Nothing Is "Better Than" T2 the Ghetto Hippie's New Single
The Ghetto Hippie performing at Walters, 2015
Photo by Francisco Montes
Any conversation with T2 The Ghetto Hippie operates in the same vein of a movie script. He’ll play protagonist but also operate as narrator, side character, comic relief and more. On a random night, he’ll recall the night he sat up and realized he had a song with Z-Ro on the radio (“Surreal!”). On another, he’ll ash out a blunt, exhale and then begin whipping up a tale of how Roosh Williams got his nickname and who presented themselves as the most morally upstanding on tour. Or how his living time in England and overseas helped him perfect the art of rolling a blunt where no seeds spilled out and everyone was satisfied. A self-professed “Roll-fessional."
The Hippie, as it seems, is as off-kilter as one may find within a Houston rapper. He befriended Kyle Hubbard long before national rap outlets called him a hipster. He cranked out a masterwork of a project with Trakksounds in A South West Side Story. Yet as he can slice open a cigar, dump out the guts and replace them with his own brand, he’ll look outward for something more.
“I’m not a traditional rapper,” he tells me through email. “In fact, I don’t label myself a rapper at all.”
It’s outlier speak, that of a man who makes music primarily through rhyme declaring that he doesn’t position himself in the same box as his contemporaries. Trust, we went through a similar situation with Jeezy and a host of other non-rappers who actually were rappers. Only it’s not an act with T2. He believes every single word he says about not being in any part traditional or boxed in.
“I've chased the concept of making great art as opposed to chasing what's trending and popping,” he says. “I’m grateful for the creative zone that has taken me too. I really and truly love all the music I’m making now. I can write great trap hooks that would sound dope with some auto tune. I just prefer to do exactly what I want. Not what the radio wants. I like making music I would regularly listen to.”
Does it get better than this for T2 The Ghetto Hippie?
He feels as much. His brand-new song, “Better Than,” is getting the world premiere treatment via yours truly. It’s produced by Trakksounds and features Hood Politician and Houston rap everyman DeLorean. You can stream it in full below. “Better Than” serves as the first single from T2’s upcoming Double Cups & Taco Trucks album. He can calmly laugh about all of this now all because of a renewed focus on his own material.
“I thought it was a great record to start the rollout of all my new material, which I know is really going to help me solidify my sound and my place as an artist,” T2 told us. “Plus, Delo is one of the best, and one of the most underrated artists in the city. I love making and releasing music with people I am genuinely a fan of. When it comes together organically like this one did, you actually get excited about sharing the material. I have a line about The Suffers in the first verse that I love too.”
On “Better Than,” T2 riffs through a number of cloud-like dreams and aspirations. He wants to ask Ellen questions about global warming while setting the world on fire like The Suffers on Letterman. Trakksounds obliges him and DeLorean with his usual piano-boy melody and attaches aggressive drums and hand claps. “My concepts got them trippin', but one day they’ll get it,” T2 raps. There’s confession attached to his words, a snake-like wind-up that crushes it when any bit of excitement hitches within his voice. DeLo, his voice as tuned as a 454 engine bats clean-up. “I’m getting to it, swear to God I’m getting to it!”
Double Cups & Taco Trucks doesn’t have a set release date, but it varies heavily from what A South West Side Story accomplished. From melody to content, production to features, T2 leaned even more on TrakkSounds and local kingpin Chris Rockaway to further allocate wide, spacious sounds for him to sit behind the wheel on. It’s a worldly rap album, whereas A South West Side Story was insular and curated specifically for Houston and Houston proper. A story that took place within the city and is confined within the city has its own je ne sais quoi to it. Explain it to somebody not from Houston, and that person wouldn’t get it. Someone who lives here, breathes here and rides around here? They’d fall in love with it every single time.
T2 even speaks of his new project as if it's a living being. “It's about connection with people all over the world through music,” he says. “I wanted to show the ghetto side of the 'Ghetto Hippie' more on A South West Side. This is more the hippie side. The content drives much deeper than just codeine and Mexican food. 'Better Than' doesn’t even scratch the surface in that sense.”
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