Interviewing rappers usually requires permeating layers of publicists, childhood friends, and occasionally lawyers, but Eightball, one-half of celebrated Memphis duo Eightball & MJG, answers his cell phone immediately as I arrive in his hometown, and half an hour later, he pulls up in front of my hotel in his own black Hummer. Not one of those smaller, eco-friendlier Hummers, either—the full-on, "let's exhume some dinosaurs" 2005 model. On our way to their studio, we pass through Orange Mound, the largely black neighborhood, built on a plantation, where the pair grew up. A giant neon Kellogg's sign presides over the local plant. "On the weekends, you could smell the cereal," Eightball remembers in his generous baritone, noting that the odor was preferable to that of the nearby dog-food factory: "That smelled like somebody was... More >>>