by Floyd Ivy —
Among those putting in the work during what some see as a musical renaissance in Memphis is native Memphian Anthony Lorenzo Holmes Jr., globally known as HitKidd.
With his ominous eclectic melodies and mix of school flare with modern trap drums, HitKidd’s creativity is helping to keep Memphis percolating as one of hip hop’s brewing points.
HitKidd has built a reputation for himself as one of Memphis’ heavyweight music producers.
He has worked with big names such as Co Cash, BlocBoy JB, and Duke Deuce, all of whom hail from Memphis.
HitKidd attended Central High School, where he played football and graduated in 2013. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, where he played football, in 2017.
His first love, however, always was music.
“I was already doing music way before I started playing sports. I would just mess around in my dad’s studio and try to learn how to make beats on the MPC.”
He said he used to record himself on cassette tapes when he was younger.
“I’d go get one cassette tape, play the beat that was on the piano and try to rap over it,” HitKidd said.
Growing up in South Memphis, HitKidd’s inspirations included DJ Squeeky, Memphis legends Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat, and even his own father.
These factors flowed into the style of his production, which fans have been known to describe as crunk.
“That’s just me. That’s what I was already doing anyway. At the time, when I first started producing, it wasn’t in high demand. I just kept doing what I was doing because I knew those tables were going to turn.
“When I met Duke (Deuce) at 17 or 18, that was the perfect time. It’s not that we were bringing crunk back, it was already there and our sound grew together.”
HitKidd recently curated a single called “Set The Tone,” which received positive feedback from not only Memphis, but the hip hop industry.
“Set The Tone,” consisting of rappers Aleza, Gloss Up, Glorilla, Slimeroni and K Carbon has managed to accumulate 113,000 views on YouTube.
“I ended up going to this show called ‘The Ring,’ and that’s when I saw all of the girls perform one after another,” Hitkidd said. “I liked their energy; I loved their energy.”
“Set the Tone” even made it onto the website of “Lyrical Lemonade” a popular pub that covers the latest news in hip-hop.
Here is the take of Lyrical Lemonade’s Jack Gregory:
“I love posse-cuts like this and also love to see large groups of artists come together on one song in a place like Memphis that sees so much tension and violence between their most famous artists. This video is really, really cool and I am looking forward to hearing more from every single artist involved.”
The rapper “Gloss Up” also took to Facebook to show her appreciation to HitKidd for the collaboration.
“Let’s talk about it! HitKidd put 5 Memphis female artists in one room on 1 track…He provided food, camera men, makeup artists, engineered everything! Nothing was low budget! I’ma forever rock with him for not overlooking us & giving us a chance. I had so much fun, thank you!”
Expanding his horizons beyond music, HitKidd said he will engage in humanitarian work in the future.
“My dad is a humanitarian himself, and I also look at GroveHero as far as someone in my peer group who is in the community.”
(To get in contact with HitKidd, visit @hitkidd on Instagram.)
(Floyd Ivy, who is on track to graduate from Tennessee State University this year, is a summer intern for The New Tri-State Defender.)