Plies doesn’t just rap—he wields his voice like an instrument, a mood, or even an event. At any given time, the elastic-throated Florida MC might sound like a party, a confrontation, or a relationship waiting to happen. Born in Fort Myers, 1976, Algernod Lanier Washington was a late-bloomer—his first hits were on the football field, from high school to NCAA—but after investing in his stepbrother’s rap label, Plies discovered his calling. From the beginning, his syrup-thick Southern slur added style and emotion to the tales that have made his life a series of adventures, some more harrowing than others. As hard as he is, Plies’ 2007 debut, The Real Testament, put his homegrown charisma on full display with his breakthrough single, “Shawty,” a trap love song featuring fellow rising Floridian T-Pain. Plies stretched his inflection further with Da REAList in 2008, particularly on the sparsely menacing “All Black,” a reference to the MC’s preferred style of dress while moving on enemies. He’s often indulged his wit over the years, too, as on 2016's tongue-in-cheek “Ran off on da Plug Twice,” whose video spawned a dance move seen in clubs and NFL endzones alike. Meanwhile, 2018’s “Rock” flipped an intractably dark Three 6 Mafia beat into a song about steadfast love, proving what we already knew: armed with that slow, malleable flow, Plies is a master of subversion.
HOMETOWNFort Myers, FL
BORNJuly 1, 1976