The Latest | November 22

We’re starting a little something new around here – kicking off today, we’ll round up some of what we’ve been reading, big Memphis music news, and other stuff we think should know about each Monday. Let’s see how it goes – if you love it, we might make it into a newsletter that lands directly in your inbox. For now, a reminder that we always want to hear from you with feedback, ideas and suggestions:

Remembering the King of Memphis

Over at The Daily Memphian, Chris Herrington’s remembrance of our fallen hero Young Dolph weaves Memphis rap history with Dolph’s personal story beautifully, capturing why his lost is felt so deeply by so many – and why the impact of his music will long outlive him.

“Dolph’s music was suffused with familial loss, and so was his public life beyond the music. It’s known now that shortly before his death, he’d stopped by West Cancer Center in Germantown, thanking staff for helping care for multiple family members who, he said, “came through these doors.” He did much of his charitable work in the city via his own Ida Mae Family Foundation, named for the grandmother who raised him, who died in 2008.

That sense of being of the people even after his musical rise was felt in the music itself as much as in his penchant for buying cookies at Makeda’s, the beloved neighborhood staple that proved the site of his death.

It was in “Hold Up, Hold Up, Hold Up,” whose video sets riches aside, depicting Dolph as a workaday guy at a dry cleaner, checking tags and pushing around the clothes cart.

Attractive before, the clip is more poignant now, suggesting some other less lucrative but longer life. The song’s lyrics are rich with details: “I remember my mama and daddy didn’t even have a car” and “Rich n***a still in the neighborhood store eating cold cuts.”” Read the full piece here.

How do you say Soul Communicator in French?

Stax Music Academy’s young talent are no strangers to love from international audiences, but this is a first – Paris-based director Hugo Sobelman’s documentary Soul Kids premieres this week in Paris, and John Beifuss has the scoop for The Commercial Appeal.

“With their music and their honesty, they taught me so much about life in general,” said Sobelman, 33, answering questions via email from Paris. “About hope, about passion, about work, about resilience. SMA is the first place I ever truly felt what we call in France ‘popular education.’ Mixing musical education with debates around social injustices or racism felt so right, especially given Memphis’ cultural background, and yet so rare.” Read the full piece here.

Walkin’ in…

Did y’all see SNL this weekend?

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