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This New Takeoff Track Tho!

 Photo cred: The Source  

Photo cred: The Source  

            This morning the world was blessed with a new single from Migos member Takeoff’s upcoming solo album. The track, titled “The Last Memory”, tells a story of the morning after. We all been there before. How the hell did I get here? Takeoff firmly lets all know who the best Migo is lyrically. Need further proof? Go check the track “Cross the Country”. Takeoff destroys it! Ain’t nobody taking him off any more tracks if this is what we can expect from his first solo album.   

            You can hear the track now on Apple Music!  https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-last-memory/1440098682?i=1440098683

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Nothing To Do In Memphis? Check out a Free Concert!

           If you’ve lived in Memphis for more than 10 hours, you’ve probably heard someone say there’s just nothing to do in Memphis or it’s such a boring city. Trust me, I hear it everyday even though I kinda write this whole blog about things that I do in Memphis! Crazy right? Whoever is telling you this is not telling you the truth. Consider your source first is what my mom always told me. Want something easy on the pockets? Love music? Then head over to the Levitt Shell for their free Summer Concert Series! 

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          Yep, that’s totally something to do! Maddy and I go all the time and we enjoy ourselves every time. Do we always know who’s performing? Nope, but that makes it all the more exciting! FYI, we’ve never heard anyone bad ever. These are professional acts, but the local garage bands lol. This past weekend the featured band was Dustbowl Revival and they were very very good. Check them out on YouTube, Apple Music, or wherever you get your music these days. 

            Our essential list for Levitt Shell adventures goes like this. Blanket, fruit, sandwiches, drinks, Prosecco, chips, hula hoop, bubbles, and the amazing Panchos cheese dip. Oh god how we live that Pancho's cheese dip! That’s all you need for a picnic. Show up, find a spot, and enjoy. The parents are normally laid back with a beer or wine while all the kids run around doing kid stuff. It’s a very nostalgic feeling to it all. Like what summers used to be like as a kid. 

          There ya go! Something to do in Memphis! Want to see the upcoming performers? Gotcha covered. Click HERE.

 PRO TIP: ARRIVE EARLY! It fills up quickly and parking is pretty terrible over there near the zoo. You’ve been warned. So come out, let the kids run around with no shoes, hang out and enjoy some good music. Don’t forget bug spray! Southern mosquitos don’t play!   

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

More pics! 

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Things I Learned from Beale Street Music Fest

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Things I Learned from Beale Street Music Fest

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           Festival time is in full gear in Memphis and I couldn’t be happier! This is what makes Memphis, well Memphis. There will be a festival each week until October, which is why I call Memphis the City of Festivals. We just wrapped up Beale Street Memphis MusicFest, which finally offered a very diverse lineup after years of...... yeah we ain’t gonna go there. I enjoyed it this year and in the process learned a couple things.  

 

1. RAIN BOOTS ARE VITAL

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          Now this I shouldn’t even have to say, but I get asked each year if it’s really muddy. Mane look.  It’s a festival in the middle of spring. It’s gonna rain at some point and get muddy. Get a pair of rain boots and you’re set. There are some that go just sandals or barefoot, but those people are savages. Who raised y’all? I wore boots the entire festival and my feet are paying the price. Just prepare to wear them next year. 

 

2. OLD PEOPLE STAY AT HOME

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         Yeah I said it. Old people don’t belong at the festival. Well, I will put it like this. People who don’t want to be bumped into, be around intoxicated folks, talk to random strangers, or don’t want to smell a little weed; should probably just stay at home. It’s a festival Grandpa! What do you expect? Festivals are a very unique experience. Just chill out and enjoy or take your old ass to bed. People with attitude problems should stay home as well.

 

3. POST MALONE IS A PRETTY BIG DEAL 

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          Post Malone was clearly the reason thousands of 20 somethings showed up to the festival. I’ve never seen a crowd that large for any other artist than the one that showed up to see Post Malone. They were literally waiting at the stage for hours just to see him. I’ve heard of Post Malone, but I didn’t think he was that big. I was obviously wrong and I’ve been regulated to Old as Hell status. This might be a dumb question, but is he a rapper or a singer? Yeah, never mind because now I feel old for even asking.

 

4. PRONTO PUPS ARE LIFE! 

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         When you think of Memphis food, what comes to mind after BBQ? If you said anything other than the amazing Pronto Pup, you’re lying and I don’t love you. OMG!! It’s the most epic food there is! I literally ate about 30 in 3 days and I don’t feel ashamed about that at all. If you ain’t got Pronto Pups at your event, don’t invite me. Maybe that was a tab bit dramatic, but you get what I’m saying.  

