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Burn Movie Review

Sizzlingly Odd
In his debut feature, writer/director Mike Gan has created a small film that, if there's justice, will attain a cult-like status. "Burn" takes place in the course of one evening and entirely within the confines of a rural, out-of-the-way gas station shop.
It's the kind of place that loners might wander into for a hot cup of coffee at 3am. Obviously this is not a big budget film, but Gan squeezes an awful lot of goodness out of it. Maybe we should call it badness.

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Young Dolph/Key Glock - Dum and Dummer Music Album Reviews

Independent rap vet Young Dolph trades bars with fellow Memphis native Key Glock on an album that channels the city’s iconic sound.

In a rap industry kudzu’d with major-label plants, Memphis native Young Dolph has somehow remained a true independent. The man born Adolph Thornton, Jr. is now more than a dozen mixtapes, studio albums, and EPs deep into his rap career, almost all of it released and distributed by his own Paper Route Empire label.


Fellow Memphis rapper Key Glock, meanwhile, has just three mixtapes to his name. He is younger, and his solo work doesn’t announce itself with the same authority as Dolph’s. Nevertheless, he’s a dependable sidekick, and on Dum and Dummer he trades bars with his elder about the weight of their chains and their weed consumption. There’s not much else going on in Dum and Dummer, but there doesn’t need to be: Their shared charisma is enough.

All the beats are courtesy of producer BandPlay, who adds new colors to Dolph’s palette. There are stabbing, Psycho-like strings on “If I Ever,” and the looping guitars on “1 Hell of a Life” scream “Lil Peep / XXXTentacion Type Beat.” Dolph’s songwriting range has expanded along with his sound, allowing darkness to creep in at the edges. On “Black Locs,” he raps about wearing the eponymous shades so he “can’t see nobody” and taking drugs to “hide the pain that’s inside.”

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Key’s six solo tracks are a younger man’s songs, Dolph’s endlessly listenable drawl replaced by rhymes that are clearer in delivery but simpler in construction. Most of Key’s songs are celebrations of himself—“Like Key” is about how “there ain’t another like me”—but his more emotionally inflected songs, like “Monster,” don’t reach Dolph’s depths of self-loathing and despair. Instead, they are classic bootstraps parables: “I came out the slums, I’m the one that made it happen/Now I’m gettin’ back ends, I used to get them bags in.”

It’s that same self-sufficiency that built Memphis rap and made it so appealing to outsiders. Because West Tennessee was ignored by the industry for so long, it became—like Houston, New Orleans, and pretty much every other major metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States—its own alternate universe, one that Three 6 Mafia and associates assembled out of Satanic verses, clouds of weed smoke, and horror-movie soundtracks.

Dolph and Glock place themselves in the lineage of Southern rap greats—on opening track “III,” they readily compare themselves to UGK and Three 6—but their music is classic, not nostalgic. The duo doesn’t need to plunder samples from rare Kingpin Skinny Pimp songs to evoke the aura of the 901; the city and its iconic sound is in their veins.


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