The Audubon Sessions: PreauXX

an african american male professor performing and singing into a microphone on stage
PreauXX, musician

On Friday, Nov. 13th, PreauXX (pronounced "Pro”) performed for roughly 50 students, faculty, and Memphians at Elvis’ original Memphis home. This was part of the Mike Curb Institute’s The Audubon Sessions concert series. Each month or so, they host local and national artists to interview and perform in front of an intimate crowd primarily composed of students. All this happens in one of the coolest venues in Memphis.

After the success of “Heartbreak Hotel,” Elvis Presley bought the house on Audubon Drive in 1956, living there with his parents more than a year before moving to Graceland. The house itself is amazing. The walls are covered in photos of Elvis at the time of his ownership of the house, and you can even see where he wrote his name on the wall. Unlike museums such as Graceland, nothing at this house was off limits.

John Bass, Director of the Mike Curb Institute, began the show by acquainting us with the house and the program at large. Finally, he introduced us to PreauXX and the two interviewers, Ashley Dill ’17 and Dr. Charles Hughes. PreauXX, who grew up in Memphis, dropped out of U of M to pursue a career in rap only a few years ago. He cited Kanye West as his initial inspiration, with Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper as new influences.

Once the music started, it was easy to see why. His lyrics were just as poignant and catchy as Chances the Rapper’s, and he sampled “Money Trees” on his song “Whatevers.” The first half of the performance the crowd remained seated, unsure what to do as PreauXX dominated the stage. Soon, however, he encouraged us to stand up, and the party really started. He had us jumping up and down and embracing the music that is truly Memphis.

After the show, refreshments were served and PreauXX mingled throughout the crowd. The entire night was amazing, and a must-do for any Rhodes student. Keep an eye out for the PreauXX episode of the The Audubon Sessions web series (filmed and produced in part by Rhodes students!), as well as the next edition of The Audubon Sessions.

By Sam Clark ’17

Reprinted with permission from The Sou’wester, Vol.99, No. 11

Photo by Sam Clark ’17