Memphis is a city in southwest Tennessee famous for the musicians that have come from the area. Many of the best Tennesee rappers are from Memphis, as the city has become a significant hotspot for talent in the rap scene.
Here's a look at the best Memphis Rappers.
#1 Juicy J
Juicy J might be the biggest name to ever come out of Memphis. He was one of the founding members of the prolific rap group, Three 6 Mafia, which started in 1991. Although, throughout the 90s, Juicy J hadn't started his rap career yet and was only a producer.
Juicy J waited over ten years after he started his professional producing career before he released his debut rap album, Chronicles of the Juice Man, in 2002.
Over 20 years later, Juicy J is still a popular rapper and producer, which is an incredibly impressive feat to manage for 20+ years. His most popular hit was “Bandz a Make Her Dance,” released in 2012, which amassed over 300M streams across all streaming platforms.
#2 Project Pat
Project Pat is the older brother of the legendary Memphis musician Juicy J. Project Pat was another one of the founding members of Three 6 Mafia in 1991. However, a prison sentence delayed the start of his rap career until 1999.
Project Pat released his debut rap album, Getty Green, in 1999 and continued to drop seven more albums over the next 16 years.
Totaling eight studio albums, countless features on hit Three 6 Mafia songs, and features with other rappers in the industry, Project Pat managed to obtain one of the most successful music careers coming out of Memphis.
#3 Yo Gotti
Yo Gotti released his first rap album, Youngsta's On a Come Up, in 1996 when he was only 15. He proceeded to drop 11 albums over the next 26 years, with his most recent album released in early 2022, CM10: Free Game.
Throughout his long time in the rap industry, Yo Gotti has consistently been one of Memphis's most recognizable and consistent rappers.
Yo Gotti has, however, recently become more famous for his record label's success than his success while rapping. Yo Gotti was the sole founder of Collective Music Group, a record label that has acquired tons of star talent since its inception. In 2022, the record label manages Moneybagg Yo, 42 Dugg, EST Gee, Mozzy, and other popular rappers.
#4 NLE Choppa
NLE Choppa is a 20-year-old rapper from Memphis who rose to fame when he was just 17 years old after releasing “Shotta Flow.” NLE Choppa grew up on the southeast side of Memphis, where he went to Cordova High School.
He started his rapping career with a string of singles that caught his attention before releasing his debut album, Top Shotta, in the middle of 2020. Fans love the rapper for his high energy and heavy-hitting songs like “Capelot.”
#5 Young Dolph
Young Dolph, also known as Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., is one of the most prolific rappers from Memphis in recent history. Young Dolph released his first studio album in 2015, King of Memphis, where he caught attention within the industry.
Over the next five years, Young Dolph released six more albums, with his final album, Rich Slave, released in 2020.
On November 17th, 2021, Young Dolph was killed while at a bakery in Memphis, picking up cookies for his mother. Two men eventually got caught and charged with first-degree murder for killing the rapper. Nevertheless, he remains one of the city's most beloved rappers, and Memphis residents continue to mourn his tragic passing.
#6 Moneybagg Yo
Moneybagg Yo is a rapper born in southern Memphis who is currently signed to fellow Memphis rapper Yo Gotti's label, Collective Music Group. Moneybagg Yo started gaining popularity in 2016 with the release of his hit mixtape, Federal Reloaded, and eventually dropped his first studio album, Reset, in late 2018.
His most recent album, A Gangsta's Pain, which he released in 2021, had an all-star lineup of features from other artists and was extremely well-received.
#7 Blac Youngsta
Blac Youngsta was born and raised in southern Memphis, where he first became popular due to parties he would throw. He got to know many of the biggest Memphis rappers through his own parties and sequentially released his first mixtape at the age of 22 in 2012.
The rapper released his first album, 223, in 2018 when he signed to fellow Memphis rapper Yo Gotti's label, Collective Music Group. Blac Youngsta's most recent album release was in 2022, titled 4LIFE.
#8 Pooh Shiesty
Pooh Shiesty is one of Memphis' newer contributions to the rap game, as he debuted in 2019. He's signed to Gucci Mane's 1017 Records and frequently collaborates with other rappers from the label, such as Big Scarr.
The rapper's most successful song is “Back in Blood,” a song that he collaborated on with Chicago rapper Lil Durk. The single amassed over 500 million combined listens across all streaming platforms and became one of the biggest rap songs of 2020.
#9 Gangsta Boo
Gangsta Boo is considered by many to be the “pioneer of female rap music.” She was born and raised in Memphis and was one of the first members of Three 6 Mafia, a Memphis rap group, along with rappers like Juicy J and Project Pat.
Gangsta Boo worked on music with Three 6 Mafia from 1991 to 1998, when she released Enquiring Minds, her debut solo album.
The female rapper is revered by her peers in the rap industry and adored by her hometown of Memphis. She's considered legendary in many parts of the city, and residents continue to play her three albums over 20 years later.
#10 Duke Deuce
Duke Deuce is one of the newest rappers on the Memphis rap scene who's currently signed to Quality Control Music. The rapper is best known for a hit single produced by Juicy J, “Crunk Ain't Dead,” which got released in 2019.
