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Your humble host has been too dormant for the last week or so but now I’m back out here in the trenches with y’all. I’ve noticed that unintentionally, I’ve been listening to a whole bunch of releases by Memphis artists in a row over the last week or two, in between some Tupac while I was in nostalgia mode after my birthday and randomly New Edition’s ‘Gold’ greatest hits collection (I can feel my street cred instantly plummeting as I type this) so I wanted to put up a post rounding up some of my favorites from some of the new stuff going on down there with some quick-hitting thoughts on each.  Between all the love Blocboy JB is getting, the new Moneybagg Yo project that just dropped, and new mixtapes from both Key Glock and Jay Fizzle, Memphis is on fire right now – they’ve got me feeling like a Memphis Grizzly right now. A hibernating Memphis grizzly, but a grizzly nonetheless.

Moneybagg Yo – Black Heart 

The intro to Moneybagg Yo’s new project ‘2 Heartless’ goes hard as a mother. It’s under a minute and a half long but it packs quite a punch. I wish it was a full-length 3 or so minute song because it ends right as he’s really heating up. The beat is harsh and I’m always down with rappers starting mixtapes with clips about themselves/their crimes/shootings etc. from the radio/news. I’m also down with Moneybagg including a clip of a guy yelling ‘Man, fuck Moneybagg!’ on his own tape. “Niggas turned hippie, they want peace, hit ’em with the iron get ’em creased, hottest nigga moving through these streets, all in my shows with the heat, dealt with more crosses than a priest, I ain’t let it break me with the lease.” The ‘niggas turned hippie they want peace, hit ’em with the iron get em creased’ is one of my favorite rhymes in a while it’s so simple but so effective. The hippie line has me picturing Moneybagg Yo’s opps in Memphis walking around with bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts and something about hit ’em with the iron get ’em creased just sounds so brutal. I love the way he says ‘iron’ with that Tennessee drawl; ‘eearun‘.

Blocboy JB ft. Drake – Look Alive 

As I predicted a couple of weeks ago, Drake wasn’t down at the FedEx Forum taking in a Grizzlies game with Blocboy JB because he wanted to take in Mario Chalmers NBA return or to see one half of the Harrison twins. Drake knows exactly what he’s doing – while it may look like he’s trying to help out a less famous up and coming artist, he actually needs Blocboy more than Blocboy needs him – he sees the hype Blocboy JB is getting and the love he’s getting on the streets, so he jumps on a song with him and rides the wave with him. I’m not even hating on it it’s actually a great business strategy and as much as I’m not usually a big fan of Drake as a rapper I will say he does have a great ear/eye for talent in terms of a lot of the guys he’s co-signed over the years and would make a great A&R.

I’m down with the Jordan jumpsuit Drake is rocking in the video; I’d be in full favor of clothes like that making a return instead of the women’s jeans and designer man-purses that a lot of rappers are sporting today.  Drake’s dance actually isn’t bad in this video, but it’s no surprise that he’s upstaged by Blocboy, the guy who has all kinds of college and pro teams copying his dance from Shoot. And speaking of the fashion in this video, anyone of you readers out there know what the cargo pants w the orange stripe on the side that Blocboy is sporting are? Those are pretty fresh. P.S. I think he’s also wearing a Green Day ‘American Idiot’ shirt?

The ‘blow you like a flute’ line was kiiiiind of suspect but hey for the guy that made ‘Rover’ and ‘Shoot’ we’ll let it slide, Blocboy has earned himself a few slip-ups. He gets back into more typical excellent Blocboy form shortly after with this dope line – ‘Came a long way from sitting in the nosebleeds. Now a nigga on the floor talking to the ath-letes, man I’m so close to the game that I could steal the stat sheet.”

Drizzy is feeling grapey after his Memphis Vacation and who can blame him?

Moneybagg Yo – Ocean Spray

Another smooth track from Moneybagg, which surprisingly didn’t make it onto 2 Heartless. Believe it or not I wasn’t really feeling Moneybagg after my first couple of things of his I checked out but he’s really grown on me. I love the title/Youtube picture for this one. “In the club I’m strapped in the booth, my Glock on defense it guard me. Pass me the Sprite ima pour me a deuce, 25 for a pint what they charge me.”

Key Glock

The beat for Russian Cream, the big song off of Key Glock’s new project is so frosty. Key Glock floats over it effortlessly. “Step up on the scene, diamonds bling these hoes scream, checkerboard Louis V I’m so fresh and so clean clean, stuff them bands in my jeans, snap them 30s in them things, pull the trigger let it sing, then go smoke a Russian cream. I’ve got money blue and green, drop them rack on double G’s yeah I’m a Gucci fiend, feel like Tarzan all these trees. I get so high I can’t breathe, like Lebron bitch I’m a king but I never leave my heat.”

Moneybagg Yo ft. BlocBoy JB – Black Feet 

Nice to see Moneybagg and Blocboy, Memphis’ two finest right now, linking up. The first two minutes of the song are mainly Moneybagg talking about the kind of women he doesn’t like, but it’s picks up in the second half with the Blocboy verse. “You disgusting. If a nigga plays me wrong than I’m busting! Heat a nigga up like the oven, hit you and your cousin, a lot of niggas say that they was there but they wasn’t!”