With such a rich hip-hop history in Memphis, it'd be easy to assume Tennessee native BlocBoy JB, the artist behind the Drake-assisted top 10 smash single "Look Alive," was inspired to pursue a career in rap after listening to a strict diet of Three 6 Mafia or 8Ball & MJG.
As it turns out, though, the first two MCs to inspire the 21-year-old potential superstar aren't from Bluff City.
"I listened to all rap when I was coming up so I can't just single one person out, but if it come down to it, I know for a fact I was listening to Eminem and T.I. before anybody," JB told Mass Appeal for the latest episode of their Open Space series.
Given T.I.'s popularity not only among fans of Southern hip-hop but in mainstream music, in general, it isn't surprising to hear his name mentioned as one of a select few artists that JB grew up listening to.
Eminem, however, is a somewhat surprising selection, especially considering the height of Slim's popularity came after the 2002 release of The Eminem Show when JB was only five years old. Unfortunately, Mass Appeal declined to ask JB to elaborate on his answer so we're going to have to wait on the "Why?"
In a somewhat related (and absolutely hilarious) story, Vince Staples, when asked in a 2017 interview with Vulture if Eminem served as an influence over his rap career, responded in short, "Oh hell no."
BlocBoy JB's new mixtape, Simi, is out now.