iLoveMemphis (Richard Colbert) is an American rapper and musician. He belongs to the generation of musicians that have come into mainstream limelight through social media. iLoveMemphis grew up in a strict family where he had to go to church every other Sunday. His interest in music started at an early age, but the thought of making music as a profession didn’t really come to him until he was in his late teens. Then finally, one day while listening to some rap songs, the idea came to him and he got the beat recorded under 40 USD. In July 2015, his single debuted on different social media platforms and became an overnight success. More than rapping, or the beats, it was the quirky dance that became a mega hit with the audience. The single entered the Billboard top 10 lists and in December 2015, he came out with another song titled ‘Lean and Dabb’ and the very last of his songs ‘Lil Dance’ came in collaboration with Arthur Moore.
Childhood & Early Life
iLoveMemphis was born Richard Colbert on 29th March 1993 in Tennessee, USA in a highly religious and strict family. His father served in the US army and his mother was a homemaker. He also has a twin sister.
He was an average student, but what separated him from the rest of the students was his constant itch to have fun and keep others happy through his antics. Sports and fitness also inspired him and he was seen more on the football field and gym than classes.
He was known as a funny man, and the desire to have more audience to his quirks brought him to the social media. He started uploading funny videos and dance steps, which helped him gather a fan base.
Slowly, he became sort of a local celebrity and secured 72,000 followers on his Instagram account. In order to become more famous, he uploaded his photoshoot pictures and he even started throwing parties and hence, his followers kept rising up on every other social media platform.
Making music for a living didn’t come to him until he finished his high school education. He took one year to learn different forms of dance and this further elevated his interest.
His life turned around one day, when he was listening to the song ‘Flex’ by Rich Homie Quan and this got iLoveMemphis an idea to copy the dance steps. He called his sound engineer friend and got a beat ready and the song was prepared within an hour.
The dance came first, followed by rap and that made the song very unique. This was the beginning of an unexpected fame as an artist.
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The song ‘Hit the Quan’ arrived onto the social media sphere on 4th July 2015 and it received an excellent response. It was the first major thing iLoveMemphis did, and it struck all the right chords with his fans. The song was produced by Buck Nasty, a local producer from Memphis, and iLoveMemphis’ dance steps became overwhelmingly popular.
Owing to the popularity of the dance steps, the social media platform Vine was flooded with thousands of viners trying to copy the dance steps, which further helped it reach more audiences. As it became a rage back in 2015, people started calling it the ‘Rich Homie Quan’ dance.
The success encouraged him to come into the mainstream limelight as well, and he was invited for an interview on the popular talk show ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ and sometime later, he made an appearance on another popular talk show ‘The Real’.
His dance routine to the song ‘Hit the Quan’ has become a national and international sensation and many famous celebrities joined the bandwagon and performed the signature dance steps to the song. Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown and Dwayne Johnson are a few famous celebrities that have treated their fans with their rendition of the dance.
In November 2015, the official video of the song was released, and it became an instant success. By then, iLoveMemphis had amassed a great following. Making the full use of this fame, he released another song ‘Lean and Dabb’ in December. It was released on iTunes to an overwhelming response, better than ‘Hit the Quan’.
In 2017, iLoveMemphis joined hands with a talented music producer Dkotic, and their collaboration resulted in a song called ‘Lil Dance’, which was released in summer 2017 to a good response. The song debuted on Instagram and Musical.ly (now known as TikTok) and became a hit among the audiences.
iLoveMemphis is looking for more traditional means to release his music, and is presently looking for a music label. Meanwhile, his social media fame keeps rising by the day.
iLoveMemphis has also released two mixtapes - ‘Thank you Instagram’ and ‘Please Excuse my Turn up’. He also released an EP ‘The TurnUp Kid- EP’ in 2016.
Family & Personal Life
iLoveMemphis grew up in a huge family with 8 siblings. Of them, there are seven sisters, one of them being a twin sister and a brother. The family is highly religious and visits church every other Sunday. As a result, iLoveMemphis turned out to be a religious person.
Just when he was getting famous, iLoveMemphis received the shock of a lifetime, when he was charged with rape by a woman who said that he, with some of his friends, had sex with her while she was intoxicated. He denied the charges saying he respects women as he has grown up with a lot of them.
In the end, the court absolved him of all the charges citing lack of evidence and the DNA report also came in his favour.