South Memphis is Memphis

“You don’t look like you belong here.”         

New Isaac Hayes mural by Jamond Bullock, @alivepaint

New Isaac Hayes mural by Jamond Bullock, @alivepaint

          This was the first thing I heard as I got out my car to take a photo with a new mural installation. The funny thing is, I felt completely at ease and like I belonged. I know you’re a bit confused. Let’s start from the beginning.  

            Murals have become so cool and trendy now that most don’t remember when they were frowned upon. They were the trademarks of urban neighborhoods and suggested crime and danger. Boy have things changed. What was once bad has been flipped into something cool. Kinda like how the old housing projects have been replaced with  triple level luxury apartments. Go figure.  

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               One of the best artists in the city and a good friend of mine, Jamond Bullock @alivepaint, recently finished a new mural of Isaac Hayes, Ike as the hood calls him, at 745 McLemore. I think the location is perfect and will keep the trendy Instagrammers away and bring the real fans of art that also feel comfortable in the “inner city”. Why? Well this mural is on the side of a corner store. If you’re from any urban area, you know all about the corner store and you know exactly what I’m getting at. 

          As I was getting ready to snap a few pics of the mural, local fly guy Rick, who was standing in the parking lot of the store, approached me. “You don’t look like you belong around here”. I get this often and I kinda understand. I sort of stand out with my fitted jeans, sweater over my buttoned down shirt and oxfords. I definitely don’t look the part and the hood knows it. 

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“Nah my dad grew up around the corner in Lemoyne Gardens.” I said.  

Rick responded, “It ain’t about yo daddy. Where are you from?”  

          The one thing about Memphis is that where you’re from really means something. It’s like a gang of sorts. If you’re from South Memphis, you don’t go to North Memphis just because. You gotta have a pass from the members of that neighborhood. Rick was checking my hood credentials. 

“I grew up in Pussy Valley and Westwood.”  

“Oh you good young blood!”  

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          I passed the test. The insertion of PV probably validated my claims. Not many know that area of Memphis. Rick and I spoke about the mural. He wanted to know who painted it. He had a funny story about how he met Isaac Hayes and I told him my mom was his next door neighbor when she was a little girl. He asked if I could snap a pic of him and I agreed.

Fly Guy Rick

Fly Guy Rick

           That’s the real Memphis right there! Memphians will welcome you in if you come correct. Even if my hood credentials didn’t check out, as long as I was respectful and cool, they would extend that same courtesy. Memphians are tough in the outside but are full of Southern hospitality on the inside dying to get out. So don’t be afraid to visit the real hood to see one fo the coolest new murals in the city. If you see Rick, tell him Mike said what’s up.

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Life is for Living,

Michael B.

Attack of the Giant Bunnies

        Saying the art scene in Memphis is booming is putting it extremely lightly. It's exploded recently into more of a norm as opposed to being a niche crowd. More Memphians are getting out and experiencing the works both works renowned and local artists. 

         I really like the type of art that gets people out and active. I'm not sure what type of art this is called. Maybe it's called public art. I really enjoyed the Big Red Ball Project from last fall and now Memphis Brooks Musuem of Art has a new exhibit called Intrude!  

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       Yes! Rabbits! Giant rabbits! I never thought I would get excited about seeing rabbits, but there's something about a giant rabbit that gets me out the house. Artist Amanda Parer brings her bunny take over to the Bluff City from Jan 18- 29, so you still have some time to experience it. 

Its eating the museum!! 

Its eating the museum!! 

Lucky rabbit foot  

Lucky rabbit foot  

        I think this would be a great exhibit for families as well. The kids get to run around and see some big rabbits and the best part is that it's free! Also the Memphis Zoo is nearby so you could make a day if it on the weekend. The times of the exhibit are 10am through 8pm, because bunnies have to sleep of course.  

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       This could also be a pretty cool and cost effective date idea as well...you'll get brownie points for creativity fellas!  

Also, Brooks Museum has a cool social media contest going on. Follow @brooksmuseum on Instagram and use #brooksmuseumbunnies. Take some dope pics and the winner will be announced each day at noon. 

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Life is for Living, 

Michael B