Who is Plies?
Plies is an American rapper who became popular after the release of his debut album, ‘The Real Testament.’ He has often portrayed himself as a larger-than-life criminal to build a persona that caters to his fans. His onstage name, “Plies,” refers to drug dealers in his hometown, Fort Myers. Although he has been charged with illegal possession of arms and driving under the influence of alcohol, he has proved himself to be a successful rapper whose works resonate with his fans. He has co-founded the independent record label ‘Big Gates Records,’ where he initially worked backstage. He was motivated to rap by his elder stepbrother. Over the years, he has worked on five studio albums, 25 music videos, one EP, and 22 singles. He has created hits such as ‘Hypnotized,’ ‘She Got It Made,’ and ‘Dayum!’ He has a large fan following on social media and has established himself as one of the most versatile rappers of his time. Although he has fathered a son with his girlfriend, Brandy Lacole Lyons, he is still officially single.
Childhood & Early Life
Plies was born Algernod Lanier Washington, on July 1, 1976, in Fort Myers, Florida, US. He was raised in the East Dunbar area of Fort Myers and attended the ‘Fort Myers Senior High School,’ where he played football as a defender. He was popular with his peers and was once named the “best-dressed” student of his class. He was also crowned ‘Homecoming King.’
He then attended ‘Miami University’ and was later transferred to the ‘University of Central Florida,’ from where he dropped out to pursue a career in music. He played for the university football team as a receiver and had once thought of becoming a professional footballer. However, music was his first love.
He established an independent record label called ‘Big Gates Records’ along with his older stepbrother, Ronnell Lawrence Lavatte, when he was in his late teens. He was initially not interested in rapping and preferred to be a back-end worker with his brother, till he performed the track ‘Tell Dem Krackers Dat,’ which became an instant hit on ‘Slip-n-Slide Records.’ His stepbrother motivated him to become a rapper.
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He did some serious rapping for the first time with his debut album, ‘The Real Testament,’ which was released in August 2007. The album sold more than 96 thousand copies in the first week. The single ‘Shawty’ topped the ‘Billboard Hot Rap Tracks’ chart that year. The tracks ‘Hypnotized’ and ‘I Am the Club’ were equally successful.
The following year, he released two albums, ‘Definition of Real’ and ‘Da REAList.’ His single ‘Bust It Baby Pt. 2’ reached number two on the ‘Hot Rap Tracks’ list. ‘Definition of Real’ debuted at number two, while ‘Da REAList’ debuted at number 14, on the ‘Billboard 200’ list.
As his popularity grew, he started making guest appearances with rappers and music producers such as Ludacris and DJ Khaled. He performed live and recorded many tracks.
His fourth album, ‘Goon Affiliated,’ was released in June 2010. The album was a bigger success than his previous three albums and peaked at number five on the ‘Billboard 200’ list. The singles ‘Becky’ and ‘She Got It Made’ featured rapper Bei Maejor. Plies took a long time to complete his fifth album, ‘Purple Heart,’ which was released in 2017. Meanwhile, he released a number of mixtapes such as ‘I Fuck with the DJ,’ ‘Aristotle,’ ‘On Trial,’ and ‘Da Last Real Nigga Left.’ A number of singles from ‘Purple Heart’ were released before the official launch of the album. This boosted the album’s sales.
Over time, Plies has earned a large following on social media and has established himself as a rapper who can make music on different issues and connect with a wide fan base from all walks of life. His rapping style, too, varies from time to time and caters to a wide audience, making him one of the most versatile rappers in the world.
Plies has released five studio albums, 25 music videos, one EP, and 22 singles.
His five studio albums are ‘The Real Testament’ (2007), ‘Definition of Real’ (2008), ‘Da REAList’ (2008), ‘Goon Affiliated’ (2010), and ‘Purple Heart’ (2017).
Some of his hit singles are ‘Hypnotized’ (2007), ‘She Got It Made’ (2010), and ‘Dayum!’ (2015).
Awards & Achievements
In 2007, he won the ‘Ozone Award’ for the ‘Best Rap/R&B Collaboration’ for ‘Shawty.’
In 2011, he was nominated for the ‘Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group,’ along with Young Jeezy.
In 2008, he received multiple ‘BET Hip-Hop Award’ and ‘Ozone Award’ nominations.
Personal Life & Legacy
His girlfriend, Brandy Lacole Lyons, gave birth to their son, Nijier Lanier Washington, in October 2003. He has also been linked with Lira Galore and Angela Yee. However, he is still officially single.
He has often portrayed himself as a larger-than-life criminal. This is an exaggerated persona meant to cater to his fans. In 2015, a video of him being attacked on stage while performing in Tallahassee, Florida, became viral.
In 2006, he was charged with illegal possession of hidden arms, after a shootout at a nightclub in Florida. The shootout broke out during his performance at the club. The fight broke out because his show was cut short to allow Lil Boosie to perform. In 2017, Plies was taken into custody for driving under the influence of liquor.
Prior to succeeding as a rapper, he was embroiled in the world of drugs in his hometown. His onstage name, “Plies,” refers to drug dealers in the local slang of Fort Myers.
His albums ‘The Real Testament’ and ‘Definition of Real’ were both certified “gold” by the ‘Recording Industry Association of America’ (RIAA). His hit track ‘Shawty’ features the voice of popular rapper T-Pain.