Duke Deuce released his debut studio album in 2021, titled Duke Nukem, and has since dropped two more records, Crunkstar and Memphis Massacre III.
Big30, or Rodney Wright Jr., is a 23-year-old rapper from Memphis who was childhood friends with well-known rapper Pooh Shiesty. Big30 released his first music in 2021, a mixtape titled King of Killbranch, which featured a star-studded lineup of Future, Lil Durk, and Pooh Shiesty.
Almost a year later, in late September 2022, the rapper released his debut studio album, Last Man Standing.
#12 Key Glock
Key Glock is best known for being late rapper Young Dolph's protégé since debuting his music career by appearing on Young Dolph's tracks in 2017.
Key Glock has been signed to Young Dolph's record label, Paper Route Empire, for his entire music career and continues to stay signed on after his mentor's tragic passing. Key Glock is best known for his two studio albums, Yellow Tape and Yellow Tape 2, which contain heavy bass, aggressive lyrics, and a deadpan flow.
GloRilla is one of Memphis' newest and most popular rappers, as she burst onto the scene late in 2019. The rapper went extremely viral throughout social media, but especially TikTok, in April 2022 following the release of the single “F.N.F. (Let's Go).”
Just a few months after her first hit single, GloRilla was signed to fellow Memphis rapper Yo Gotti's music label, Collective Music Group. Most recently, in November 2022, GloRilla dropped an EP titled Anyways, Life's Great…
#14 Gangsta Blac
Gangsta Blac was one of the first prominent Memphis rappers and really changed the scene with the way he used heavy bass and an aggressive style. The rapper released 32 songs between 1996 and 1999, when he retired from the industry.
Despite having a relatively short time in the limelight, the Memphis rapper is remembered fondly in the industry.
#15 Big Scarr
Big Scarr, whose real name is Alexander Woods, is a young rapper out of Memphis that has gained a lot of traction in 2021 and 2022. The rapper got signed to Gucci Mane's 1017 Records before releasing any music publicly, but the rapper has shown his talent since joining the label.
Most fans know Big Scarr from the hit song “SolcyBoyz,” featuring fellow Memphis rapper Pooh Shiesty, Tay Keith, and Foogiano. Big Scarr released Big Grim Reaper, his debut mixtape, in April 2021, which made it to number 25 on the Billboard 200.
#16 BlocBoy JB
BlocBoy JB had a swift rise to fame but an equally fast fall from stardom. Most fans would recognize the rapper from national hits like “Look Alive” featuring Drake, “Shoot,” or “Rover.”
Despite having some of the biggest rap songs of 2017 and 2018, and even getting Drake on a song, the Memphis rapper didn't manage to maintain that success much longer than a few years. He hasn't released any new music since 2020, so assumptions exist that he's retired.
#17 Lord Infamous
Lord Infamous is one of the founding members of Three 6 Mafia, along with his half-brother DJ Paul and others. He was involved in all of Three 6 Mafia's music from 1991 all the way until 2005 until facing a prison sentence that ended his Sony contract.
After getting out of prison in 2006, Lord Infamous continued his music career solo.
On December 20th, 2013, Lord Infamous tragically passed away in his mother's home due to a heart attack. His half-brother and fellow Three 6 Mafia founder, DJ Paul, confirmed his death.
#18 Kingpin Skinny Pimp
Kingpin Skinny Pimp was part of the surge of rap talent coming out of Memphis in the 90s. Although overshadowed by Three 6 Mafia and 8Ball & MJG, Kingpin Skinny Pimp was one of the longest-lasting rappers of the era.
Residents of Memphis during the time loved the rapper for his very unique style of music. Consisting of hard bass and fast-hitting beats, the rapper's words were used as an instrument instead of the focal point, being a pioneer of rap in that aspect.
#19 DJ Paul
DJ Paul is one of the most successful musicians to ever come out of Memphis, and not just due to his music. He was one of the founding members of Three 6 Mafia and was also a producer for many of Memphis' biggest rappers of the time, such as Juicy J. Many might know DJ Paul as more of a producer than a rapper, but he released numerous solo rap albums that did very well.
Since his music career, he has been a successful entrepreneur in many different avenues. He has started his own record label, made his own BBQ sauce, produced movies, owns a real estate company, and is a part-owner of the E-Sport giant, FaZe Clan.
The former rapper and producer is now an entrepreneur and businessman who is quickly gaining respect in that aspect.
#20 Gangsta Pat
Gangsta Pat was the first Memphis rapper to become commercially successful, marked by being the first rapper from Memphis to sign with a major national record label.
Gangsta Pat signed with Atlantic Records after gaining popularity in the late 80s, just a few years before fellow Memphis rappers like Three 6 Mafia would reach the same level of national popularity. He's the forgotten pioneer of rap in Memphis, especially nationally successful rap, and deserves more praise.
#21 Al Kapone
Al Kapone is another peer of Three 6 Mafia and other rappers from Memphis in the 90s. Although he was never as successful as his peers, Al Kapone featured on three different Three 6 Mafia albums and numerous other best Memphis rappers' albums.
