10 New Houston Rappers to Watch Out For

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 5 years ago '04        #1
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justinjones 307 heat pts307
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10 New Houston Rappers to Watch Out For
 

 
Delo

Twitter: @iamDelorean

Pros: Has earned the support of other would-be (soon-to-be) stars like Big K.R.I.T.

Cons: Can he make the single that will break him?

Essential Listening: Hood Politics 2

Delo is perhaps the most pragmatic rapper of the bunch. The power of his writing is multiplied exponentially when you realize that there are no flourishes or tricks involved; it is, quite simply, him talking, and implying so much more (The best: on "Ghetto Boy," where he surmised his existence by stating he was only ever "looking for the Raid in the back of that kitchen drawer").

He is ferocious live performer (at his last sold out show he rapped himself into a stupor, nearly fainting from exhaustion at the end of it), a sturdy songwriter, and, in addition to earning the trust and admiration of the new generation. Plus he has received cosigns from Houston rap kings Bun B, Slim Thug, and more.

Doughbeezy

Twitter: @doughbeezy

Pros: Affable, clever, thoroughly marketable.

Cons: He gets a haircut every single day. That's probably bad somehow.

Essential Listening: Blue Magic

Nobody in Houston has shown a better understanding that it takes more than just rapping to be a rapper than Doughbeezy, which is why few have been able to match his pace since he emerged in 2011. He has garnered a greater buzz than just about everybody in Houston not named Kirko Bangz since that time.

He is unstoppably charming and devastatingly talented, and is at his very best when he culls the entirety of his character into dynamic light speed bursts of lyricism. A few months before his first proper mixtape came out, he performed at an open mic rap battle event. There were hundreds of people there, most of whom were other aspiring rappers and aspiring rapper hangers-on, and he managed to make it to the final rap battle against two or three other guys.

Dustin Prestige

Twitter: @dustinprestige

Pros: He might've accidentally invented a subgenre of rap (most aptly described as "Plaid Rap," were we to guess).

Cons: He doesn't have the backing of anyone terribly important yet.

Essential Listening: Plaid

Dustin-Prestige is a "rapper," but it hardly ever feels accurate to describe him solely as that. On Plaid, his most recent tape (among the best underground releases of 2012), he plays the role of rapper, shoegaze indie rocker, pop star and, somehow, reggae singer.

While that sort of one man variety show generally alludes to an artist that hasn't yet found what he's best at, Prestige seems to traverse different genres with a natural ease, confidence, and ability. His flow is an unfettered stream of cool, regardless of what he decides to do, and he wields it without care for boundaries.

Fat Tony

Twitter: @FatTonyRap

Pros: Already has a devout following and a proper e-buzz.

Cons: Isn't actually fat.

Essential Listening: RABDARGAB

Over the past few years, Fat Tony has gotten a surer grip on the slippery arm of Internet buzz than most artists on this list. And he has leveraged that coverage (Complex, Pitchfork, NahRight, Vice, any of the other sites that are rap-important, etc.) into a record deal (Young One records) and a collection of equally talented allies that stretches from Bun B to Danny Brown.

His inherent charm and freewheeling stream-of-thought rap style has earned him an undeniable reputation in Texas. And he has a new album out this summer (spoiler: it's the t*ts). It's not unreasonable to a.ssume that he could be the next one up.
Kab Tha Don

Twitter: @KabThaDon

Pros: Is built like a fu-king Buick with arms and legs, which is important if you're going to a gangster rapper.

Cons: Will occasionally get swallowed up for a month or few by various correctional facilities.

Essential Listening: Bully on the Beat

Kab Tha Don was hand carved by God to play the role of southern rap tough guy. He is big and intimidating. He has a mouth full of gold teeth. He yells a large majority of what he raps. And his flow has built in moments of silence that punctuate each bar that, in concert, allows for the crowd to respond to with that big, beautiful, exciting HUHHHH! sound.

Scene: Kab: [Rapping] "Still tippin', I'm addicted to medicine/Forgot what I was sipping 'cuz I didn't check the measurement!" Crowd: HUHHHH! Kab: [Rapping] "I keep the snub [nosed shotgun], it don't leave evidence/Pistol grip, with a scope, that sh-t look decorative!" Crowd: HUHHHH!

It can't be overstated how much fun it is to engage in that as part of the crowd. And it can't be overstated how impressive it is for someone to be able to materialize that sort of moment out of empty air.

