Release Date: Mar 18, 2016
Record label: Empire
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock, Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap
Discerning an aesthetic thread through the Mark Pritchard discography was tough in 1996. Twenty years later, forget it. Around 2013, he evidently tired of thinking up a new alias with each expectation-confounding release and, under his birth name, initiated a trio of brief releases for the Warp label. Featuring drop-ins from Ragga Twins and Spikey Tee, the fully energized EPs moved through jungle, bass, juke, ragga, and grime.
The term independent is one that’s used very loosely in the Hip Hop industry. It’s hard to find a successful artist that’s truly independent. Guys like Chance the Rapper are shifting the paradigm but for some, being independent means having your own group that’s distributed by a larger label, who also has to split a check with an even bigger parent company.
The first two months of 2016 have been dominated by something that in most years doesn’t show up until much later: star power. In January, Atlantic successfully parlayed Kevin Gates’ cultish, largely Southern following into national fame, to the tune of 112,000 copies sold in the opening week ….
Whether you’ve realized it or not, Young Dolph has been one of rap’s most successful independent artists over the past year. His slew of street hits and surplus of mixtapes has garnered him a loyal following and as a result, he was even able to climb up the Billboard charts with tracks like “Preach.” Even though his road to rap stardom has been done independently, Dolph still doesn’t seem to get the credit he ultimately deserves. With the release of his first official album, King of Memphis, the rapper is looking to open the flood gates even further.