Eightball & MJG
8Ball & MJG is an American hip hop duo from Memphis, Tennessee. The two rappers met at Ridgeway Middle School in 1984.
They first appeared on the rap scene with their 1991 underground album Listen to the Lyrics. In 1993, they released Comin' Out Hard, the album was successful commercially as well as critically and established the group as a prominent act in the then emerging Southern Rap scene. Their subsequent albums in the 1990s including 1994's On the Outside Looking In, and 1995's On Top of the World cemented their status as some of the South's best rappers. On Top of the World was particularly successful, peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 200 and being certified Gold. It also contained the song "Space Age Pimpin'", which was 8Ball & MJG's first single to chart, reaching #58 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart and #22 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. After those albums both 8Ball & MJG released solo albums, first MJG's No More Glory in 1997 and then 8Ball's Lost in 1998. They reunited in 1999 to release their fourth album as a group, titled In Our Lifetime, Vol. 1. One year later in 2000, they released their fifth group album entitled Space Age 4 Eva.
In 1996, they appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation CD, America is Dying Slowly, alongside Biz Markie, Wu-Tang Clan, and Fat Joe, among many other prominent hip hop artists. The CD, meant to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic among African American men, was heralded as "a masterpiece" by The Source magazine. In the early 2000s they would sign with Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records. They already had some experience with the label, being featured on the song "The Player Way" from Bad Boy rapper Mase's 1997 album Harlem World. Their first album for Bad Boy Records, Living Legends, came out in 2004 and was certified Gold by the RIAA. Their second album on Bad Boy Records was titled Ridin High and was released in March 2007.
Commercially one of the high points of 8Ball & MJG's career was their being featured on Three 6 Mafia's hit song "Stay Fly" in 2005. That song peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, which is the biggest hit of Three 6 Mafia's career and the biggest hit for 8Ball & MJG. The song was a collaboration between two of the most successful rap groups from the state of Tennessee, from whence Three 6 Mafia also hail. Today 8Ball and MJG also head their own record labels. 8Ball heads 8 Ways Entertainment (distributed by Koch Entertainment), while MJG heads MJG Muzik. On their label are the young, up and coming Memphis duo, Da Volunteers, who are widely known throughout the Southern United States for their 2006 single, "What's Yo Favorite Color?", which glorifies their neighborhood of Orange Mound.
In September 2007, 8Ball and MJG signed deals in Sacramento, CA with Real Talk Entertainment 8Ball released a group album with E.D.I of the Outlawz entitled Doin' It Big on April 1, 2008 and MJG released a solo album entitled Pimp Tight on April 29, 2008. In June 2008 the group announced that they officially signed onto T.I.'s record label Grand Hustle. Their eighth album as a group and their first on Grand Hustle, titled Ten Toes Down, was released in May 2010. It reached #36 on the Billboard 200 in its first week.