44 comments for "10 New Houston Rappers to Watch Out For"

 5 years ago '04        #2
justinjones 307 heat pts307 OP
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[video - click to view]

Le$

Twitter: @Settle4Les

Pros: Is growing up under the tutelage of Slim Thug, who figured out how to achieve national recognition several years ago.

Cons: Can putting out A LOT of music be a con? If it is, do people call that "Lil B-ing"?

Essential Listening: Settle for Le$ Vol. 2

Settle 4 Le$ is maybe the most advanced of his Boss Hogg Outlaw brethren. He is the fluid combination of pot rap and new era thug rap, a likably earnest emcee concerned with little more than entertaining his two main vices (weed and women, but sometimes occasionally women and then weed). He has flashed bits of brilliance within the aggressive fu*k YOU sphere that Slim Thug populates, but more often he has proven his worth floating around in outer space alongside horns and trumpets.

He has released a constant stream of enjoyable mixtapes (he's basically perfected the steps required for him to make music, and he's at somewhere near 4000 verses for the year already), but his crowning work is Settle 4 Le$ Vol. 2, in which he stitched together all of the best parts of his being. Le$ is the warm sun on the face, that's what he is.

[video - click to view]

Propain

Twitter: @Propain713

Pros: Disproportionately passionate.

Cons: Has not put a new album mixtape since late 2011, which is like a million Internet years (his new album is supposed to here this summer).

Essential Listening: Dangerous Minds

Propain exists solely to keep angst and anger company, probably. He is brooding and menacing and perpetually upset with EVERYTHING (fu*k you, rap, fu*k you, politics, fu*k you, stationary equipment, [grumble, growl, grumble] is how his Twitter account plays). There are definitely other rappers that operate in that manner, but few are capable of writing it all out in a more accessible, more fluid way.

Example: In "The Note," which appeared on his most recent tape, 2011's imposing Dangerous Minds, we catch him in the moments before he k!lls himself, scribbling down an exclamation for why he plans to do so. He talks himself into a froth, the structure of the verses crumbling under the weight of duress. Eventually, sentences give way to grunts and yells and metastasized fury. It's heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. And he seems to be able to conjure that same animosity in nearly any setting.


[video - click to view]

Rob Gullatte

Twitter: @RobGullatte

Pros: Is crazy.

Cons: Might actually really be crazy.

Essential Listening: Abortion: The Project

Rob Gullatte is, in no uncertain terms, an insane man. He is also, in no uncertain terms, devastatingly talented. And there is probably a correlation between the two. Gullatte is a rapping fist f!ght, his flow a stutter-stepped fury fest of meanness and resentment. There are no tricks and there are charades; he simply attempts to yank the throat out of every beat he's placed on.

The best: On the first verse of the very first song of his most recent tape, Abortion, he launches into a fully vetted attack on the universe, chastising it for placing a curse on his family. He explains how the realization of inevitable failure came to him while sitting at a bus stop, how it folded him over into two.

You can hear the tears in his eyes. When asked about it, "I actually didn't even record the second verse to that song until a few days or weeks later. I broke down in the booth. I couldn't go back in there. If you listen, you can hear it happening." If you listen, you can hear it happening.

[video - click to view]

The Niceguys

Twitter: @265Nice

Pros: Consistently excellent production; Yves, the ringleader, is basically the coolest, c*ckiest guy that's ever been. DUDEBROS, HE'S A BLACK GUY NAMED YVES.

Cons: They might be living in the wrong city.

Essential Listening: James Kelley

One rapper (Yves, from New York) plus one DJ (Candlestick, from Texas) plus two producers (Free and Cristoph, also from Texas) and that's how you get The Niceguys, a group that operates in stark contrast to the traditional southern rap typography.

Over the past five or so years, they've built an emotive, brazen brand of nuevo-rap, one that's rooted in an unspoken competition between Yves and the producer duo. Last year, they got the balance exactly right and produced James Kelley, a sleeper contender for "best album that nearly everybody slept-on." It was smart and fun and interesting and fully vetted.

[video - click to view]

The Outfit, TX

Twitter: @TheOutfitTX

Pros: Sounds like a contemporary version of all your favorite southern rap groups without sounding TOO MUCH like all of your favorite southern rap groups.

Cons: Are there even actual rap groups anymore? Is this even really a con?

