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November 17, 2021 was one of the darkest days in hip hop. This was the day rapper and record label executive Young Dolph was gunned down in his hometown of Memphis. The autopsy report found that 22 shots went through him that day in a premeditated attack. The hip hop world was devastated. Not only was Young Dolph a revered and respected artist but he was also leader of the Paper Route Empire label and a role model to all of his artists on PRE. At one point, he even turned down a $22 million dollar deal so his artists could maintain ownership over their masters. Dolph’s younger cousin and most successful protégé, Markeyvius Cathey (aka Key Glock) pledged to continue the mission he started with the PRE team. Thus was beginning of Key Glock’s ascent to the title of the new King of Memphis.

After a brief hiatus to process Young Dolph’s passing and contemplate next moves, Key Glock released the song and an accompanying video for “Proud” on January 17, 2022: a dedication to Young Dolph and a promise to carry the torch for PRE. Kenny Muney, another artist on PRE, similarly released his own dedication to Dolph, “Role Model” on January 20, 2022. Both songs can be found on PRE’s compilation album “Long Live Dolph”. A month later, Key Glock announced the Yellow Tape Tour: a 33-date tour spanning the nation, with Kenny Muney also on the bill. When I saw that they were making a few stops in Southern California, I knew I had to see one of them. On May 4, 2022, I caught the sold-out show at The Observatory OC in Santa Ana, CA.  

First up was Kenny Muney. The 24-year-old rapper took the stage in a commanding fashion. While I wasn’t too familiar with his music, the fans in the building definitely were. He pumped up the crowd with bangers like “Low Key”, “Role Model”, and “Narcos”. At one point, he even jumped into the photo pit and sent all the photographers including myself scattering like little mice. He got the crowd loose and ready for the main act. As Kenny Muney wrapped up his set, the lights in the venue went dark as anticipation grew for Key Glock.

After a short wait, Key Glock made his appearance. To thunderous songs like “Gang Shit No Lame Shit”, “Ambitions For Cash”, “Dough”, and “Pain Killers”, Key Glock took the fans on a roller coaster ride of emotions. He covered every base: high energy mosh pits, celebratory dancing, and a very emotional stretch dedicated to Young Dolph. He played songs off of his “Dum & Dummer” and “Dum & Dummer 2” collaboration projects with Dolph. The DJ spun Dolph’s verses as the crowd rapped along word-for-word. Dolph’s presence was very much felt in the venue; it became abundantly clear that none of this would have ever been possible if it weren’t for Dolph.

The Yellow Tape Tour is not just another run to promote the Yellow Tape 2 album. It’s much more than that. It represents the passing of the torch from Young Dolph to Key Glock. And Key Glock has risen to the occasion. He’s no stranger to overcoming adversity; he grew up with an absentee father, lost a mother to the prison system for 15 years, and has now lost his mentor to gun violence in the streets. Despite it all, he has channeled his energy into his music and into building PRE. You can’t help but root for him. He’s soon to be the new King of Memphis and heir to Paper Route Entertainment. It doesn’t seem like anything can stop him. Check him out if he’s in a city near you. You won’t regret it.


Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

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