Thursday, September 4, 2008
Memphis BEATS, Atlanta Heat and New Inside Chess Moves To Do
By D.M Becton
Look at Miami. Rick Ross, Plies and Flo Rida.
Look at Atlanta. T.I., Ludacris and Young Jeezy.
Look at Houston. Slim Thug, Paul Wall and Mike Jones.
Everytime I talk to anyone at home about the local rap music scene, I get varying answers. You still have some people that think that Three 6 Mafia ACTUALLY controls the cities ariwaves (well, not counting Hot 107.1 FM...but that's not confirmed per se). Then, you have some people that tell me that there just isn't a true sense of unity in the city. I would agree but that statement can be answered with a yes and a no.
The veteran rappers are either disconnected, obselete, or have so much historical bad blood between each other that they will never attempt to do any record together. I could never imagine a Gangsta Pat and Three 6 Mafia song or a Kinfolk Kia Shine and Three 6 Mafia song (especially after Three 6 recently dissed Kia Shine at a autograph signing at Cat's Music in Memphis in retalliation for a previous diss on video and on Shine's Street Wars mixtapes). I mean the guy that got the first major record label deal with the self-proclaimed Kings of Memphis? How big would that be? What about a collaboration with our last viable major label artist with his new deal on Universal/Motown? Are they only dreams?
But, them like many other rappers in the city have dissed Three 6 Mafia and burned a major bridge with one of Memphis' most visible artists. Now, symbolically I'm not saying you HAVE to take the Hernando De Soto Bridge to get out of the city. You could down I-240 to I-55. You can go out through Millington. You can take I-40 to Nashville. But, you never want to limit your own personal options to move the city forward. Dissing any man, click or record label can do this.
But, there is hope with many of the newer artists coming out of the city. Miscellaneous and Yo Gotti are examples of some rappers that have had a disagreement but has since settled the problem and have since recorded with each other. Also, we can't forget the stunning display of unity shown on the Three 6 Mafia hit single "Stay Fly" featuring Eightball & MJG and Young Buck. This is still the highest Billboard-charted single from any artist/group coming out of Memphis,Tennessee.
But what I see happening now is nothing more than ingenious. I look at Jazze Pha, Drumma Boy and DJ Squeeky and figured out that his is it! The music. The actual beats. The beatmakers. The producers from Memphis are actually keeping the scene alive for all Memphis artists right now. I thank them all for that.
Every person who buys the Young Jeezy "The Recession" album is supporting the legendary Orange Mound veteran DJ Squeeky ("Welcome Back"). If you buy any Ciara album, you most definitely will have Jazze Pha on the boards. Three 6's DJ Paul & Juicy "J" ("Stay Together") on Ludacris' upcoming album "Theatre Of The Mind" is also getting heavy rotation.
What about Dem Franchise Boyz and Joe Blow Da' CEO's gold plaque for his production on their cerified-gold "On Top of Our Game"? T-Mix on The Carter II? What about Carlos "Six July" Broady who produced "What's Beef?" and Notorious B.I.G's "Life After Death" and was a member of the legendary Hitmen production team under the reigns of Puff Daddy?
Even Christopher Gholson, better known as Drumma Boy is a shining example with top-billing production on Lil' Scrappy, Gorilla Zoe, Pastor Troy, Blood Raw, Ludacris T.I. and Young Jeezy's number one single "Put On" off of his "Recession" album.
These are the chess moves that will put Memphis "on" in the upcoming years. Drumma Boy and DJ Squeeky WILL get gold and/or platinium plaques this year. This is what the city need. I just hope with the expansion of our homegrown sound that the city will be in the limelight it needs to be in. And just maybe, we will finally get our time.