 

5. ERYKAH BADU AINT GONNA BE ON TIME. DEAL WITH IT. 

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         There’s a thing called fashionable late and then there’s Badu late lol. Not only was she 45 behind, but her first couple songs were her freestyling sound checks. I can’t lie I was super pissed she didn’t go on at her scheduled time,  but when this woman sang I instantly forgot all about that. Did she play me? Hell yeah she did, but I don’t care! I can’t get enough of her regardless of the wait time going On and On. See what I did there?  

 

 Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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In Frame: Tori WhoDat

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           I like to think I have a pretty good ear for music. Especially hip hop music. I grew up in a time when we experienced some of the best music lyrically made; the late 90’s and early 2000s. It’s hard to top a time when Tupac, Biggie, OutKast, Jay Z, Nas, and TI were killing it on the mainstream level. You also had your more regional powerhouses in Three 6 Mafia, Talib Kweli, No Limit, Cash Money Records, Tech N9ne, and the group I feel was far ahead of their time, PM Dawn. That era of rap was everything.  I say all that to say; I have a thing for lyrically driven music. Enter Tori WhoDat. 

          She probably doesn’t remember but I first met Tori back in 2014. She was on stage at The New Daisy opening for some artist I can’t remember. My first thought was, “Who the hell is this little girl and why is she on stage?” Suddenly she spit a few lines and I was hooked. Not only was Tori wild as hell, she was lyrically gifted. They say never judge a book by its cover, right? Well, I did and ended up looking dumb. 

          Over the years, I’ve watched that skinny, wild kid jumping all over the stage grow into a skinny, focused and composed artist. The transformation is very evident. Most rappers get in their niche and never venture out, but Tori WhoDat has totally elevated herself musically and professionally. I last saw her not opening, but headlining at HiTone with Lil Wyte and Frayser Boy. Pretty good company to be involved with with based on their success and longevity. Honestly, I’m honored she still even knows my name.  

          With this shoot, I wanted to capture the essence of not only Tori WhoDat, but also Tori the person. We tend to get lost in our own personas at times and Gucci Mane said don’t get lost in the sauce. So who is Tori? Honestly, she’s one of the nicest and funniest people I know. Incredibly humble and appreciative, Tori the person is awesome. Tori WhoDat is the powerful, raw lyrical beast that’s packaged behind a those mysterious eyes. I dig the balance. It’s kinda like the Light and Dark side of the Force. I also love that Tori isn’t afraid to be herself in a world that doesn’t always welcome individuality. That’s definitely a sign of maturity and self love. 

          You owe it to yourself to check out the work of Tori WhoDat. I’m awaiting her release of “The Come Up”, a playlist from music from 2014 and 2015. Search Tori WhoDat everywhere! That’s on Facebook, SoundCloud, IG, Twitter, and YouTube. You’ll find more info about upcoming projects, music and updates. Drop a comment and let me know what you think. 

 

Shoot details: 

Camera: Sony a7ii 

Lens: Samyung 35mm f1.4 AF

Location: Somewhere in Memphis  

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Big KRIT at The New Daisy

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Big KRIT at The New Daisy

          Big KRIT is one of my favorite all time hip hop artists. He's country as hell, yet insanely lyrical; something Southern artists aren't necessarily known for. I prefer lyrics over beats, but KRIT gives me both as he not only rhymes; he also makes his own beats. I don't know if he's better as a producer or an MC. Either way, he's that dude. 

        KRIT performed at The New Daisy on Beale St to a sold out crowd. I've been to every single Big KRIT concert he's had in Memphis. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Last night I decided I wasn't bringing my camera and I would just enjoy the show. All I took was my iPhone 8 Plus. 

           Let's just say the iPhone 8 Plus showed up last night! If you can manually control it, the iPhone can take some amazing images. Not only that, it's so much lighter than my Sony a7ii with my huge lenses. It's not only good for photos. It takes amazing video!! 

           Shout out to the iPhone 8 Plus and a special shout out to Big KRIT! The show was amazing! I do love that you got on stage at a decent time!! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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The King of Funky Town Returns

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The King of Funky Town Returns

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       Yes, you read that right! Playa Fly is back in a major way. I got to sit down and chop it up with the Memphis hip hop legend recently and he revealed a music video to his hit "Ghetto Eyes" would be dropping shortly. I almost lost my mind because "Ghetto Eyes" is a personal favorite of mine. The brash delivery and lyrical firepower mixed with a message that still resonates to this day will always keep the track near and dear to me. 

