Rapping in Memory of OG LumpLump with the Trap Mob and Big Gwalla @Trap_Mob1


The South Memphis rap group known as the Trap Mob is a popular featured group at the annual Tate Street Block Party each June, but they only rarely perform in Memphis, so when I heard that they were sponsoring a rap show at God’s Sons Motorcycle Club on Crump Boulevard in South Memphis, I decided to attend. Unfortunately, the occasion was a sad one, as the concert was being held in memory of a recently-murdered South Memphis youth called O.G. Lumplump, and many of those who came were wearing shirts in his honor, including one worn by a young man which read “You will live on through me.” Despite the somber reason for the event, the concert proved to be upbeat and raucous, with a standing room only crowd. The Trap Mob performed several of their bigger songs, including “You Ain’t Straight” and “Ain’t No N_gga”, and I was also pleasantly surprised by an artist I wasn’t familiar with, Big Gwalla, who performed his single “One of Me.” What wasn’t cool was the series of confrontations between different neighborhoods that kept breaking out during the evening. Nothing really got out of hand, but it was all somewhat annoying nonetheless. A few miles down Lamar Avenue at another motorcycle club where a party was going on, things didn’t end quite as well. A fight broke out which led to people leaving, and as they were leaving, shots rang out, striking a young man. Whether it was related to the conflicts that had broken out at our event was never determined.




The Money Wasters Second Line and the @TBC_BrassBand

Second-lines always seem to start with a feeling of exuberance. The beat of the music and the excitement of starting on a journey that will pass through different neighborhoods and which will lead to meetings with other clubs has a lot to do with the joyfulness I feel at the start of a second-line, and this one had a fairly large crowd of participants, and was being led by my favorite brass band, the TBC. But from time to time, people would hold up signs against violence, a stark reminder of the tragedy only a few weeks ago when a second-line was broken up by a violent shooting on Mothers’ Day. 19 people were wounded, including a second-line activist and journalist named Deborah “Big Red” Cotton, who had done so much to document the second-lining culture and to promote understanding of it by those from the outside. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting any kind of repeat of the violence on this particular day, but the signs reminded us of what had happened, like a cloud passing over the sun. Otherwise, we might have gone on our merry way with the music, and the sunshine, and the vendors and dancing, and never recalled the innocent victims from just a few weeks ago. Such are the hazards of pleasures.

The 4th Annual Orange Mound Block Party was held Saturday July 30 at Lewis-Davis Park at Pendleton and Deadrick, right next to Melrose High School in the heart of Memphis’ Orange Mound neighborhood. It was a beautiful day, but hot, and ultimately a day that should have been fun for everybody turned tragic because of a string of fights and a shooting. It’s really sad, and all the more since the city will undoubtedly use what happened today as an excuse to not allow the event next year. 

The 4th Annual Orange Mound Block Party was held Saturday July 30 at Lewis-Davis Park at Pendleton and Deadrick, right next to Melrose High School in the heart of Memphis’ Orange Mound neighborhood. It was a beautiful day, but hot, and ultimately a day that should have been fun for everybody turned tragic because of a string of fights and a shooting. It’s really sad, and all the more since the city will undoubtedly use what happened today as an excuse to not allow the event next year.