For your ears and your eyes: Memphis music films, shows and more
Hustle & Flow (Multiple platforms)
You already know the story: it’s hard out here for DJay (Terrence Howard). Craig Brewer’s cult favorite and one-time Sundance smash celebrates lots of the things we love about our city, from our grit and spirit to our hustle and (of course) our music. After you get done streaming it, head to YouTube and find the clip of Three 6 Mafia winning an Oscar for Best Original Song. It’s also worth multiple viewings.
Hip Hop Evolution: The Southern Lab (Netflix)
If you’re a hip hop head, you’ll want to dedicate yourself to a full binge of this Netflix docuseries – but any Memphis music lover should spend an hour with ‘The Southern Lab,’ an episode from the show’s fourth and most recent season. It chronicles the rise of crunk and features interviews with everyone from DJ Spanish Fly and DJ Paul to Gangsta Boo and 8Ball and MJG.
Take Me to the River (Amazon Prime)
This groundbreaking documentary is a story inside a story, capturing the making of an unconventional concept album from beginning to end. Each song is a pairing between a Memphis music legend and a young up-and-comer (get ready for Lil P Nut and Otis Clay). You’ll also get to hang out in some of our city’s storied recording studios. Memphis music fans who know their stuff will want to watch this one a few times through to catch all the cameos and familiar faces.
Sun Records (Amazon Prime)
An original CMT show, Sun Records took over parts of downtown and transformed them into 1950s Memphis when it filmed here in 2016. It only ran for one season, but its eight episodes are perfectly binge-worthy and will transport you for a few hours to hang with Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. The show employed tons of locals, too, so if you’re a Memphian keep your eyes peeled – you might just spot a friend in a vintage frock.
DittyTV (Roku, AppleTV and more)
If you need a more constant stream of Memphis music, head to DittyTV – it’s a streaming music network based right here in Memphis, with studios downtown on South Main. They’re broadcasting live concerts and music video and news shows 24 hours a day. Access it on DittyTV.com or through your Roku or Apple TV.