       I'm excited legendary artists are releasing music videos to their classics lately. It shows the newer generation that there was a time when lyrics meant way more than a catchy hook and a dope beat. A song actually had to have a message to be accepted in the hip hop communities. That's not a knock on all new artists, but overall the lyrical quality has faded. 

        I got to get a sneak peek at the new music video and I have to say that it definitely tells a story that many will identify with. You'll definitely have to pay attention to the lyrics. It's not a crunk, feel good track. It's raw, dark and tells the story of a person that sees the world differently based upon the cards life has dealt him.

Here's a sneak peek at the upcoming video!

The full video is set to drop on 12-29-17. Check out Playa Fly’s IG page (@playaflym3) and FB (Playa Fly) pages for more details. I’ve got my fingers crossed on a video for “Nobody Needs Nobody”. Especially if I get to help in the production!

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

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The King of the North vs The King of the South

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The King of the North vs The King of the South

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           Memphis is a city locked in what seems to be an eternal turf war. There’s a long standing beef between North Memphis and South Memphis, yet both seem to agree that East Memphis and the suburbs are far inferior to both. We won’t even start on West Memphis and why it’s not even invited to the discussion. This war has yielded no victors as of late. Just more and more beef. So what’s beef? Well Biggie Smalls describes it eloquently on his track titled “What’s Beef?”. Basically beef is a disagreement amongst two or more people that can go from words to violence. In the world of hip hop music, beef is very serious.

         Enter the King of the North, Yo Gotti, and the King of the South, Young Dolph. Yeah I’m really into Game of Thrones lol. If you’re not caught up, here’s a link from Heavy.com to catch you up LINK

         Now you’re caught up. This beef is really bad for Memphis. Not only is it airing our dirty laundry, letting the world know that we have internal division, but it’s bad for everyone involved. This could have been an opportunity to put Memphis on a musical platform its never seen before. Memphis has always trailed behind Atlanta and Texas as far as southern rap. 8Ball and MJG both left Memphis because they felt that they couldn’t make it in this city and migrated to Texas to carve out a legendary careers. Other artists have come and made national headlines, but have never cemented Memphis as a musical powerhouse. Now we have two artists that are not only local icons but are also nationally acclaimed in the hip-hop arena. Along with Blac Youngsta and Moneybagg Yo, these four artist could have cemented Memphis as a hip-hop powerhouse, but the King of the North and the King of the South couldn’t get past their petty beef and see the bigger picture. Or is it as simple as there can’t be two kings?

          My thoughts and prayers are with Young Dolph and his recovery as well as the hip hop scene in Memphis.

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.

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Don Lifted, High ISO & Mood

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Don Lifted, High ISO & Mood

          I was recently invited out to a performance of Memphis artist Don Lifted for his upcoming Alero album. I really just wanted to enjoy some good music but something told me to bring my camera along, as Don Lifted is also a visual artist.

           I decided to only go with one lens, because changing lenses at a musical performance is a sure way to miss your shot. I decided to go with my trusty Sony FE 28mm f2. I love this little prime lens and I very rarely use zoom lenses.   

           When I arrived at the Dizzy Bird Music Hall, located at 656 Marshall Ave, I found the place completely black with a spot light on the artist. Even at f2, I was having issues with the lights. Then I decided I wanted to shoot this completely different. I wanted to create a moody them as well as have high ISO for a grunge look. I cranked the ISO of my Sony a7ii up to 8000 and let the lens to the rest. 

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          I think they turned out great! I added some pop to the colors and some fade to complete the moody look and they create a totally different vibe of the performance. I think these images really captured Don Lifted's visual art.  

           So what do you think? Are you feeling the high ISO, moody look?  

            Here's a little snippet of Don Lifted performing that I captured with my iPhone. Nothing how dark it was!!  

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Things To Do: Paula and Raifords Disco

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Things To Do: Paula and Raifords Disco

       Have you ever wanted to go out and just let loose and party? I'm not talking about going out to sit, but actually party. I used to be on the club scene in my younger days, but they all felt pretty much the same. People get dressed up to go out and basically sit around. I got the feeling it was more about what I was wearing than anything else. Doesn't sound fun at all. 

