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Lil Wayne will join Memphis rappers at BSMF

MEMPHIS - The annual period of curiosity surrounding the Beale Street Music Festival has come to an end as the 2020 artist line-up has been released. Memphis artists Young Dolph, Moneybagg Yo and members of Three 6 Mafia will perform, adding local excitement to big-name artists Lil Wayne and The Lumineers.

The Lumineers are a successful rock band known for their 2012 Billboard hit "Ho Hey." Lil Wayne has been an icon in the hip-hop genre since the late 90's and released his latest album "Funeral" January 31.

Both Lil Wayne and The Lumineers have spent time atop Billboard's Top 100 Songs, and will be joined by classic bands Weezer and The Smashing Pumpkins. Despite the big names, local musicians have concert-goers enthused for the event as well.

"I've been to music fest twice, I'm really excited for Dolph and Moneybagg," said Addison Harris, junior health studies major. "They're way better than mainstream rappers, I just vibe with it better and love the Memphis references."

Young Dolph is a Memphis native, who's most recent work was a collaboration album "Dum and Dummer" with fellow Memphian Key Glock. Young Dolph has performed in Memphis on numerous occasions, including Memphis Madness this year at the FedExForum.

Local artists are often supported simply for representing the city, and Three 6 Mafia helped introduce the country to Memphis-based hip-hop in 2006, winning an Oscar for Best Original Song. The hip-hop culture in Memphis is unique and alive during Beale Street Music Festival (BSMF), according to Harris.

"I like the big artists, my boyfriend Eli loves Lil Wayne," said Harris. "But, you just don't get the Memphis in it."

Harris said that she has been to BSMF twice and will continue going annually. She has gone to the festival with her friend Stephanie Chapman, a junior health studies major, who has a bit more experience with the event.

Chapman has gone to BSMF every year since she was 15. She said she recognizes many differences between BSMF and other festivals such as Bonnaroo (Manchester, Tennessee) or Lollapalooza (Chicago).

"I like the environment because it is very laid back," said Chapman. "It's not as big as Bonnaroo, but it's a vibe and an experience. I like supporting the city of Memphis."

Chapman said one of her favorite parts of the festival is laying by the jazz tent, an experience that cannot be replicated at other festivals. Chapman was also correct in noting that the festival supports the city in a significant way.

According to Memphis in May's official webpage, more than $149 million was brought to the Memphis community during the 2019 festival, and it generated $4.6 million in tax revenue for the city.

"Beale Street Music Festival always prominently features Memphis artists and this year is no exception," said Memphis in May CEO James L. Holt in a press release. "With Three 6 Mafia, Moneybagg Yo, Young Dolph, Mavis Staples, Project Pat, Al Kapone, Lil Wyte, Amy LaVere and many more.”

BSMF is cheaper than most other festivals with a full, three-day pass to attend the events in Tom Lee Park, costing $145. A full-festival pass to Bonnaroo this year will cost $319, according to their website.

The festival represents the uniqueness of Memphis, according to Chapman. While big names and big money will be in the Bluff City, the Bluff City and its people will be the center of attention.

A full list of performing artists can be found on the Memphis in May website. The festival will take place May 1 through May 3, 2020.

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