Lately there have been a buzz of movements throughout the Memphis, TN area that are all well-focused on trying to bring together the musicians, artists, models, rappers, singers, dancers and more in the city.
When attending an event in Memphis, you’re sure to catch a glimpse of some hot local talent but you’re also sure to run across a postcard here and a postcard there with local artists trying to get exposure for their CD and it’s simply going to take more marketing than that. Well, local music executive as well as board commissioner of the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission, Antonio “2 Shay” Parkinson, has been for some time offering artists means of exposure through his movement which utilizes street marketing as well as exposure over his Raleigh Frayser compilation CD entitled “Welcome To Ridgemont.” “What this CD is doing is creating a fan-base without the large budget of having to invest in a whole CD themselves. They (local artists) build a fanbase with Welcome to Ridgmont,” stated 2 Shay to MemphisRap.com. “We’ve already got a following, [Welcome to Ridgemont] is an established brand with over 4,000 CDs sold on Volume one and Volume 2 and we expect Volume 3 to do 5,000 copies.”
Local artist performer/rapper Miscellaneous (Misc.) is also on the movement train track with his development simply called the “Memphis movement” which held an event back in June 2006 along with the help of 2 Shay and sponsors MemphisRap.com and others at the National Civil Rights Museum. The Memphis Movement included a live concert of local performing artists, a panel discussion, voter registration drive, Civil Rights Museum tour and meeting of Memphis political Candidates. Miscellaneous recently told MemphisRap.com he has washed his hands of the beef he once had with Yo Gotti and is now focusing more on his new CD and the Memphis movement. Miscellaneous’ new album is entitled Key 2 Da City and is expected this year.
Rapper and producer Cortez “Godfellow” Currie, once of the Out Da Frame’s/Dynammik Production’s print has also stated he too is working on a movement, one he calls an Independent movement for local artists to promote positive rap lyrics into their CDs and performances. “I started as a Gangsta rapper when I started rapping,” Godfellow told MemphisRap.com. “But I started out singing at the age of 10. I think rappers can be more positive but they also can remain true to their gangsta lifestyle in their lyrics as well, but until we start coming together as artists and media, we won’t get far.”
Another movement is the Memphis or Die movement headed by CEO Barry “Plutonium” Walker of Nuclear Records who has taken the audio and visual movement to DVD with the Memphis Or Die DVD which is set to release early this year. The DVD features 8Ball & MJG, Project Pat, Playa Fly, Crunchy Black, Yo Gotti, Lil Wyte, Frayser Boy, Chrome, Gangsta Boo, Skinny Pimp, Al Kapone, La Chat, Kavious, Miscellaneous, Young D, and many more. “I’ve been studying the game for a while and I just pay attention to detail. What I was seeing was that every city that blew had a movement going on within that city,” Walker stated to MemphisRap.com. “The Cd is crazy I mean I searched high and low in every corner of Memphis to get the best I could find.”
The Memphis Or Die trailer is available online at MemphisRapTV.com and the DVD/CD will be in stores soon.