Memphis music industry celebrates 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 8:51 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2023 at 9:05 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop upon us, the City of Memphis is celebrating its lasting legacy in the music genre.

While the world is revering the powerhouse movement that is Hip-Hop, Memphis is paying homage to the legends that paved the way and started their lyrical journeys right here on Memphis soil.

“Their sound is organic,” Artemis “Peppa” Williams, music executive, told Action News 5 reporter Taylor Tucker. “It’s home-grown. It’s this authentic sound of Memphis that lets you know it’s a Memphis artist by the way they are delivering and the way they sound, period.”

The Memphis style of Hip-Hop has a sound that is both unique and beloved not only in the nation, but across the world.

“You know a Memphis record wherever you are,” Big Sue, renowned radio personality, stated. “There’s always going to be that element of soul to it. Every song that you hear that comes from Memphis it comes from the heart, it comes from deep down. I think that is one of the markers of a Memphis record.”

It isn’t just the novelty and soul that is driving the success of Memphis Hip-Hop music, but the love and support of the community that listens to it and celebrates it.

Memphis Hip-Hop pioneer and producer Al Kapone spoke to Action News 5 about the historic 50th Anniversary. “Memphis music always gave you that feeling where you either want to gangsta rap or you want to juke to it,” he said. “If the beat doesn’t make you want to gansta walk or juke, it probably ain’t Memphis. The sound and the feel probably ain’t Memphis.”

Whether you are a fan of the newer rap generation or the old school sound, one thing is for sure: Memphis Hip-Hop will always be a mainstay in the history of music and in the heart of our city.

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