Happy new year, Memphis music lovers! Things we did on our holiday vacation: ate too much, unplugged, fell into a pit of despair watching all of the NYE shows get canceled as Omicron cases exploded, the usual. HBU?
Anyway, we’re back and that means The Latest is back, too – here’s a look at some stuff we read this week that we think you should read, too.
Rap in the wrap-up
It’s no secret that we love year-end lists – did you see both of ours on favorite live music moments and favorite Memphis albums? – and we particularly enjoyed Alex Greene’s wrap-up of his favorite new music of 2021 over at The Memphis Flyer. Seeing Don Lifted, Young Dolph and IMAKEMADBEATS all on one list is a reminder of how dominant Memphis hip hop is and always will be, and an education – if you needed one – that it’s far from a monolith.
IMAKEMADBEATS: MAD Songs, Vol. 1 (Unapologetic)
The founder of Unapologetic gets personal: The beats are atmospheric, the chords are a little odd, the lyrics, whether MAD’s or his guests’, skew to the philosophical. MAD’s trademark slippery bass and beats in space underpin stellar guest artists, from deft raps by PreauXX, R.U.D.Y., Austyn Michael, and others, to silky melodies from Cameron Bethany and U’niQ. – Alex Greene
Lots of notable Memphians have big plans for 2022, and The Commercial Appeal has studied all their day planners for you to put together this preview of what’s to come, including new music from Blocboy JB and NLE Choppa, plus national and international tours from Julien Baker, Moneybagg Yo, Cory Branan and more. Our favorite prediction?
While no official plans have been announced, BlocBoy JB tweeted that he’ll have the “biggest comeback of 21-22.”
The beat keeper
Legendary drummer Howard Grimes was profiled in Rolling Stone last week – “the foundation of Hi Records’ 70s masterpieces” talks about his 2021 memoir, Timekeeper.