap about the dope game w/ decent punchlines, similes & metaphors. speaking both of the positives & negatives of that kind of life (for too long rappers have been too one sided about that life). Dude an all around great MC
#3 is Jason da Hater. I think of him as Memphis’s own KRS One, uplifting, encouraging & teaching. Showing Memphis in a more positive light. It’s also cool 2 hear an emcee who doesn’t need to use profanity & still be a damn good lyricist. Plus his corniness at times add to his charm
#2 is Virghost. I first heard him back in 2012 when he was featured on the team memphis cypher #3. What 2 say about ghost??? You can hear that mane passion on every track he’s on, commanding your attention when ever he’s on the mic. From project to project, he gets better & better, The Memphiasco (as good as it was) was trumped by Trial N Error. Trial N Error was trumped by Live From The Other Side & the same can be said about that album compared to Summer In September.
My #1 is the Memphis 10 legend. Playa Fly. He may not be as lyrical as the aforementioned MCs I listed but their no denying his influence on them. Fly was my earliest definition of what an MC was suppose 2 be. I mean honestly, who was rapping in Memphis in the early, mid & late 90s like Fly??? Nobody. Where Three 6, Frayser Click, Mo Chedda where all about fucking females, pimping, hustling, killing, Fly talked about his nappy hair & grill, having a good time & just trying to be the best rapper he could be. He spit w/ a almost furious passion w/ that deep ass, gravelly voice unlike most underground who had that same lazy delivery & rhyme scheme.
And those are my top 5 favorite & most lyrical MCs out of Memphis
We need more discussions like this at this forum. I live in Houston now but I was born in Orange Mound & grew up in Hickory Hill &, out here, the people love their rappers & have great pride for their own. I remember a few years ago the radio here had a special where they counted down of the top 50 most influential rap songs to ever come out of Houston & thats not counting honorable mentions too. Rappers that didn’t get play much outside of Houston, nevertheless TX, where even featured. Houston is the only city I’ve ever been where rappers wouldn’t have 2 leave to blow up & It would be great if Memphis showed its local artist this type of hometown support
My top five as far as favorites go this is not saying they are the most lyrical just my personal fav 5: Playa Fly, Crunchy Black, Lord Infamous, MJG, DJ Paul. Honorable mentions would be Gangsta Boo, 8 Ball, Lil Wyte, La Chat, and Ethelwulf.
@taylormane Good post.. I’ve actually heard Da Hater, an honorable mention… I haven’t heard of Fathom 9 or Fridae Blaque until now but that’s one of the reasons behind this thread, to learn of old, new and current artists, thanks for weighing in.. by the way I listened to Fridae Blaque’s recent mixtape, good stuff
@catfish-lanny thanks for weighing in also.. good mentions.. I actually hadn’t heard of Ethelwulf but after a quick search I see he’s been around since ’92 I guess and goes by X. Wulf now.. I took a listen to some of his new stuff, dope.. good post!