10 Questions with Tyke T

I got to sit down with hip hop artist Tyke T before his performance at 901Fest. I must say this is one of the more interesting things I've done so far with my blog since I have decided to try to interview more local artists. Tyke T was insanely hilarious and engaging. You have to hear his Popeye's Chicken career story! I also got to see that he is a very smart young man that provided some thought provoking responses to my questions. There were plenty of laughs and bloopers, but I think this interview really showed who Tyke T actually is beyond the music. Check out the video for the full interview!

Tyke T is definitely on the right track for his music career and I think his music is really good in a time when less emphasis is placed on lyrics. He delivers above average and witty bars over strong production. That's a winning recipe and reaped him the reward of performing at 901Fest. I'm glad to see he hasn't gotten complacent since winning K97's Next Big Thing back in 2014. He's still grinding and putting out more lyrically heavy material, such as the powerful track "This Can't Be Life". I expect Tyke T to get more notoriety and become a staple of the Mid-South music scene. He's definitely made me a fan. 

You can check out more of Tyke T music below and also get more info about the artist at www.drivenbymusic.net. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

The Marco Alexander Experience

I was recently invited to a listening party by a good friend of mine in the music industry. We were initially confused on the artists name because it's very similar to a local rapper that goes by the name of Marco Pave', whom I had heard before. 

Nevertheless, we found out that the event was being held at Dejavu in downtown Memphis, which happens to be one of my favorite places to eat in the city. As we walked in, I instantly noticed that this was a serious listening party because the place was packed! There were family, friends, music producers, and artists all throughout. 

Ok, whomever planned this show did a great job, because it was well thought out and provided lots of visuals. Each track that was played featured a model that walked out with the title of the song sewn into the outfit! A nice touch of class I must say!

I really enjoyed the show and the music was a mix of R&B and pop, with some very bass heavy beats and nice vocals. Basically, that boy can sang!! The highlight of the show, in my opinion, was when Mr. Alexander sung a solo that simply brought the house down.  

I got to ask Marco a few questions and really pick his brain apart. 

Are you from Memphis? 

I was born in Memphis, but I was raised in a few different places because of orchestral work and my parents wanting me to experience more. Most of it was in New York however. My parents were always in Memphis so that would always bring me back somehow. 

So who are your musical influences?

I'm very versatile and my parents had me listening to many genres as a kid. I would have to say the greats like Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Phil Collins, and Sting! 

I got a chance to check out your "Follow Your Heart" video. Most women ain't getting ignored all day and then popping up at the studio with hugs and kisses! LOL! Based on a personal experience?

Haha yes! It is based on a personal experience! Having a relationship is a risk nowadays because most women want to make it public. Putting everything in the public eye can cause problems because others start to form opinions about the couple and it's individuals ie who they really are, their past, etc. 

I agree. Ok, we gotta talk about the jacket from the show. Were you thinking "ooh kill'em" when you wore it. If so, did you think you killed them? 

Oh the suit! Haha! I was asked what I wanted to wear and I knew that because my style is classy yet very edgy that it's what I wanted to wear. I wasn't thinking ooh kill'em. I normally never think that. I just have my own weird style that some like and some don't. 

I definitely would have thought I'm about to kill the game tonight in that suit! 

Haha. I'm usually not thinking about that. 

If you could be a super hero, which one would you be?

I would have to say Captain America. I'm all for being able to jump anywhere and protect yourself from anything with one shield. The only thing I would add is mind control. I would change negative mindsets for the better!

Tigers or Grizzlies?

Haha, I'm definitely not a sports person but....I would say Tigers because that's my alma mater. 

Favorite spot to eat in Memphis?

The African Restaurant in Whitehaven is my favorite place when I'm in town. I love African food!

Tell me something you love about Memphis and something you would change about Memphis.

I love the creativity and raw talent of Memphis! Everyone you meet has a talent/skill that they are amazingly great at. The thing I would change is the willingness to practice and perfect your craft before putting yourself out there. I was blessed to spend the majority of my life on the road performing up North and the East Coast. It's cool that everyone wants to be an artist, but at what cost? There is negativity in regards to the support aspect in Memphis. It's mainly because people don't want to sort through the artists who are serious vs who's not. So in essence, artist development is a huge issue in this city. 

I encourage you to check out this artist's work. I was pleasantly surprised by the vocals, showmanship and the show in itself. Check out Marco Alexander on May 27 at the Cook Convention Center for the Neighborhood USA Youth Conference. His album also drops in July, so be on the lookout for it and support this homegrown talent. 

 

Check out his Facebook HERE and his Instagram page HERE

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

Jookin Wars 20!!!

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I was invited by my good friend, Twoin, to check out the 20th anniversary Jookin Wars at Rumba Room. My first thoughts were how has this gone on 20 years and I've never heard of it and can I get out there and compete!!

For those that don't know, Jookin is a dance. It's actually a dance that was created in Memphis way back when the dancers were the tough guys lol. Boy have times changed!  I've heard it called bucking, tutting, or ticking, but it's always been Jookin to me. It's a dance that takes a lot of skill and bravado. It's definitely not for the meek and mild. It mostly goes along with the beat of a song, so it takes a lot of listening and motion ability. 

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I remember, back when Demin and Diamond was the spot, that I always wanted to be good at Jookin, but I was cursed with very little rhythm. Jookin takes great footwork and even more smoothness to pull off. Two things I sorely lack because I'm awkward and clumsy. 

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Still unsure about what exactly Jooking is? Well, here's a little video that I put together from the Jooking Wars show that might help out a bit. Quick shoutout to my guys at GMC for the intro and outro music!!

While this wasn't my first jooking show, it was definitely one of my favorites. I loved the energy of the crowd and that most of the dancers had these huge entourages and fans! I loved that, even though it was a bit heated on the dance floor, everyone knew it was entertainment and there were plenty laughs and high fives. It's entirely possible for the youth to get together and have a positive event that doesn't end in violence! Also, the crowd was extremely diverse! That's always a good thing. I'm glad that some truly Memphis has blended racial lines! 

So be on the lookout for next years Jookin Wars! I know that I am really anxious to see who takes the championship belt next year!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

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