Memphis, Tennessee, is a city that has long been a hub for hip-hop music. In this era of Memphis rappers, everything from the sound and styles to the appearance and personalities of artists has changed drastically. Many rappers from Memphis have transitioned from niche categories to the mainstream, appealing to all hip-hop lovers.
The hip-hop scene in Memphis is vibrant and diversified. The city has produced some of the industry's most influential and innovative rappers from the early days of Three 6 Mafia to the current generation of artists.
Best Memphis rappers in 2024
The Memphis rap scene is thriving, with emerging artists pushing the genre's boundaries and honouring the city's legacy. Here are 15 of the best Memphis rappers you should watch out for in 2024.
1. Three 6 Mafia
Three 6 Mafia has been in the music industry since 1991, making them arguably the most popular Memphis rap group on this list. Their distinctive horror-themed rap style was established with the release of their debut album, Mystic Styles.
Currently, their appearance and music reflect a more down-to-earth hip-hop style. Despite the change, their unparalleled longevity grants them access to a devoted fan base over three decades.
2. Juicy J
What famous rapper lives in Memphis? Jordan Michael Houston III, professionally known as Juicy J, hails from Memphis, Tennessee. He is a founding member of the Southern hip-hop group, Three 6 Mafia and a successful solo artist with hits such as Low and Bandz A Make Her Dance. Juicy J has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the rap games, including Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, and Wiz Khalifa.
3. DJ Paul
DJ Paul is one of the most famous Memphis rappers. The rapper was born on 13 October 1977 in Memphis. He is also a co-founder of the Three 6 Mafia rap group. His immense popularity stems from amassing a catalogue of soul-stirring tracks. The rapper's discography consists of nearly 25 musical projects.
4. Young Dolph
Young Dolph was famous for his witty lyrics and catchy hooks. He first rose to prominence with his 2016 mixtape King of Memphis. In addition to being a successful rapper, he was a prosperous entrepreneur. He established his record label, Paper Route Empire, and clothing brand.
Sadly, on 17 November 2021, outside a bakery in Memphis, Young Dolph was shot 22 times, leading to his death. Despite his untimely demise, he is among the best Memphis rappers of all time.
5. Key Glock
Key Glock is a young Memphis rapper who is rapidly gaining popularity. His birth name is Markeyvius Cathey, and he was born and raised in the Orange Mound neighbourhood. He started rapping at 14 and cites Three 6 Mafia as one of his biggest influences. Key Glock rose into popularity with his 2017 mixtape Glock Season, which was greatly influenced by the work of Houston icon DJ Screw.
6. Yo Gotti
Yo Gotti was born and raised in Tennessee as Mario Sentell Giden Mims on 19 May 1981. The artist is a favourite of many north Memphis hip-hop fans.
Yo Gotti, who grew up in a neighbourhood where crime was prevalent and saw family members go to prison, turned his life around at 14 after realising that drinking, smoking, and stealing would wreck his life. He is well-known for songs like We Can Get It, Momma, and Down in the DM.
7. Project Pat
Who is the biggest rapper out of Memphis? Project Pat is a co-founder of the Southern hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia and the older brother of Juicy J. His stage name is derived from the fact that he was born in the projects. Still, it also reflects the fact that he has been a significant player in numerous collaborative projects for many years, bringing together rappers from diverse genres, groups, and regions of the country.
8. 8Ball & MJG
The hip-hop duo from Memphis consistently draws large crowds whenever they perform in their hometown. Jermaine Goodwin (also known as MJG) and Premro Smith (also known as 8Ball) met in 1984 at Ridgeway Middle School.
They made music throughout the 1990s and 2000s until label and management conflicts arose. They recorded almost ten studio albums together but are currently pursuing solo careers while running separate music record labels.
9. Duke Deuces
Duke Deuce is one of the Memphis underground rappers. His actual name is Marquavis Goolsby, and he was born and raised in the Shelby County neighbourhood of Memphis. His 2018 single, Crunk Ain't Dead, produced by Atlanta trap maestro Zaytoven, brought him to prominence. Duke Deuce says Three 6 Mafia and Lil Jon significantly influence his music.
10. Moneybagg Yo
Moneybagg Yo is a Memphis rapper whose real name is Demario DeWayne White Jr. He was born on 4 September 1991 in Shelby County, Tennessee. He is well-known for his catchy hooks and often explicit and violent lyrics. His music breakthrough came in 2016 with the release of the mixtape All Gas No Brakes.
11. NLE Choppa
Who is the hottest rapper in Memphis? NLE Choppa is one of the hottest Memphis rappers. While the East Memphis native has only been active since 2018's No Love Anthem and 2019's Cottonwood, his fame has made him the face of the current generation. The tracks Shotta Flow, Walk Em Down, and Camelot, among others, have contributed to NLE Choppa's reign and dominance in the hip-hop genre.
12. Pooh Shiesty
Despite having a brief career in rap and hip-hop before his present imprisonment, Pooh Shiesty was one of the most popular and influential rap artists. As soon as he became industry-ready, Pooh Shiesty dominated the airwaves with hits such as Neighbors, Back In Blood, and Monday to Sunday.
He belonged to the Choppas gang crew, a Memphis rappers gang affiliation. The South Memphis native is currently serving a five-year imprisonment, yet this has not hindered his rise within the Memphis rap industry.
13. BlocBoy JB
Born James Lee Baker in 1996, BlocBoy JB is one of the youngest Memphis rappers. He rose to fame in 2018 with the release of the hit track, Look Alive. Since then, he has influenced the charts with songs such as Shoot, Rover, and Rover 2.0.
Between 2016 and 2017, he released several unique mixtapes, which have been the foundation of his career. BlocBoy JB is also one of the Memphis Grape Street Crips rappers. Currently, industry professionals view him as one of the most promising talents in the dirty south rap genre.
14. Playa Fly
Ibn Young, popularly known as Playa Fly, is one of the most influential figures in the Memphis rap scene. He modelled his musical career while still a part of the Three 6 Mafia alongside Project Pat, Juicy J, Gangsta Boo, and Indo G. The rap legend presently has around 20 classic albums, including mixtapes and EPs.
Big30 is a relatively new Memphis rapper making waves on the local scene. Antonio Hatter is his real name, and he was born and raised in the Orange Mound neighbourhood of Memphis. In 2019, he released his debut album, The Takeover, which rapidly became a fan favourite. Big30's music combines trap and hip-hop, and he frequently raps about his upbringing in the city.
What is Memphis rap known for?
The triplet rhythm of Memphis rap lends itself to a halftime beat. Numerous contemporary hip-hop artists, including Yo Gotti, Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, and Kanye West, have adopted this triplet flow.
Memphis, Tennessee, has a rich history in hip-hop, producing some of the genre's most influential and groundbreaking artists. From Three 6 Mafia to Young Dolph, Memphis rappers have left their mark on the industry.
Yen.com.gh recently published an article on the 15 must-listen fastest rap songs ever. Some of these songs have been featured in the Guinness World Records, while others have won various awards in the music industry.
Rap God by Eminem, Twista by Mista Tung Twista, and NoClue by New West are some of the fastest rap songs with the most syllables per second. These songs showcase incredible talent and skills in the rap world.