      What if I told you there was a place in Memphis where you could avoid that feeling? Would you believe it? Well, there is!! It's Paula and Raifords Disco!! This place is totally not a fashion show. It's just a party, plain and simple. I have zero rhythm and I feel totally comfortable at Paula and Raifords dancing the night away!

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Dance floor  

      This place is electric! You get a mix of pop, rock, 80s, and other dance party essentials served up by eclectic DJ Raiford. There's just something about hearing "Don't Stop Believing" that does something to me. Followed by Prince and Michael Jackson with a sprinkling of Nelly. You get all this in a place that takes you back to the 80's with white leather couches and a dance floor that lights up! Please tell me that's not the epitome of cool! Also there's a drum set that it open for anyone, but please try to stay on beat. There are also stripper poles on the dance floor.....

      A couple tips to maximize your trip to Paula and Raifords.

  1. The best night to go is Saturday. The line to get in can get pretty long. 
  2. Be prepared to be social! The partygoers are usually very friendly and talkative!
  3. The music is insanely loud! Some wear earplugs. 
  4. They serve 32 oz beer bottles....get this! 
  5. Don't hog the drums! Everyone wants to jam out!
  6. It's crowded. Be prepared to have someone bump into you. Chill and enjoy the experience. 

 

One must double cup!!

      Go and check out Paula and Raifords! Say hey to Paula, Raiford, Corey Hollywood and Keisha  for me! 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

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Playa Fly- The Mad King

    If I were to compile a Top 5 list of my favorite rappers, Playa Fly would definitely make that list. I was introduced to his music way way back in middle school and I have been a huge fan ever since. 

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A fitting title

    The deep southern accent laced lyrics over bass heavy beats had me instantly hooked. I bought every album I could find at the Hickory Ridge Mall. I told you this was way way back in the day. I even wanted a silk Versace shirt because he wore one on the Movin' On album cover. He made me proud that a guy from a not so great part of Memphis actually was doing something big. That really resonated with me. 

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    Fast forward to 2017 and I hear about Playa Fly performing at Hard Rock on New Years Day as part of their Day One Live series. There was no way I was going to miss out on seeing Playa Fly perform in concert in Memphis. 

The Set Up

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 The king needs a throne  

The king needs a throne  

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Mic check  

The Show

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     The show was everything I expected and more. Playa Fly performed all the classics as well as some awesome freestyles. The crowd was electric and the vibe was everything! I was pleasantly surprised to see fellow Memphis hip hop legends Gangsta Black and Tommy Wright III in attendance as well.  

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Gangsta Blac

 Tommy Wright III

Tommy Wright III

       The live band made the show even better. Very Roots-esque. Hip hop with a band just sounds so much better to me. 

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        Here's a little video recap of the performance. That vibe was everything!!  

Playa Fly

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       This was one of the more energetic concerts I've ever attended and the crowd participation was amazing. This was truly a great experience. If you're a Playa Fly fan, what's your favorite track? Nobody Needs Nobody will go down as my favorite.  

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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A Sit Down with KING Heartbreaker

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A Sit Down with KING Heartbreaker

     I recently got a chance to sit down with King Heartbreaker, an up and coming artist originally from Memphis, and got to pick his mind a little. A little background on King Heartbreaker; he grew up in the South Memphis area  and has recently moved to Atlanta to further his music ambitions. His first single "Do To You" sold more than 120,000 copies on iTunes and his first mixtape reached over 100,000 downloads, so he's firmly established himself as an artist to pay attention to. 

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    I met up with King Heartbreaker at Memphis Slim Collaboratory at his new album's listening party. It was a fitting location due to the rich musical history of not only Memphis Slim House, but also because of it's close proximity to Stax. Doing an interview at a recording studio was also something I've always wanted to do, So I thank King and his management team for this opportunity. 


How did you come to have the name King Heartbreaker? Is it an admission of breaking hearts?

"Growing up my family would always say I would grow to be a little heartbreaker. That meaning has evolved into more. I was always counted out so now King Heartbreaker is more like being an upset and proving naysayers wrong. It has nothing to do with breaking ladies hearts Haha."

So you're from South Memphis? Tell me a bit about growing up in Memphis and why you went the route of R&B instead of hip hop.

"Growing up in South Memphis was hard. Lots of killings and drugs around, but I had love for music and that kept me out of trouble. I had confidence in myself and I didn't want to be a product of my environment." 