The rapper never achieved national attention, but Memphis residents were well aware of the rapper and producer's talent. He later went on to write songs for more popular artists, such as E-40.
#22 Playa Fly
Playa Fly is the son of Memphis musician Mr. Bill Chill and was also born and raised in the city. He was a founding member of Three 6 Mafia but only recorded one album with the group before he left due to disputes about money and song direction.
After leaving Three 6 Mafia, Playa Fly managed a solid rap career, as he released six studio albums over nine years in the industry.
#23 Big Boogie
Big Boogie is a Louisiana-born rapper who grew up in Memphis, where he also started his rap career. The rapper hasn't released any studio albums yet, but his singles have caught a lot of attention in 2022.
Big Boogie got over 50M views on YouTube in 2022 from his music and was signed to fellow Memphis rapper Yo Gotti's record label, Collective Music Group, in the middle of 2022. The rapper's first studio album release will likely drop in early 2023.
#24 Indo G
Indo G is another Memphis rapper that blew up in the mid-1990s along with Three 6 Mafia. Indo G started his career as a duo with fellow Memphis rapper Lil' Blunt, as they released two collaborative albums together.
Indo G became a solo rapper around 1996 and was no longer in a duo, but he joined Three 6 Mafia in 1998. The rapper worked with the most prominent Memphis rap group for several years before leaving for personal reasons.
#25 Cities Aviv
Cities Aviv is a super interesting artist within the space of Memphis rap due to his unique style of music. After dropping out of the University of Memphis at the age of 20, Cities Aviv joined a Punk band where he was the lead singer. However, after spending a couple of years with the punk band, Cities Aviv left the group and started his journey into hip-hop.
When Cities Aviv started his rap career, he produced and rapped for his records. The artist became known around the area for his different style of music in the early 2010s. He clearly had punk influences on his rap records, but also electronic influences. He was considered highly experimental at the time but proved to be ahead of the curve with his music.
8Ball is best known for being part of a duo with fellow Memphis rapper MJG. 8Ball met MJG in middle school in Memphis, and the two rappers started their careers together. The duo released four albums together before they started to venture into their own solo rap careers.
8Ball released his first solo studio album in 1998, Lost, and it did very well for a debut album. The Memphis rapper released eight albums as a duo with MJG, and he also released eight solo rap albums, totaling 16 albums over 14 years in the industry.
MJG is a prominent rapper out of Memphis, most notable for his partnership with 8Ball. MJG's music featured heavy Memphis influence, as it often had synths and heavy bass behind the lyrics. Like many other Memphis rappers, the duo's lyrics aren't meant to tell a story or be that meaningful, but they serve as an instrument and a flow to dance.
Unlike many other rappers at the time, MJG and other Memphis rappers were the first to focus on a party atmosphere within the music. The style of music in Memphis spread throughout the rest of the country as the entire rap industry moved in that direction in the early 2000s.
#28 Lil Wyte
Lil Wyte, or Patrick Lanshaw, is a Memphis-born rapper born in 1982. The rapper's style could best be described as a machine of words or a rapid lyricist.
The rapper was signed to Three 6 Mafia's label in 2000, giving him a verified mark of approval within the city. Lil Wyte was featured on Project Pat's “Crash da Club” in 2002 before releasing his debut studio album, Doubt Me Now, in 2003.
#29 Drumma Boy
Drumma Boy is one of the most prolific producers to ever come out of Memphis and was one of the most popular producers in the rap industry for a while. Drumma Boy comes from a highly educated household that wanted him to pursue higher education, so he started attending the University of Memphis in 2001, studying music.
Even by the time he graduated high school, Drumma Boy was a known producer in Tennesee and was selling beats to some of the state's most prominent rappers. He eventually dropped out of college once he made over $200k per year as a producer, and his career skyrocketed after he dropped out.
By 2008, he was one of the rap game's most sought-after producers and had worked with many of the industry's biggest names.
iLoveMemphis is what many would call a “one-hit wonder,” but his one hit is one of the biggest songs ever made in Memphis, “Hit the Quan.”
The hit song was one of the most prominent beats in the US in 2015 due to the viral dances that accompanied the music. The rapper was invited onto national talk shows, such as the Ellen DeGeneres Show, to perform his hit song.
#31 Jucee Froot
Jucee Froot is a new Memphis rapper who was born and raised in the city and is just recently climbing in popularity. She's best known for her contributions to soundtracks of films and shows such as Birds of Prey (2020), Insecure, and P-Valley.
She got signed to Atlantic Records in 2020 and released her debut studio album, Black Sheep, later that year. Many fans think that the female rapper is “up next” for the city of Memphis.
Top Memphis Rappers, Final Thoughts
The amount of rap talent that one city produced over the last 30 years is truly remarkable. Memphis grew to be known as a hotspot of the rap scene as early as the 1990s, and it's only grown more prominent and impressive since. In recent years, young rappers from Memphis like Pooh Shiesty and NLE Choppa have had more success than any of their predecessors from the city.