Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and, albeit sometimes awkwardly, tie it to a bit of Houston rap. You can five videos and occasional cussing. Send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back in November of last year, we co-signed the dopeness of rapper Kyle Hubbard, a self-admitted "dorky, four-eyed white kid," proclaiming him the Rocks Off Artist of the Week. Hubbard, as you can see in the above picture, doesn't exactly have the prototypical "rapper" look - his glasses aren't even for show, they serve a functional purpose - but an argument against his seemingly effortless ability to craft fluid bars would be little more than dubious. And apparently, renowned hip-hopper DJ Vlad, who's received various awards from MTV, Vibe, XXL and a slew of others, thinks the same, as we got an email this morning informing us that Hubbard will soon be releasing an official DJ Vlad-hosted mixtape. Hubbard confirmed, saying "This is the biggest stage I have had the opportunity to perform on, and nobody breathing knows if I will ever have this chance again."
The co-sign really is a grand achievement, particularly in a market saturated so heavily that it's damn near impossible to gain recognition on talent alone, and we're excited to hear the album. But more than that, we're pumped to see that by us making him Artist of the Week he was able to achieve such a grand success. Surely Vlad is a regularly reader of the Artist of the Week, saw our pick, trusted our judgment, and then reached out to Hubbard. Actually, Hubbard mentioned something about working hard and persistence and being the recipient of some good fortune but whatever, dream big, kids. To get you amped up to hear the forthcoming tape, Hubbard agreed to pass along five MP3s for you to hang out with your wang out to. (Our words, not his.) Enjoy.
This is a nice example of Hubbard's ability to bend his voice to whichever pitch his production calls for. At times, it's bigger than you could rightfully expect, while at others it shrinks down to a quick-paced pant.
This one is a bit of a conundrum for us. It's like, on one hand, any song that makes use of the phrase "I'm like, really?" is aces in our book. But on the other hand, anybody that says they love a Paul Wall song is not. You make your own call. Oh, and by the way, that new Paul Wall album was surprisingly not all gawdawful. Check it out if you can, but don't make it a point to do so.
"Chelsea's Kitchen": Yes. That's a banjo you hear in the background.
A peak into the forthcoming album. Very promising remix. As much as we'd like to say otherwise, we totally fall for the I'll Take A Clubby Song Most Would've Described As Utterly Wack And Put An Extra Bass Kick In And Then Rap Over It trick. Slim Thug did it and we loved it. (The Z-Ro verse on it was right proper.) Even the deplorable Flo-Rida baited us with it. If anyone ever makes a rap song using "Lights" by Journey, we will absolutely crap our pants.
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This was the one song from Hub* that felt instantly catchy. Lotta fun to listen to. Hubbard described it by saying "I found myself a catchy beat, picked the most shallow topic I could think of, and set out to make a hip-pop song with depth." The thing with catchy songs though, is that a month after hearing it you can only either completely hate it or completely love it. Remember Three 6 Mafia's "Sippin On Syrup"? It was absurdly catchy when it first came out. You heard it everywhere. But don't you just wanna start punching shit any time you hear it now? Hopefully this one doesn't wander that direction.(* That's our official nickname for Hubbard now. If/when he gets even more famous, he'll get another nickname on top of that. You can always tell how famous a rapper is by how many nicknames their nicknames have. Sean Carter = Jay-Z = Jay = Hova = Jigga Man = Jigga. It's a weird place, the rap game.)