"I went to a concert with my mom and aunt to see Usher and the Pyramid. He had just released the 8701 album and I saw how the ladies loved him and screamed for him and I wanted to be like him. Even church women were screaming for him!"

Did you have any positive role models growing up?

"My dad wasn't always around, so i never got the chance to learn a lot from him. My older friends and family members helped raise me. My mom allowed positive men around that could help teach me how to grow and survive. "

There's been a mass exodus from Memphis to Atlanta or Houston. Do you feel that move helped your career and did it effect your approach to music?

"I believed it helped me grow as a person and an artist to see something different from what you know. I wanted to know if I had what it took to go all the way and moving to Atlanta, where there's talent everywhere, was me challenging myself to be great. I got to see the ins and outs of the music industry."

Do you feel there's not enough support amongst Memphis artists?

"Definitely. I feel that it's getting better. It's a tough city and it's hard for some Memphis artists to trust someone they don't know. It's mainly on a who you know basis. In Atlanta, all the artists all help each other and are willing to reach out to help. It was completely different from what I was used to. You'll see T.I., 2 Chains and other artists working together. I want Memphis to be like that. Everyone helping each other and less out for only themselves. Personally, if you're from Memphis and doing something positive, I will never charge them for doing a song." 

I hear you've been working with Drumma Boy. How did that relationship come about?

"He saw one of my videos and later he gave me a call to come to the studio. We recorded a few songs and played 2K! Haha. He taught me a lot about the industry. He's let me turn down beats that went on to sell millions of copies, but he also taught me how to be more humble. He's a brother to me"

Ok, let's let's switch it up. Tell me about the song Big Daddy. 

"It's a song about the man a woman goes to see that will make her life easy and pleasurable. She can depend on him to fulfill her hearts desires. Make her feel better than she's ever felt before regardless of whatever situation she might be in. 

So describe your ideal woman

"A woman that know who she is and what she wants. A woman that's true to herself and her has her own goals and dreams."

Do you feel artists have a responsibility to use their platforms to create social change? Would you be comfortable with the younger generation looking at you as a role model? 

"Most definitely. With the amount of people that watch and follow you, you have a platform and a voice to say and do what others can't do. These people are buying your music and you have to be willing to accept the responsibility that comes along with that.  I also see where the artists come fro that don't want that responsibility. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. Some people think that because you have a certain platform and you can no longer make mistakes." 

"I don't mind being seen as a role model, but I'm still human. I've made mistakes and I'm going to make more. I prefer to be called a real model instead because I don't play a role. I'm just who I am and that's trying to be as real as I can possibly be." 

When you touchdown in the city, what's something you have to eat while in Memphis?

"Honestly, I gotta go to Dixie Queen! I have to have a 10 piece hot with a suicide slush! It's 24 hours so I can get it anytime I get back to Memphis. Also the BBQ. I've been to a lot of places and there's nothing like Memphis BBQ anywhere."

So the last and hardest question, Tigers or Grizzlies?

"Wow that is a hard question. Do I have to pick one? I have real love for both the Tigers and Grizzlies. If one has to go......I would say the Grizzlies, but I don't really want to pick one. The Grizzlies moved here and could move again. The Tigers were all we had for a while, so I will say keep the Tigers. Man, this is a really hard question!" 


Check out King Heartbreaker's newest single Oxygen! His new mixtape King Sh*t will be released on Dec 29th. Be on the lookout for that. 

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Bilal at Hi Tone

Bilal at the Hi Tone!! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. His song "Sometimes" really hit home with me about an exgirlfriend I had, so I had to go and see him live. I really enjoyed the show and the overall vibe. 

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The opening act was local musician Ju Ju and he really set the tone. This mans music is that right vibe to get you in the groove.  

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Marco Pave

Next up was hip hop artist Marco Pave. I really like this guy a lot and his lyrical content and flow are bananas! Yes, that's a good thing! He really got Hi Tone hyped! He even jumped on top of a speaker and went shirtless for a majority of his set!  

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Bilal

Bilal was even better in person than I've seen in any videos or in TV. He was so energetic and had great stage presence. His band was also equally amazing!! It definitely was a show that goes down as one of my favorites. 

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Fin

Life is for Living,  

Michael B.  

