PoloBag Shawty Continues The Legacy of Memphis Rap via DJ QuinnRaynor and The Dope Academy

HHW Staff
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As early as late 1980s, a subgenre of Hip-Hop known as Memphis Rap began to surface in the local stereo shops of Memphis, Tennessee, a small American city in the southeastern region of the United States. According to Memphis Rap pioneer Kingpin Skinny Pimp, an ex-drug-dealer from North Memphis name Pretty Tony is credited as one of the people to influence him to record music: “We would wait until Pretty Tony rode through Hurts Village in his green Mercedes Benz and we would flag him down. He would jump out of the car and gangsta walk to his song ‘Get Buck’.” Prior to Pretty Tony’s “Get Buck” the Memphis rap culture permeated the halls of Skinny Pimp’s school Humes Jr High only through impromptu, unrecorded freestyles and the sounds of blaring BoomBoxes that played dubbed cassettes of lo-fi, 4-track recordings from the homes of local DJs. The infectious chant ‘Get Buck’”, along with the hi-hats and drum pattern that Kingpin Skinny Pimp heard on Pretty Tony’s  song, had quickly become the stereotypical sound pumping through Memphis BoomBoxes and cars. Thanks to DJs like DJ Spanish Fly, who would often rap & rhyme as a part of his mix as well as blend the popular songs of the moment, Memphis Rap cemented itself into the streets of Memphis.  As of 2022, Memphis Rap is now in its fifth decade of existence and has grown to international acclaim.

When Mississippi musician PoloBag Shawty met DJ QuinnRaynor in late 2021, he was well aware that he had come across one of the gatekeepers of Memphis, the legacy of Rap. With 125,000 subscribers on YouTube.com, DJ QuinnRaynor had amassed an international following by sharing the music of upcoming local artists like Yo Gotti, Young Dolph, Snootie Wild, MoneyBagg Yo and Finese 2Tymes. Through his media company The Dope Academy, DJ QuinnRaynor used his YouTube channel to introduce his audience to the musical culture of Memphis Rap. A series of interviews known as “The Dope Academy TV” formally introduced the audience to the likes of budding Memphis rappers such as Pooh Shiesty, Big 30, Big Boogie, Kevo Muney, White Sosa, Big Moochie Grape, Jucee Froot, ATM RichBaby, and more. With the release of “Shawty Dangerous” on DJ QuinnRaynor’s YouTube channel, PoloBag entered into the complex world of Memphis Rap.

Nestled between Memphis, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama, PoloBag’s hometown Tupelo, Mississippi  is about 80 miles from Memphis via highway i-78/i-22. Tupelo is also the home of Rae Sremmurd, who topped Billboard charts in 2016 with the RIAA certified 7x platinum record  “Black Beatles”. “Black Beatles” and the viral dance “The Mannequin challenge” are direct byproducts of the Memphis Rap sound through Mike Will Made It and Rae Sremmurd.

Directed by Avi King Visuals, the visual for “Shawty Dangerous” captures the humorous side of Polo Bag. Produced by A.O., “Shawty Dangerous” has the same menacing sound that’s similar to late-legendary Memphis Rap producers like Montana Traxx and Ensanye Wanye (brother of multi-platinum producer Drumma Boy).

On April 1, 2022, deceased Memphis Rap icon Young Dolph posthumously earned his first RIAA platinum certification as a solo artist with his song “Major”. Appearing on DJ QuinnRaynor’s YouTube channel on August 31, 2018, “Major” has been viewed over 7 million times just on DJ QuinnRaynor’s YouTube channel. By releasing “Shawty Dangerous” on DJ QuinnRaynor’s YouTube channel, PoloBag Shawty is on his way to duplicating the same success as a legendary independent artist from Memphis, Young Dolph. 

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