Memphis has been one of the most historic and currently relevant cities in all of hip-hop and their classic sound that has been reworked and reinvented countless times is seeing a current revival to they heyday of the 1990s into the early-2000s when groups like Three Six Mafia were at their peak in both influence and popularity, manifesting itself in the 2020s with rappers like Pooh Shiesty, Big 30, and Lil Migo (among many, many others) that have leaned on the old-school Memphis production tropes with rattling and distorted percussive elements mixed with their new school flows and unmistakable Memphis accents that are only rivaled by Atlanta in my opinion.
While the scene has been hot for a while now and always has been a well-known outpost for rap, there are quite a few new faces in the Bluff City that are likely to ring out for some time, perhaps most notably Pooh Shiesty’s 1017 label-mate Big Scarr who burst onto the scene with his breakout video “Make A Play” and recently collaborated with Gucci Mane, Key Glock, and K-Shiday on the 1017 Records release “No Luv.” His latest video is for his song “Endzone” which some might remember as his “Ape Gang Diss” that was leaked and spread around Memphis and beyond several months ago but “Endzone” is just about the perfect visual treatment they could have given this track.
Big Scarr’s sound is not much like many of his 901-based counterparts in terms of both voice and flow and his twangy baritone hovers menacingly over the up-tempo and spellbinding instrumentals he usually hops on. Scarr as well as many other Memphis rappers are also not credited for their lyricism nearly enough and while some of the vocabulary might be more simplistic than some artists whose goal is to spit tongue twisters but Scarr rather just simply and succinctly says real ass shit and never forces anything over the top lyrically. He really embodies the idea of not just flowing on a beat but skating on it, owning it from every twist and turn and never getting to sped up or behind. I am really, really looking forward to Big Scarr dropping more music here in the future and am eager to see exactly how he fits in Memphis’s new landscape.