Memphis rap

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Memphis rap, also known as Memphis hip hop and in some forms Memphis horrorcore,[1] is a regional subgenre of hip hop music that originated in Memphis, Tennessee in the early 1990s. It has been characterized by its often low budget, repetitive production and its occasional lo-fi sound[1] that also heavily utilizes the Roland TR-808 drum machine[2] and minimal synth melodies,[3] as well as double time flows and samples ranging from soul and funk to horror film scores and classical music, as well as hooks from songs by related rappers in the same genre, although DIY production without sampling is common as well.[4]

Early artists and groups associated with Memphis rap include T-Rock, C-Rock, Gangsta Pat, Project Pat, Tommy Wright III, II Tone,Tre DaVinci, Playa Fly, Al Kapone, MC Mack[5] DJ Spanish Fly,[6] Lil Noid,[7] 8Ball & MJG and Three 6 Mafia, with the latter two achieving relative commercial success.[8][9][10] Three 6 Mafia's Mystic Stylez and other releases by members of the group such as Come with Me 2 Hell by DJ Paul and Lord Infamous,[11] and Lil Noid's Paranoid Funk,[7] as well as DJ Spanish Fly's early mixtapes were particularly influential in the genre's development. Despite largely staying underground, it has attained a cult following from MP3 blogs, influencing rappers such as Lil Ugly Mane, Denzel Curry, and SpaceGhostPurrp, as well as the rise of crunk and trap music.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Meara, Paul (February 7, 2014). "Come Back To Hell: The Resurgence of Memphis Horrorcore". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  2. ^ Setaro, Shawn (March 14, 2016). "Are the Sounds of Regional Hip-Hop Going Extinct?". New York Observer. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  3. ^ Chan, Nin (October 12, 2004). "Eightball & MJG :: Memphis Underworld". Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  4. ^ Nosnitsky, Andrew (September 19, 2012). "Revival Tactics". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  5. ^ Brown, Scott (August 28, 2013). "The King of the City: The Best Rapper in 13 Hip-Hop Meccas". Complex. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Hebblethwaite, Phil (January 25, 2011). "808 State Of Mind: Proto-Crunk Originator DJ Spanish Fly". The Quietus. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Reid, Mark (May 22, 2015). "Lil NoiD's uncooked, influential Memphis rap cassette Paranoid Funk to receive vinyl reissue". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  8. ^ Baker, Soren (August 30, 2008). "East Coast? West Coast? No, Try the Mississippi". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  9. ^ Grem, Darren E. "The South Got Something to Say": Atlanta's Dirty South and the Southernization of Hip-Hop America." Southern Cultures 12.4 (2006): 55-73. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. Sep 14, 2011.
  10. ^ Westhoff, Ben. "Finger-Lickin' Rap." Utne Reader 166 (2011): 80-83. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. Sep 14, 2011
  11. ^ Ivey, Justin (May 23, 2015). "Three 6 Mafia's 'Mystic Stylez' Is Still a Southern Hip-Hop Essential 20 Years Later". Complex. Retrieved November 27, 2016.

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