8Ball and MJG (due at Casselman's this Sunday, September 4) are one of the dopest hip-hop acts to ever come out of the south. The Memphis duo ushered in an entirely new era of hip-hop, unwrapping their lives in layers with vivid tales of pimping hoes, making money and moving drugs with eloquence and authenticity. We chopped it recently up with the pair about their longevity in the game and how they keep the rhymes as pure as ever.
Westword: You two have been on the underground scene for years, shaping the style of rap that came out of the south. How have you maintained longevity throughout all the change?
8Ball: We just do what we do and don't really focus on all the changes happening. Of course we keep up with the times, but it doesn't really determine how we do our style. We just talk about what's relevant to us and what makes the most sense to our own experience.
The first time I ever heard the term "'hood rat," it was on an 8Ball and MJG record. Do you ever consider the influence your music has on pop culture in general?
MJG: It's funny because we have been doing this for years and making music based on what we do. We're from Memphis; it's better to talk about what we know because we live it every day.
Has the subject matter changed since all the "money making cats with gats who love 'hood rats" type rhymes?
MJG: Even if it comes across like it's just 'hood rats and things like that, we tell it from our point of view. For the most part, the 'hood ain't changed, so what we rap about ain't changed.
What do you have to say about the longevity in the game you've enjoyed?
8Ball: We stayed true to the style of music that we do, and in turn, we created a place for our music and our fans. A lot of artists change it up based on the times, but if you're a fan of the music, you'll see that it is the same things that make you love it regardless.
It's been a minute since you've been in Denver. What are you expecting from the city?
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MJG: Yeah, it's been some years since we've been there. We don't know what to expect, really but everyone who comes out to the show is going to enjoy themselves, and we're going to do what we do best and bring them a good show.