The Underrated: Playa Fly

When we talk about hip hop in general 1990s, Memphis hip hop is severely slept on and underrated. The catalyst behind that movement that we're going to highlight today is Memphis' own Playa Fly. Despite being affiliated with Three 6 Mafia for a short period of time (before dissing them in 1996), Fly doesn't get his just due, because of a number of issues. His cocaine use, jail sentence in the early 2000s and lack of friendships in the industry held him back from the top 10 Southern artist of all time list, because his lyricism and storytelling is amazing, but his potential was never reached unfortunately. With that, I'm going to delve into my favorite songs from Fly so people who might've never heard of him can appreciate the talent he displayed throughout his career.

1. Ghetto Eyes (Da Game Owe Me)

-This song was tremendous. In this song he talks about himself growing up in Memphis and the frustrations of youth from various ghettos. He was raised by his grandmother who was Christian and his father was Muslim, so he touches on how different his upbringing was. Really deep conscious song. 

2. Write Some Bump (Movin On)

-Here is one of Fly's most personal songs. Everything from the beat, the hook and guest verse from his cousin Gangsta Blac was dope. "You'd rather see me abolished/ then see Lil Flizzy demolished/ And damage and punish and do away with your garbage/ Too many stares and mugs/ instead of smiles and hugs/". In the opening line, he sets the tone for this song. 2nd verse he talks about his drug dealing mother, who got caught and told him "she said I'm going downtown, but you cant go, it's too dirty". Fly used a lot of personal experiences in his music.

3. Just Awaken Shaken (Just Gettin' It On)

-Fly literally put EVERYTHING out there with his music, positive and negative. This is one of multiple songs talking about using cocaine. Great beat and hook here, as this song definitely goes in the whip. "JUST AWAKEN SHAKEN ONCE AGAIN SO U KNOW ITS ON", Playa Fly's honesty, although not always positive, was refreshing. 

4. Send 4 Me (Da Game Owe Me) 

-Collabing with his father Bill Chill (he appears on a lot of tracks with him), Fly decided to be positive on this song and talk about the shortcomings he still wants to change for the better to get closer to God. "Tired of this ball of confusion/ and devils illusions/ and sick of these hypocrites and racial intrusions/".

5. Triple Bitch Mafia (Just Gettin It On)

-Three 6 Mafia is my favorite group of all time, but Fly definitely served the ENTIRE group by himself. Lines such as "As I hear them country raps/ coming from a Crunchy Black/ Mane you super wack and I know who's behind that/ Pranksta Boo Hoe, I gotta get you too/ facial features favor hell ugly duckling of the crew/" and "Juicy claim he smokin squares, playa knowing you a lie/ When we smoked them mega blunts I thought u was bout to die/". A hilarious diss song where he used their government names too.

6. Catch You Slippin (Just Gettin It On

-The bass in this track is amazing first and foremost. "Wassup to you Lil Fly imitators, traitors of my style/ perpetuating like you're me, when Lil Fly so damn Natural/". He was a teenager rapping like this. Dope cypher track wit the MMM crew as well. "WHEN I CATCH YOU SLIPPIN BITCH IM GONNA PULL YA FUCKIN CARD/ PLAYA HATERS IMITATING/ NIGGAZ TRAITING LIKE THEY HARD/". That hook is infectious man. 

7. Nobody Needs Nobody ft. Gangsta Blac & Bill Chill (Movin On)

-One of the realest hooks ever. "Nobody needs Nobody, all I need is me and my dawgs/ nigga so fuck all of yall/". Anyone who's ever been skeptical of new people and want to keep a close knit circle, this is the theme song for that mindset. His most notable song, he actually just shot a video for this song last year I believe.

In conclusion, after hearing these songs, you can hear the talent Playa Fly possessed, but there were too many demons that held him back from being considered elite by the casual fan. Just Gettin It On, Movin' On, and Da Game Owe Me are 3 quality albums that get slept on by a lot of people. Fly seems to be in a better place now as he has a collab album with Pastor Troy (The Road Warriors) and hopefully he can link up wit the right production so he can flourish. I think Fly might have some unfinished business left. We shall see. 



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