The video for Drake's "Worst Behavior," starring his dad, Dennis Graham, and set in his dad's hometown, Memphis, makes full use of the city's status as a capitol of American music. From "Flip, Flop & Fly," the R&B standard that kicks off the 10-minute clip, to the Three 6 Mafia cameo in the comic interlude in the middle, to the stroll down Beale Street that closes the clip, the city's proud, tuneful history is a major theme. Here's a selected catalog of music referenced in the video.
"Flip, Flop & Fly," Big Joe Turner
Drake’s dad himself is a piece of music history. He worked for both Sun and Hi Records, writing for Al Green and playing drums for Jerry Lee Lewis. He opens the video in Willie Mitchell's Royal Studios in Memphis, singing a rendition of Big Joe Turner's blues standard, “Flip, Flop & Fly." The video's director, Director X describes the backing band, which includes the legendary Mabon "Teenie" Hodges on guitar, as Drake's "family." The scene sets the stage for a video filled with allusions to a more soulful time.
Call Me, Al Green
Let's Stay Together, Al Green
I'm Still in Love With You, Al Green
During the opening scene, we get a great look inside the famous Royal Studios. The cameras pan across a wall adorned with the gold plaques awarded for Willie Mitchell produced Al Green albums like Call Me, Let's Stay Together, and I'm Still in Love With You—just a small sample of what Hi Records and Royal Studios contributed to rhythm-and-blues culture.
"I Can't Take It," Otis Clay
"I Want Someone," Mad Lads
A collection of vintage recording tapes are visible, the most legibly labelled from the Mad Lads and Otis Clay.
"Take Me to the River," Syl Johnson
"I Can't Stand the Rain," Ann Peebles
"A Nickel and a Nail," OV Wright
Memphis was the Southern hub for music in the '50s, '60s, and '70s, launching the careers of Elvis, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, and Al Green, among many others. We have Royal Studios to thank for quintessential soul songs like Syl Johnson’s “Take Me to the River,” Ann Peebles' “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” O.V. Wright’s “A Nickel and a Nail,” and Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together" (again, among numerous others). The studios served as the main workshop for Hi Records, which continued in the tradition of Sun Records and Stax Records had established to solidify Memphis' place in the national music scene.
"Groovin'," Willie Mitchell
"The Horse," Willie Mitchell
"Grazing in the Grass," Willie Mitchell
Today we celebrate super producers like Rick Rubin, Pharrell, and Timbaland. But in the '70s, there were people like Willie Mitchell behind the music. Mitchell developed a sound with Hi Records—warm organs and horns embellishing in-the-pocket blues vamps—that still influences music today. Along with producing for others, he wrote and recorded instrumental music under his own name. (Some of these records have been sampled and used to make classic rap records.) Mitchell's face is portrayed in a picture inside the studio and a mural outside.
"River Deep, Mountain High," Ike and Tina Turner
"Rocket 88," Jackie Brenston
The video shifts focus to the outside of the studio showing a mural of famous soul singer Tina Turner. With her husband Ike Turner, Tina was an integral part of the Memphis music scene in the '60s and '70s. Back in 1951, Ike Turner wrote and recorded “Rocket 88,” often called the very first rock 'n’ roll song, under the pseudonym "Jackie Brenston."
"Try Something," Three 6 Mafia
"Drive By," Three 6 Mafia
"Where Da Killaz Hang," Three 6 Mafia
A little deeper in the video, the music stops and a skit starts. OVO Crew members O.B. and Ryan get the pleasure of talking to modern Memphis royalty, Project Pat and Juicy J. Before Juicy’s solo career, Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat were titans of the Memphis music scene, and, as O.B. suggests, they loved shootin’ dice.
"Just Like Candy," 8Ball & MJG
"Stay Fly," Three 6 Mafia
The video reaches its climax downtown on Beale Street. Look closely and you’ll see Memphis rap veteran MJG, one half of the duo 8Ball & MJG. 8Ball & MJG guested on Three 6 Mafia's 2005 “Stay Fly,” the biggest hit for both groups, and a contemporary Memphis classic.
"Beale Street Blues," Louis Armstrong
"Beale Street Mama," Cab Calloway
>Lit by the neon signage of of its bars and blues-joints, Beale Street has been immortalized in songs “Beale Street Blues” by W.C. Handy and “Beale Street Mama” by Cab Calloway.
"The Thrill Is Gone," B.B. King
"I Believe to My Soul," B.B. King
When Drake and the crew take their venture downtown, you can see the sign for B.B. King's Beale Street Blues joint. B.B. King has long been a part of the Memphis blues scene and now has his own place to play night in and night out. Elvis is not the only king in Memphis.