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It's Dolph!!! Young Dolph Concert

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It's Dolph!!! Young Dolph Concert

A few weeks back I went to the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street and saw Memphis bred rapper Young Dolph. I grew up in the Westwood neighborhood, so I have a bias towards rappers from the South Memphis area. Dolph has a rap style that's very unique yet still Memphis flavored at the same time. His music reflects on his life on the streets of South Memphis, which can be a very tough place to grow up. There's lots of poverty, hopelessness, drugs, but some with determination make it out of this situation. That way could be the right way or the wrong way, but when you see no other options, all ways seem better than the current situation. 

I'm always proud of Memphians making it to the national stage. We don't have many that have done this, so it's a brings a certain pride for the city and the talent it produces. 

Ok back to the show!

Dolph pulled up to the New Daisy with a long procession of expensive cars. There was a Porsche, Ferrari, Maybach, Rolls Royce, and a Mercedes. That in itself was very impressive. He's obviously done pretty well for himself. I think that's saying it lightly. 

The show was a sellout. Dolph certainly brought the city out. I really enjoyed the energy he had in spite of announcing that he was coming down with the flu. He still gave his fans the experience they've come to expect from at the insanely popular rapper. 

As you can see from the pics and video, the show was lit! 

I would like to thank Young Dolph for the great experience, the fans for not getting too wild, and New Daisy Theater for being gracious hosts. Next time Young Dolph touches down in the city, I will definitely be there. 

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

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Artistik Lounge!!

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Artistik Lounge!!

Every third Sunday something happens in Midtown Memphis that all music lovers should take a look at. At 1555 Madison Ave, inside Minglewood Hall, there's Artistik Lounge. "It's a Lounge Mane" is the slogan and it definitely fits the venue. There are couches and oversized pillows throughout along with some really dope overhead lamps. The vibe of the place is definitely ultra chill and cool.  

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The event is hosted by Eso Tolsen while Siphne Aaye mixes up some of the flyest tracks in hip hop and R&B. Oh, they also have a bar! I mean you can't proclaim a lounge environment without some libations. 

 Eso and Siphne freestyling  

Eso and Siphne freestyling  

So last night the Artistik Lounge featured one of my favorite Memphis MCs, Gangsta Blac! His album 74 Minutes of Bump got me through high school. When he was rocking the mic with fellow Memphis rapper Playa Fly, they were the best thing going! Nobody Needs Nobody is arguably the best song to come out of Memphis to this day.  

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Gangsta Blac came through and delivered exactly what I experienced when I was a youngin beating on my desk with a pen making beats; that raw underground Memphis hip hop! The crowd was loving it! It really took me back to a great time for Memphis hip hop. You know Memphis rappers created not only jooking, but crunk music as well, right? 

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So mark your calendars for the next Artistik Lounge! I don't have the date in front of me, but I will definitely update you guys via my IG (@_one901) and also via Facebook (one901).  

The cover is $10 so it won't break your pockets and it's a great event to network or bring a date. There were some local movers and shakers in attendance, along with local musicians like Marco Pave. 

 Hip Hop artist Marco Pave

Hip Hop artist Marco Pave

So there you have it Memphis! Here's another great event that the city showcases that's not only fun but positive. I would like to thank all the people that help with Artistik Lounge each month. You guys are awesome and very gracious. 

I can't wait for the next set and I hope to see more of the city participate as well. So come on out and enjoy but remember, It's a Lounge Mane!  

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

 

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Privilege Music Fest

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Privilege Music Fest

While food is normally my first love, Music is a close second. How can it not be? I was born and raised in Memphis, so music is engrained into my soul. Now, I can't technically hold a note or hit a high note, at least not outside of my shower, but I do know good music when I hear it. It's easy to hear good music in Memphis because it's literally everywhere! 

When my good friend, Jamal Whitlow, who's the president and CEO of Privileged Memphis, hit me up about a music fest he had coming up featuring local talent, I was instantly hooked. I knew this event would be good, because I've been to a Privileged event and it was really nice and well organized. 


Jamal Whitlow

The Privileged Music Fest was held at historic Handy Park on Beale Street. The perfect setting for a first run at a Memphis festival, which has housed some of the best talent over the years. The festival was hosted by radio personality, Ena Esco, and Bruno Mars band member, Kameron Whalum.

Esa Esco and Kameron Whalum

I really enjoyed the festival and loved that it featured diverse talent. Memphis is a city that's still held back at times by the past racial tensions, so it's good to see the diversity of Memphis talent on display. Also, regardless of your race, people know good music. as long as it's good, nothing else even matters. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

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10 Questions with Tyke T

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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. 

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The Marco Alexander Experience

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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. 

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