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Memphis is in a rather interesting position come Friday. It’s most sterling solo artist who was all about his money in Yo Gotti is releasing an album, the close to autobiographical The Art of Hustle. It’s next closest solo artist who deals with similar financial aspirations is Young Dolph and his King Of Memphis debut album arrives on the exact same day. The King Of Memphis title has been proclaimed by Gotti on numerous occasions, including a rather subtle punch during a conversation on Elliott Wilson & Brian “B Dot” Miller’s Rap Radar Podcast. “They know who run Memphis,” he said. Young Dolph? He also knows who runs Memphis — and wants his piece. Young Dolph knows his influence on young minds, his “Preach” single his highest cresting mainstream moment. His penchant for schooling young kids via Instagram & viral videos humorous and innocuous. His raps? Often filled with couplets and assertions about obtaining money and snide put downs that feel like Martin jokes that barely missed airtime. In short, Young Dolph raps like a guy who tells the best jokes, gets a lot of money and doesn’t want to ever return to a moment where those two qualities don’t exist.

King Of Memphis operates like a Young Dolph mixtape, only with the gravitas of “this is a release to show you Young Dolph is now a big deal”. There’s plenty of one-liners and stunt moments from Dolph based around hard-hitting production from the current roughriders of Southern producers in Mike WiLL Made It, Drumma Boy, TM88, Zaytoven and others. There are lines built around capitalism and Dolph’s idea of America in “USA” that’s mostly built around cars, lean & women but then he throws you for a loop about being poor and so hungry that your sides are touching. All of the production makes King Of Memphis sound like Memphis yet still near that Atlanta rap ecosystem that feels like it’s thrown a Bio-Dome over rap in general.

The odd thing about Young Dolph is that his sound, straight-forward, tough and aimed for the paper chasers on both Wall Street and the streets of Memphis is how his movement has progressed. Much of his radio friendly fare has been on bouncy, loud production or in the case of Colonel Loud’s “California”, something so smooth that he barely has to twist his voice to match up. It’s simple yet effective and combine that with the Atlanta friendly production and you’ve got a Southern street rap album that’s accessible to all. You can hear King of Memphis below a day before it hits iTunes for purchase.

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[Noisey]