It's going to be a busy week down at the Overton Park Shell, with two marathon lineups of local bands scheduled to perform. The shows will also give newbies a chance to school themselves on the city's emerging underground hip-hop scene.
At the Shell's ReEvolution2 festival April 17th, the Iron Mic Coalition will be among the performers. At the debut performance from this local hip-hop collective at Precious Cargo a couple of months ago, it felt like the birth of a great new scene.
Bridging the gap between post-Native Tongues mainstream acts such as Common and the Roots and the current generation of underground indie rappers, artists such as Fathom 9, MOS, and especially Kontrast gave plenty of evidence that there's more to Memphis rap than Three 6 Mafia and Yo Gotti.
The Iron Mic Coalition is worth the trip alone, but there are plenty of other acts scheduled for this "anti-pop culture festival," including True Head Camp, The Orange Minute, Issen, Care, Go, A Trio, and others. Visual art and spoken-word will also be part of the event scheduled to run from 2 to 10 p.m.
Then, on April 20th, the Shell heats up again for an all-day set of diverse locals acts organized by Young Avenue Sound. The much-hyped hip-hop-rock-soul hybrid band Free Sol will perform on the day their debut, 11:11, is set for release, and the show will close with a performance by the rap duo Tunnel Clones, who have been working with Memphix DJ Redeye Jedi. The Tunnel Clones' last show at the Hi-Tone CafÇ a couple of months ago was a well-attended blast that further hinted at the development of an alternative hip-hop scene in Memphis. Other bands scheduled for the Tuesday show: Yes No Maybe, Just Us, Mrs. Fletcher, Proto, SJ Tucker, Mr. Del, Chosen View, Cody Smith, Deep Shag, and The Pirates. The event is scheduled to run from noon to 9 p.m. -- Chris Herrington