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Various Artists - Long Live Young Dolph Music Album Reviews

Various Artists - Long Live Young Dolph Music Album Reviews
On this compilation, artists in Young Dolph’s circle keep the rapper’s legacy of love and loyalty alive, giving the project a clear sense of purpose.

The pressures of the music marketplace are not often conducive to respecting real-life tragedy. When an artist unexpectedly passes, there’s a demand to hear their musical last words, both from listeners who wanted more time with a person they love and from cynical industry forces. On one end of the spectrum are the verging-on disrespectful posthumous albums of Pop Smoke, stitched together from scraps of low-fidelity vocal stems; on the other, the tribute that Lil Peep’s family has paid to him by bringing his early work to streaming services and clearing samples instead of excessively mining unreleased material.

In the wake of Young Dolph’s death, so much of the discussion and coverage of him focused not just on his relentless grind or effortless flow but on his deep sense of community, charity, and kinship. Dolph paid his success forward in many facets of his life, leaving behind a material legacy in a way few musicians do: he cared for his family, invested heavily in his hometown of Memphis, and closely mentored a new generation of rappers. Where others might lend only clout or co-signs, Young Dolph gave the hand-selected artists who formed his Paper Route Empire stable the reins of their careers outside the major label system. Long Live Dolph is then a fitting reflection of a man who supported future stars, a tribute straight from the acts he so actively embraced.

What Dolph meant to the artists he worked with and mentored—and especially to the next generation of Memphis rap—is apparent in the heartbreak of Jay Fizzle’s “LLD.” At first, Jay tries to undo and obscure the reality of Dolph’s death, then he tries to understand it, before realizing all he can do is live out the potential Dolph saw in him: “Tryna OD off these drugs to erase the whole situation/But I know this shit ain’t good for me/You wanted what’s good for me.” Singer Ricco Barrino’s aching voice comes in with a message from Dolph’s wife and children: “Even though you’re gone, your legacy lives on.” It’s keeping that throughline of love and loyalty alive that now defines Paper Route Empire and gives Long Live Dolph such purpose as a project.

The portrait that’s drawn of Dolph is of a man who would have given the Polo off his back to anyone who could benefit from his encouragement. “Role Model” opens with a sample from an interview with Dolph and then-new signee and pupil Kenny Muney, who recalls listening to Dolph’s High Class Street Music mixtapes when he was younger. Muney’s role model then became his friend and biggest supporter, but by the end, Muney has become the role model, carrying the torch that brought light to his life. “Proud” is classic Key Glock, his voice fried like he’s been up all night, eyes bloodshot as much from the high as the tears he’s been hiding. Over a cut-throat Bandplay beat, he speaks with the Grim Reaper, making deals for his lost comrade’s soul. Though Glock is more than equipped as a solo artist, he and his older cousin had once-in-a-generation chemistry that’s hard to recapture, and in many ways, his contribution to Long Live Dolph is the most effecting. The hustle is a way for him to cope with the hole in his heart: “Just the other day, caught myself cryin’/Then I wiped my face, shook that shit off, and got back on my grind.”

The EP’s second half pays tribute to Dolph less in lyric and more in spirit, with rappers Big Moochie Grape and PaperRoute Woo capturing the kind of classic Southern trunk music that Dolph did so masterfully. Sosa 808’s beat on “In Dolph We Trust” is glistening and baroque, flipping “Carol of the Bells”—once a staple of the DJ Paul and Juicy J production toolkit—into an ornately menacing march. Joddy Badass and Snupe Bandz’ “I Like” shifts the project into a more chilled-out and romantic mode, a welcome comedown from the intensity of the first half that nevertheless comes off a bit hollow compared to the brutal emotionality. The one new Dolph verse, on Chitana’s “Love for Me,” sees him getting serene, almost tropical, but that peacefulness takes on a bittersweet tinge when you remember why you’re listening to this album.

Even in a rap landscape where personal trauma and mental illness are unpacked in chart-topping hits, the members of Paper Route Empire reach a level of sincerity and emotional reflection that’s still hard to come by. In between the denial and unreality of tragedy, the confusion and rage at a world that continues to take Black men from their families so senselessly and constantly, there’s a sharply defined sense of resolve. The next phase of Paper Route recognizes that the best way to pay tribute to their teacher isn’t just to put respect on his name, but to put the principles he lived into action.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Various Artists - Long Live Young Dolph Music Album Reviews Various Artists - Long Live Young Dolph Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, February 02, 2022 Rating: 5

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