The Memphis rap renaissance continues at a steady pace in 2021. In fact, last year, hip-hop artists from Bluff City topped the charts, made headlines (both good and bad ) and have built their brands in the musical, media and cultural landscape. .
While it’s hard to say who might be the hottest artists at any given time, we’re currently offering some sort of power ranking of Memphis’ 5 best rappers.
While there is a whole slew of actors – Big30, Pooh Shiesty, Key Glock, Big Scarr, Clay “Krucial” Perry III, and Duke Deuce among others – who could make their way to the roster in the months to come. , here’s a rundown of who’s got the juice now.
N ° 1: Yo Gotti
It’s hard to argue that anyone other than Gotti deserves the top spot here. In addition to his solo work – which includes four consecutive albums that debuted in the Billboard Top 10 – he has sponsored the careers of many young hip-hop stars in the city, including Moneybagg Yo and Blac Youngsta, at the helm. of the CMG label. .
In June – after years of working with Sony / Epic – Gotti announced a new partnership with major label collective Interscope / Geffen / A&M who will work on CMG acts, including new signings like 42 Dugg and EST Gee. Add to that his relationships / sponsorships with Roc Nation Management, Puma and his recent purchase of a stake in the Major League Soccer DC United franchise, and Gotti is the key figure in Memphis hip-hop renaissance today.
MLS NEWS:Memphis rapper Yo Gotti becomes DC United co-owner of Major League Soccer
MUSIC LABELS:Memphis rap veteran Yo Gotti announces partnership between his label CMG and Interscope
N ° 2: Moneybagg Yo
Before Moneybagg Yo’s “A Gangsta’s Pain” album topped the Billboard charts earlier this year – twice, in fact – the last Memphis artist to reach # 1 was pop superstar Justin Timberlake. That alone shows the commercial growth and integration of Memphis rap in recent years, with Moneybagg becoming the artist to fully realize that potential. (Her high-profile romance with rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Instagram model Ari Fletcher also improved her profile.)
Since his connection with Yo Gotti several years ago, Moneybagg has built his brand with records like “43va Heartless” and “Time Served”, with the latter becoming gold. This year, “A Gangsta’s Pain” took him to new levels, and this summer he followed up with a hometown shout to Grizzlies star Ja Morant on the single “Rookie of the Year”. Now Moneybagg appears to be following in Gotti’s footsteps, developing his own stable of artists through his Bread Gang imprint.
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N ° 3: NLE Choppa
The youngest of the young Memphis lions, 19-year-old Choppa, has spent the last two years since his hit “Top Shotta”, building his success on a series of singles, EPs, albums and mixtapes for Warner Music. Choppa’s career has been somewhat overshadowed by his growing interest in natural healing (he has his own line of panacea homeopathic aids), as well as some controversial claims (a staunch anti-vaxxer he maintains he developed. a herbal remedy to cure COVID -19) and sometimes strange behaviors (including, most recently, a video where he appears to be eating dog food).
Yet his power and popularity among the young hip-hop-loving masses remains strong. Released at the end of August, his video for “Final Warning” has accumulated more than 46 million views.
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N ° 4: Young dolphin
The self-proclaimed King of Memphis (or at least ran his 2016 album title) might get an argument from Yo Gotti about it (and, in fact, the two rappers have a story). But Dolph has carved his own niche in the hip-hop scene of Bluff City, independent of the behemoth Gotti / CMG and through his own organization, Paper Route Empire.
Dolph has been climbing the ranks and charts since 2016 with Gold certified hits like “Play With Yo B ****” and “100 Shots” while his most recent record, “Rich Slave” of 2020, peaked at the third place on the Billboard charts. In addition to his solo work, he teamed up with Key Glock for a pair of hit “Dum and Dummer” albums in 2019 and 2021, and has been featured on a range of tracks by OT Genasis, Gucci Mane and Lil Durk. , among others.
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# 5: Blac Youngsta
Blac Youngsta has been in the rap game for over a decade, and the street game goes back even further. After a stint in prison, Blac Youngsta launched his career in 2012 with a series of self-published “Fast Bricks” mixtapes. He eventually caught the attention of Yo Gotti, who signed him to CMG in 2015. His debut as a full LP came in 2018 with “223”, which made its way into the Billboard top 50 and gave birth to a small hit single in “Booty.” It followed the following year with a second album, “Church on Sunday,” and a flurry of singles and collaborations, including 2020’s “Code Red,” a team of an album duration with his friend Moneybagg Yo.
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