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Young Dolph

Young Dolph – ‘Facts’
There’s something vaguely threatening about the production on King of Memphis, a subtly sinister, carnivalesque taunt that runs through the album and makes itself known almost immediately in this opening track. If I didn’t know any better I would try to link the sound to the place, to the South; of course this is fallacious reasoning, unsettled as soon as we recall (for example) the grime correlation. But the impulse to do so is grounded in (and hopefully made legitimate by) a desire to see some stronger connection to Memphis in the tracks following on from ‘Facts.’ Dolph raps that he is to Memphis what Drake is to Toronto, but there is little sense of the inverse, that Memphis is to Dolph what Toronto is to Drake.And the frustrating thing is that he does such good work in this opener to situate himself among his forbears and contemporaries, to stake his claim, before he comprehensively shifts his concern, for the rest of the album, to the pursuit and realisation of a slightly more hackneyed goal (one best summed up in the following lyric from ‘Get Paid’: “Rule number 1, get the money first / Rule number 2, don’t forget to get the money”). Listen to ‘Facts’ for its swells of confidence and its surprising mixture of audacity and vulnerability; listen to the rest of King of Memphis for a less ambitious echo of the later part of the ‘Facts’ hook: “Bill time comin’ up and guess who pay the rent.”

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