Scam Rap: A rising hip hop subgenre 

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As the rise of hip hop continues to garner mainstream popularity, more subgenres are starting to develop. One of these subgenres is scam rap. Founded in Detroit in 2017, scam rap involves rappers rapping about scamming customers or businesses through various techniques. The first noted song in the scam rap subgenre was Bossman Rich’s track “Juggin Ain’t Dead.” In the song he shouts out to all the fellow scammers trying to get by. The most notable rapper to represent scam rap, however, is Detroit native Teejayx6. Notable songs from him include “Dark Web,” “Swipe Story” and “Crypto.”  

His latest mixtape “The Swipe Lessons” goes into topics such as Bitcoin and scam websites. While these issues are nothing new to hip hop, the way these messages are presented is something that is both unique and questionable. An example of this is the track “Dark Web,” in which Teejayx6 goes step by step on how to get onto the part of the internet known for illegal activities. Steps include “The government tried to ban me [Teyjayx6] from the dark web / I downloaded Tor Browser and got back in / Went and got a VPN, just bought another BIN.”  

While scam rap may be on the rise, there have been consequences. Earlier this year, Detroit scam rapper Selfmade Kash was arrested on multiple charges including wire fraud and identity theft.  

Just like Teejayx6, Kash was known to brag about his scams on social media and in his music. What sets Kash apart from other scam rappers however is his ability to scam people who wanted to learn how to scam. Starting back in May 2017, Kash would give “advice” to people on how to pull off credit card scams by giving out BINs (bank ID numbers.) However, the BINs Kash gave out were fake, and all of the money he would charge for his lessons would go to either his MoneyGram or Western Union account. Kash continued with these fake lessons until May 2018, and once he was caught by authorities, he was forced to give up all of his earnings. 

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The government tried to ban me [Teyjayx6] from the dark web / I downloaded Tor Browser and got back in / Went and got a VPN, just bought another BIN.

The future of scam rap may seem shaky given how risky it is, however, there is some hope. Mega hip hop producer Metro Boomin has a track with Teejayx6 titled “Online Searching,” and, while the song has not charted on Billboard, it is a sign that the mainstream hip hop community is willing to embrace and acknowledge a new sub genre. Another rap duo City Girls, consisting of rappers Yung Mimai and JT, mention scamming in their smash hit “Act Up.” While the lyrics do not go into extensive detail about scamming, a mere mention of scamming is a sign that scam rap is finding a place in hip hop. Scam raps rise to popularity may have some people question the integrity of a genre that has already faced controversy in the eyes of mainstream America, however, due to the outlandish nature of scam rap and how detailed its lyrics are, the appeal of artists like Teejayx6 does not seem to be going away anytime soon. 

Thumbnail photo courtesy of @teehayx6 Instagram.


Ian Ward is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ian.ward@uconn.edu

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