Malik Thuston Cox
, better known by his rap persona
of Memphis Bleek
, is a New York rapper
currently signed to Roc-A-Fella Records
. Memphis Bleek also runs his own label, Get Low Records
, which he founded in 1998.
Memphis Bleek was one of the first artists signed to Roc-A-Fella Records
, as protege to long time friend and mentor, Jay-Z
. He appeared on the Jay-Z Albums Reasonable Doubt
, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1
, and Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life
. Bleeks first official appearance was Coming of Age from Reasonable Doubt. Jay-Z actually wrote his verses. After the huge success of the multi-platinum Hard Knock Life album and exposure of the Roc-A-Fella camp, (a Memphis Bleek track off the aforementioned Jay-Z album, "It's Alright", actually charted on Billboard), the label released Memphis Bleek's debut album, Coming of Age
. The album was the weeks Hot Shot Debut on the Billboard 200, peaking at #7 with 118,000 units sold in its first week.
He has released 3 more albums since his debut, The Understanding went Gold, while M.A.D.E. and 534 failed to garner any plaques. In between the release of The Understanding and M.A.D.E., he took a three year hiatus, in which time he took care of his older brother, who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. There are three significant notes to take away from the album 534, which was named after the building number where Memphis and Jay-Z grew up in the Marcy Projects. First, it was the first release from the "new" Roc-A-Fella Records, referring to Jay-Z becoming President of Def Jam. It was also the first official Def Jam recording by label mate turned international star, Rihanna, on the song "One". And lastly, this album marks where Jay-Z released his first song since beginning his brief "retirement". The song was called "Dear Summer", in reference to what Jay called the time of the year when he would drop a classic album or single every year for 8 straight years, and how he had to metaphorically leave "her", Summer.
His singles chart status has not proved to be as impressive, as much of his following being with Hip-Hop listeners following Jay-Z and the record Label, and not commercial singles success. His highest charting single was "Is That Yo Chick", Featuring Missy Elliot and Jay-Z, which peaked at #7 on the Hot Rap Singles Billboard Chart, and only one of two songs by the artist to crack the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #68, and the only track to appear on one of his solo albums. The other single being "It's Alright", appearing on the Hard Knock Life album by Jay-Z, peaking at #61 on the Billboard Hot 100. He has had countless collaborations with fellow hip-hop artists such as DMX, Ja Rule, T.I., and Trick Daddy, with many of the features coming with other Roc-A-Fella artists, including Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Cam'ron, Amil, Young Gunz, and of course Jay-Z.
The Process (2008)
In fall 2005, Memphis Bleek told MTV.com that he was recording an album that should be released in early 2006 featuring such artists as upcoming R&B singer Coya. He is thinking of naming his next album The Process
, and this would effectively be a make or break album. In an interview for MTV he said:
"I want to do an album that's through the roof," he said about his next project. "I want to do a classic album. I feel that if this album I'm not recording is a classic, I'm not even gonna put it out. I have to do it bigger than anybody has ever done it. I have to make a good record this time, not just talking-junk records. It has to be deep. I want people to pick my album up and learn something." The interview also said that Diddy and singer Gerald Levart both have hits for the rapper.
In 2002, Memphis Bleek made his acting debut in the film State Property
. He played the role of Blizz. A year later, he was featured in the film, Paper Soldiers
- "It's Alright" - Released: July, 21, 1998
- "Memphis Bleek Is..." - Released: June, 08, 1999
- "My Hood To Your Hood" - Released: August, 10, 1999
- "What You Think of That" - Released: January, 25, 2000
- "Is That Your Chick?" - Released: September, 12, 2000
- "Do My..." - Released: February, 13, 2001
- "Need Me in Your Life/We Ballin'" - Released: September, 16, 2003
- "Round Here" - Released: November, 25, 2003
- "Like That" - Released: March, 29, 2005
- "Infatuated" - Released: May, 24, 2005
- "One/First, Last and Only/Smoke the Pain Away" - Released: July, 19, 2005