Lil Scrappy: Exploring His Career From Rap To Reality TV

Lil Scrappy joins the list of rappers who made a successful transition to the personal, dramatic world of reality TV.

BYDemi Phillips
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In the late 90s and 2000s, the crunk genre was popularized by mainstream acts like Lil Jon. Following in his footsteps is the Atlanta star Lil Scrappy, known for his Southern Hip Hop swag. Lil Scrappy signed to BME Recordings after Lil Jon discovered him. Today, the rapper’s style is unmistakable, and his brash flow is easily identified. However, he’s much more than a musical artist today, making a seamless venture into reality television. 

Read More: Lil Scrappy Net Worth 2023: What Is The “LHHATL” Star Worth?

Early Life And Budding Rap Career

Lil Scrappy during Olivia on Location for "Twist It" Music Video - May 20, 2005 at Broadway Studios in Brooklyn, New York, United States. (Photo by John Ricard/FilmMagic)

Lil Scrappy, real name Darryl Raynard Richardson III, was born on January 19, 1984. His father, Darryl Richardson Sr., left the family before he was born and he dealt with the hardships of being raised by a single mother who went to grave lengths to provide for him. Reports claim that he attended Military High School in California and began writing lyrics when he was 9. However, his journey to rap stardom started during his teenage years.

Per encyclopedia.com, upon his return to Atlanta, he started by recording mixtapes and CDs to sell at strip clubs and flea markets. As he rose in popularity, he soon began performing for the locals at Atlanta’s Club Legacy. Things took a turn for the better when he was noticed by Lil Jon while performing at a bar. The pair hit it off. Eventually, Lil Jon gave Scrappy the boost he’d need to kick it on a mainstream level.

Read More: Lil Scrappy Talks Pitfalls Of Maintaining A Rap Career While On Reality TV

The Rise Of Lil Scrappy

Lil Scrappy’s first major project was the split-release album with the Hip Hop groToIn an effort to bring to light the latest signings to Lil Jon’s BME label, the album was a two-in-one offer. Titled The King of Crunk & BME Recordings Present: Trillville & Lil Scrappy, the double-disc album performed quite well, peaking at the 12th position on the Billboard 200.

After solidifying himself at the forefront of the new crunk wave, Lil Scrappy released his solo debut album, Bred 2 Die Born 2 Live. The project was a star-studded affair, featuring heavy hitters including Lil Jon, 50 Cent, Three 6 Mafia, Yung Joc, and more. Bred 2 Die Born 2 Live housed the popular single “Money in the Bank,” which is his highest-charting single, peaking at #28.

Lil Scrappy has released five solo albums throughout his career so far. However, Bred 2 Die Born 2 Live remains his most commercially successful. He released Prince of the South and Prince of the South 2 in 2008 and 2010, respectively. His fourth and fifth albums, Tha Grustle and Confident, were released in 2012 and 2018. It’s uncertain whether he is still forging on as a rapper, largely because he’s achieved newfound success as a reality television personality

Read More: Lil Scrappy Drops Off His New Project “Confident”

Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta

Lil Scrappy has starred in all seasons of the popular reality show, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. After appearing in the first eight seasons as a supporting cast member, he was billed as a main star from season nine. After two seasons, he reverted back to supporting status. Regardless, his time on the show has been marked by a plethora of storylines. 

His relationship with his mother, Momma Dee, on the show, has made for some interesting television. She was widely considered a hurdle on his quest to find love, as she continuously meddled in his relationships. His other storylines include his love life, as well as his rap career. Lil Scrappy’s popularity has maintained a steady rise, especially in his native Atlanta, where he’s heralded as an icon. Besides Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Scrappy has appeared in the Miami version of the show. He also appeared in the spin-off series, Leave It to Stevie

Read More: “Love & Hip Hop Cast”: Who Stars In The Show?

Personal Life 

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 08: Rapper Lil Scrappy attends The Mark Supper Club at OLG on November 8, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

Lil Scrappy previously dated fellow Love & Hip Hop cast member, Erica Dixon. The couple had a rocky relationship and were regularly on and off due to Scrappy’s infidelity. The two share a daughter named Emani whom they are committed to co-parenting. Scrappy eventually said his marriage vows and tied the knot in 2017 with Adi “Bambi” Benson. A year later, the newly-wedded couple welcomed their first child, Breland. In 2021, their daughter Cali was born.  With his success in music and television secured, Lil Scrappy has focused on launching a merchandise line to further diversify his streams of income.

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