Chances are, even if you live in Memphis, you’ve probably never heard of Adam WarRock. Had he not been on this year’s South By Southwest line-up, I might have never encountered him, but when I watched one of his videos and noticed that it was filmed on Beale Street, I was intrigued, and some further research revealed that he is indeed from Memphis. But Adam WarRock is fairly different from any other rapper working in Memphis today. With a somewhat nerdy, geeky approach to hip-hop, WarRock often raps about comic books or his favorite television shows, and he has no reservations about rapping over hit instrumentals to do it. His EP Parks and Recreation references one of his favorite television shows, and one of his songs is entitled “Marvel vs. DC”. But Adam WarRock is neither a jokester nor a gimmicky artist. He has tremendous skillz, and his new EP title City Beautiful (Memphis was the nation’s “City Beautiful” for many years in the era of E. H. Crump) suggests a depth of meaning that reflects on Memphis as a city. Adam WarRock will be performing at the Flamingo Cantina during SXSW at 10:05 PM on March 12. His music can be downloaded by visiting his website at http://www.adamwarrock.com/.
The homie @DJBay at Select-O-Hits introduced me to this amazing singer from Texas named Latasha Lee, who is working the same kind of retro soul vein that brought the late Amy Winehouse to prominence. “So Blind” is Latasha Lee’s most recent video, and the song benefits greatly from Salih Williams’ throwback track that recreates something of a 60’s ambience. While Lee’s earlier work was in a more traditional R & B and Texas rap zone (some of the early songs actually have screwed-and-chopped versions!) the atmosphere of soul nostalgia hangs over all her more recent songs. Latasha Lee is an incredible talent that deserves wider recognition.