Grand Hustle's "Muscle" 8 Ball MJG Honored In Memphis

8Ball MJG was honored at the annual Urban Network Music-Entertainment & Marketing Summit in Memphis, Tennessee last Saturday. The group, natives of Memphis, was elated.

"Just getting to be honored is a blessing. 8Ball MJG don't get nothing," 8 Ball said jokingly. "They finally gave us something, " concurred MJG.

In a more serious manner, 8Ball said that the honor by The Urban Network was augmented, because they were honored in the presence of other Memphis greats such as Al Bell (former chairman & co-owner of Stax Records), Willie Mitchell (Grammy-winning producer for Al Green) and radio icon Bobby O'Jay.

"Them boys are pioneers. Just to be spoken in the same breath as those cats [is an honor.] Willie Mitchell is Stax Music. Did a lot for Memphis. MJG said, "Willie Mitchell is a cool mother f***er with a cool a** sound."

Few groups have been as criminally overlooked as 8Ball MJG, but now that the group has been signed to T.I.'s Grand Hustle, they expect to see the recognition that recognizes their legend stature.

"We stay working, but 8Ball MJG, we're [signed to] Grand Hustle now. The album will be out in October. Just [letting] all the haters know it’s for real. 8Ball MJG is now Grand 'Muscle.'"

They admitted that they expected a more prosperous experience than they had during their brief, one album stint with Bad Boy Records.

"Its a totally different situation. I can't describe it in all the ways, but time will tell," 8Ball said.

The situation at Grand Hustle is distinctive as well now that T.I. is incarcerated for various infractions related to an attempt to purchase guns and silencers.

"[T.I.] hadn't been making our records for us and he ain't the one that Grand Hustle gotta market and promote. Its really up to [Jason] Geter [CEO of Grand Hustle] and the rest of the staff...and us," 8Ball continued. "T.I. needs to take his 'vacation' and rest his mind and we got it."

Various groups performed at the Urban Network gala, which attracted local Memphis acts including Kia Shine. Throughout the weekend, other acts like Pretty Ricky and West Coast rapper Spice1 performed as well.

Urban Network Group Inc. expanded the showcase to allow unsigned and independent artists to perform live for the music industry top execs.

Participants of the conference had the opportunity to join with decision makers in the industry to learn several layers of the industry. The company gave artists a symposium to present their creativity to the movers and shaker in the music world from major labels, publishers, distributors and others.

Jocelyn Johnson contributed to this story.