Lucas Foster got a cottage in the islands.
Memphis has moments where he flashes an ability to reimagine auto-tune between snares, claps and synthesizers. It’s a talent that very few artists promise to explore, the discomfort of toying with the medium’s saturated conventions is intimidating enough, and perhaps more than what listeners ask of pop artists. It’s appropriate then some tracks on Memph & OJ pull from the same well as much of Beautiful Thugger Girls. “Flowers” is a joyous and soaring sensation unrestricted by rap conventions, with Fifty Grand, elevated by Memphis’ flirtations with pop royalty, playing Millie Go Lightly.
But his latest release’ finest moment is “Kick Back,” which is not so much a song as an exhortation. He takes the swirling, constant NASA melodies of Daniel Hartzog and David Morse to a new plane, urging you higher and higher, peaking in verses where his rhyme structure is dependent on him switching octaves at the end of each bar.
There aren’t many pop artists working that are this bold.