Hosea ‘MTown’ Mays, Jr., MemphisRap.com founder, music producer and former rapper, has died at the age of 48.
The news of his passing was first announced on Facebook on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.
Hosea Mays, Jr., known as MTown and M-Town Luv by his peers, launched MemphisRap.com in 2001. Being a rapper himself, Hosea felt something was missing with the local rap scene. He had a vision to give local Memphis artists a way to gain visibility, and a way for fans to gain access to the many talented artists in the Memphis and surrounding areas. He dropped everything to pursue his goal, which became MemphisRap.com.
Hosea managed to get millions of viewers to flock to his website in a short time, gaining recognition online as the source for Memphis rap artists, news and more. He decided to branch out even further by creating an Urban Music Showcase, which gained the attention of major record labels and companies. Hosea opened a brick and mortar studio that he later closed and transitioned to an online format to work with colleagues and clients. With a need to go further, he stopped at nothing and risked even more with creating the Memphis Hip-Hop Weekend & Expo to give exposure to talent in the Mid-South.
According to Hosea, when asked about MemphisRap.com in the past, “I want to show everyone that anything is possible with a local rap website named after my city.” That is exactly what he did.
Co-founder and partner for almost 30 years, Charla Littlejohn, stated, “We used AOL dial-up in the beginning, working on the website and tying up the phone for hours and hours from night until the next morning. There were times I got tired, but he pushed for more and greatness. I would sit helping to develop the website as he gave me his vision of what he wanted and what we needed. If something didn’t work or didn’t achieve the goals he wanted to accomplish, he wasn’t afraid to start over.”
“We will all miss him greatly. He had a presence unlike anyone I have known. He was different and ahead of his time. Although there were so many doors shut on him throughout this journey, it never stopped him. He continued to prove to many that the Memphis rap and hip-hop scene is a community and cultural asset,” added Littlejohn.
The Mays family gave permission to disclose that on December 17, 2020, Hosea Mays, Jr., was diagnosed with end stage liver disease. After receiving his diagnosis, he started putting forth efforts to becoming a spokesperson to warn his peers and youth about this disease.
Little did he know, the disease would progress quickly for him. Hosea Mays, Jr., passed away on January 11, 2021, at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital.
Due to COVID-19, a private memorial is being held in honor of Hosea ‘MTown’ Mays, Jr., for the immediate family.
A virtual presentation is being planned for the public, which will be announced soon.
Edit: When Hosea ‘MTown’ Mays, Jr passed in 2021, he left behind a son.