Essential Listening: Starships and Rockets: Cooly Fooly Space Age Funk

There was previous iteration of The Outfit, TX, a two-man team, and they were perfectly serviceable. But the current version, the three-man rotation, is positively perfect. There's JayHawk, the group's hyper-excitable rap dynamo. He leans into his country accent with a palpable vigor, his words sounding dipped in molasses.

There's Mel, the group's unstoppably likable leader. Where JayHawk's voice is acute and high-pitched, drilling its way into the base of your spine, Mel's is wide and warm and all-encompassing.

And then there's Dorian. He raps on most songs, but primarily, he serves as the group's absolutely indispensable producer. He possesses (a) a preternatural understanding of the traditional southern rap aesthetic, and (b) the ability to advance it forward, taking the traditional bump and drag and thumbing it into an ethereal, Saturn-y jaunt. Fewer things work together more perfectly.
 5 years ago '10        #3
5K Studios 4 heat pts
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Propain and Le$ the only dudes I've heard of.
 5 years ago '04        #4
nwo504 31 heat pts31
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i see that dude doughbeezy everywhere
 5 years ago '04        #5
justinjones 307 heat pts307 OP
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i heard of le$, the niceguys, doughbeezy, propain and delo(delorian).

its crazy to see le$ and doughbeezy getting recognition. i remember when i downloaded le$'s first tape because mr.rogers name was attached to it and how a couple of years ago doughbeezy was opening up for k!lla kyleon and nobody knew any of the songs. 6 months later at sxsw i see everybody knowing every song and him rapping on top of speakers
 5 years ago '04        #6
fatman 
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as a Houstonian ill say that none of em will be around by next year besides Le$, remember the hype for marcus manchild?
 5 years ago '07        #7
Playa 70 heat pts70
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It's a shame Riff Raff gets more attention
 05-10-2013, 12:39 AM         #8
Slickems 
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can you repost the list with all the hipsters and nerds taken off, don't want to sift through it myself
 5 years ago '04        #9
1MikE 9 heat pts
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reserved for later
 5 years ago '11        #10
PotheadFocker 169 heat pts169
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I heard of Fat Tony before. And Le$ of course
 5 years ago '11        #11
royman04 18 heat pts18
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Nice post the majority of these artist I hadn't heard before
 5 years ago '10        #12
Agentzer0oo0 209 heat pts209
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Been hearing about Le$ (Drum, Justin I see y'all) & Deloran for a minute. I'm feeling this Propain cat tho..
 5 years ago '07        #13
KeepinItTrill 30 heat pts30
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no Yung Quis, Pyrexx, MUG, Fame $ity or A-Dub? besides L.E.$. those are the nicest dudes coming up
 5 years ago '10        #14
Kool Aid 8 heat pts
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 justinjones said:
 5 years ago '07        #15
MiseryCityTexas 19 heat pts19
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A-Dub is str8. He's basically like a Kirko Bangs that sings about k!lling people instead of simping on hoes. Bleeda da Zookeepa is a pretty good up and coming Houston rapper also.


Last edited by MiseryCityTexas; 05-10-2013 at 07:55 AM..
 05-10-2013, 08:27 AM         #16
Sam Rothstein 
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My boy Ash going to drop that EP this summer, should have been on the list but he just being patient.


[video - click to view]

 5 years ago '09        #17
Nobles 
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I saw Doughbeezy open up before a Z-Ro/Trae concert and I was legit impressed. He had the crowd hype and for him to be a lesser artist, dude wasn't even bothered or concerned. He came out and did his thing so I keep up with him.

Good luck to all the other artists though, I've heard of em but haven't really heard them. The music of Houston and Dallas doesn't really make it to Austin all the time, gotta get the scoop from my patnas in Houston or just search hard for their music.
 5 years ago '11        #18
rbarber1234 44 heat pts44
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kab the Don looks like the fat black kid from Hook.
 5 years ago '05        #19
Rockstar718 69 heat pts69
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i've fu*ked with h-town artists for a while

looks like y'all got a nice future, some of these dudes are real talented
 5 years ago '06        #20
Special Edd 167 heat pts167
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Dont know how Maxo Kream wasnt on the list he better than anyone on it he from the swat and new mixtape bout to drop to chec him out

first single from the mixtape

[video - click to view]


other songs

[video - click to view]


[video - click to view]


[video - click to view]

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