[One of the great untold stories in hip-hop is that of Memphis’ Gangsta Pat. He is the son of Stax Records musician Willie Hall who worked with the likes of Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin and the Blues Brothers to name a few. Pat’s introduction into the music game came into play when he was only 16 working on his first solo album #1 Suspect which got picked up by Atlantic Records. This led to the young artist officially putting Memphis Rap on the map. Shortly after he signed to Wrap-Ichiban Records in Atlanta, is it a coincidence that the ATL later started to sound like M-Town? Check out some of the best moments from our recent interview with this M-Town pioneer!]

1. Gangsta Pat Put Memphis On The Map At 16

I understood that in order to do music you needed to have an investor. One day a friend of mine hooked me up with a guy who was looking to put some money in the music business. That was how I got my shot! I was a newcomer but I ended up coming out first. I was 16 years old, I wasn’t doing too well in school I would just go to the studio and my record ended up coming out first. After that Atlantic picked it up. It was #1 Suspect. I cut half of the record with a guy named Fat Tony. That was the first investor; he got murdered before we could finish the album. I was driving and they shot through my window, but he caught the worst of it. When I had looked up he had checked out, he was gone! I had a head wound but it wasn’t real severe. By the grace of god something had slowed the bullet down.

2. DJ Paul & Lord Infamous Early Days

Anything that is moving forward in a positive manner is always good. Once upon a time that was my little homie. We were so young back then and he was looking at me like I already made it. In his eyes it was like I could pull him right in but it wasn’t like that. He use to write raps and bring it to me. Look how they turned out! Had I pulled them in they might have taken another route. Lord Infamous turned out to be one of the greatest lyricists in my book and Paul became one of the best CEOs in the South. I would love to collab with Paul just because I know it would be something epic. Me and him never had that sit down. If we could sit down and chop it up because if I don’t talk to him I don’t know where his head is at. When he is ready we will have that conversation, I hope it ain’t too late.

3. Young Dolph Shooting


My first initial thought when I heard about it was I was kinda disturbed by it. Anytime you shoot somebody it is never a good thing and people need to think what might come behind it. It’s not a part of rap and what Hip Hop is based on, That was a nothing to lose move, whoever did that probably didn’t have nothing to lose. He’s a good hearted brother, he is young and got some success going on and he should be able to enjoy that without his life being threatened!

4. DJ Quik Incident W/ Crips

I was at the Jack the Rapper convention and a bunch of Crips surrounded me and thought I was DJ Quik. They was about to get in my shit, I told the nigga “I’m Gangsta Pat I ain’t DJ Quik”.The nigga looked me up and down and said “Yeah, that’s that DJ Quik!” I said shit, there is about to be a problem.

5. MC Breed & Atlanta’s M-Town Sound

I went down to Atlanta and jumped on the road with MC Breed immediately. Breed showed me alotta stuff and was introducing me to different artists like Redman. Breed was such a generous guy; he opened up his house to us. He let you come to his house and record and didn’t charge you nothing.RIP Breed! I went down to Atlanta because that is where the label I was signed too was at, Ichiban. We took alotta Memphis stuff with us man and that’s how alotta people in Atlanta knew about Criminal Mane, DJ Squeaky and early Three 6 Mafia stuff. We would take all Memphis stuff there and give it away. Alotta people don’t realize the reason people in Atlanta is so familiar with Memphis is because of alotta stuff we took there. We were pushing everybody’s stuff! I had a meeting with So So Def when Lil Jon was A & R over there and they had an artist they wanted me to write for. Next thing I knew Lil Jon was rappin’! I had a song back then called “Shake Somethin” and Lil Jon wanted to buy it from me at the time but I said no. Jazzy Pha did a lot of his production and he was another cat from Memphis.

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