Snootie Wild first came to my attention a couple of years ago at a record pool meeting in Memphis, as an amazing rapper from North Memphis with the unusual ability to command a Jamaican accent at will. This might not be unusual in a lot of cities, but there is almost no Caribbean presence in Memphis whatsoever, and Snootie has no island background When he released the single “Yayo” a few months later, he became the biggest artist in Memphis. Not long thereafter, he signed with Yo Gotti’s Cocaine Music Group, which has since been renamed Collective Music Group, and began to tour the country with Gotti. More recently, he has followed up the success of the earlier single with a new single called “No Kissing”, which blew up the streets of Memphis and other Southern cities all summer. So his appearances at A3C garnered a lot of attention, and his appearance at the BMI Showcase in East Atlanta Village was especially good. Despite his youth, Snootie Wild seems calm and in complete control, enjoying himself and bantering with crowd as if they were old and trusted friends. The young Memphian has great things ahead of him.
Back in February, a new restaurant called Prive’ opened in the former Cooker/Smokey Bones building at Winchester and Riverdale in Hickory Hill, owned by a group of people that was said to include Memphis rap star Yo Gotti, On Tuesday, July 1, I finally had an opportunity to visit the new restaurant, as I went out to check out the superb 4 Soul Band, one of Memphis’ premiere neo-soul, smooth jazz and funk bands, as they kicked off a Neo-Soul Tuesdays event that is scheduled to continue each Tuesday for the foreseeable future. As for Prive’, it is a lavish and upscale atmosphere for “grown folks”, with a dress code that forbids athletic gear and tennis shoes. The menu is limited, but the food is decent, if a little expensive, and steaks seem to be the specialty of the house. Neo-Soul Tuesdays feature the 4 Soul Band with their vocalist Shenea from 7-9 PM, and Prive’ also features live music on certain other nights as well. It’s definitely worth a visit.
6890 Winchester Rd
Memphis, TN 38115
Fans of Yo Gotti‘s previous work might be in for a surprise when they listen to his recently-released album I Am, but the surprise should be a pleasant one. Not that there’s any lack of the street stories and trap lyrics that Gotti is known for, but this time everything happens over sheets of beautiful and soulful sounds that evoke Memphis’ musical legacy of Stax and Hi Records. Gotti’s lyrical content is also deeper and more mature, as on the album’s masterpiece “Cold Blood” featuring J. Cole and Canei Finch, where a sample from obscure Stax band 24 Carat Black becomes the luscious backing for a gritty tale of ghetto struggle, or “Respect That You Earn” with Ne-Yo and Wale, urging women to conduct themselves with respect so that they will be respected. “Don’t Come Around” has more of a pop and electronic sound that might very well cross over to the mainstream pop world, and of course the more familiar Gotti sound comes through on songs like “I Know” and “Die A Real Nigga”. Nor is Gotti above a clever humor on this record, as at the end of “Sorry”, where an irate female suggests that Gotti should go back to one of those “sorry females” he’s been with. Gotti replies “I am”, both answering her statement and invoking the album’s title. So well-conceived and varied are I Am‘s offerings that by the time one reaches the end, the single “Act Right” almost seems an after-thought. But this album is Yo Gotti’s first real masterpiece, an achievement which should turn some heads, change some opinions and win over a lot of fans beyond Memphis and the South.
Last night, September 12, 2013, Memphis’ Young Avenue Sound recording studio was the setting for a clandestine listening party for Maybach Music Group‘s new Self Made 3 album featuring French Montana, Meek Mill, Omarion, Rick Ross, Yo Gotti and more. Despite a rumor that Rick Ross would be present, he didn’t appear, but a lot of other celebrities did, including Hot 107‘s DJ Q, Memphis rap artist Skool Boy, Select-O-Hits’ DJ Bay, Maybach artist Whole Slab AKA Slab McNab AKA Deuce Poppi, Memphis rapper Urban Jones and CEO Miami Mike. In addition there were lots of models, plenty of Belaire Rose to drink, and plenty of wings from Wing Stop.
Yo Gotti performs his current hit at The Main in Austin during SXSW, 3/15/13
Yo Gotti takes the stage on the roof at Deco Lounge in Austin during SXSW, March 16, 2012 #MemphisRising
Don Trip and Yo Gotti representing the M-Town at SXSW in Austin, March 15, 2012 #MemphisRising
Don Trip is arguably the hottest new rapper to come out of Memphis in the last year, and his performance at SXSW demonstrated why, as he highlighted his better-than-usual lyrical skill. Toward the end of his set, he was joined by fellow Memphian Yo Gotti. March 15, 2012