Want to know the weirdest thing about growing up? Trying to go back and finish something you started as a kid.
There probably isn't anything more annoying and weird than watching your friends who are now parents take pictures of their kids on their first days of school. Doesn't matter the grade level, you're just going to get plastered with images of smiling faces and outfits.
Meanwhile, stepping into a college class and sitting next to an 18-year-old in the same squirmy position you were in at 18 feels like the ultimate "look in the mirror" moment you may ever have in life. In other words, I'm just as old, and no amount of Blue Ivy dancing at the VMAs will change that.
Hell, even that and her messianic mother couldn't save the show from getting its lowest ratings in years. Sunday's telecast had a 19 percent drop in viewers from 2013, which means either people really loved watching Miley Cyrus grind on Robin Thicke or music as a whole has been pretty damn mediocre in 2014.
Well, at least some of Houston's bigger names have tried, through either organic growth or sheer will.
MIXTAPE OF THE WEEK: Slim Thug; Thug Thursday 2 As he states so frankly on the opening track of Thug Thursday 2, Slim Thug has been a figure in Houston in some form or another for 15 years. That's since 1999, back when Swishahouse freestyles were nearly the norm and he broke through by hopping on Lil O's "We Ain't Broke No Mo" and Mista Madd's "Down South."
You don't need a clearer definition than that to realize that Thug Thursdays is a collection of Slim Thug freestyles, utilizing some of the hottest beats in the industry at the time, that have been released damn near every Thursday. What may separate his release pattern from others is his reach. There's no shortage of prominent names here, with Propain, DeLorean, Doughbeezy, Paul Wall, G.T. Garza, Killa Kyleon, BeatKing and Sauce Walka all making appearances.
So what details do you have to deliver in regards to what amounts to an "all flows" tape from Thugga? How many times you've hit a Thugga ad-lib in regards to listening to Thug Thursday 2.
Best Track: "Xxplosive Flow". For some reason, you'd think a Slim Thug freestyle over Dr. Dre's "Xxplosive" would already exist. Sadly, it didn't. When you stack Thugga here on everything else from Thug Thursday 2, this literally feels like those nostalgic flows he used to drop for a soundtrack to the Kappa -- so much so that the weakest line on the track is "boys nowadays act like girls."
Of course, putting the #TBT Freestyle Medley would be outright cheating, because that's all DJ Mr. Rogers making sure you remember why those Swishahouse freestyles were so damned in demand. Download Here
Kirko Bangz, "I Ain't Gotta Lie" Abraham Lincoln didn't tell a lie, and when it comes to doing his own thing, Kirko Bangz doesn't either. I don't think Kirko has ever taken a ride by his lonesome downtown and not filmed it, especially when he has to consider the thoughts of his past and his impending future. Yes, "Rich" is damn near everywhere, and that's honest Kirko.
But cocky Kirko who swears he's not going to sleep with strippers? That guy wins out in most situations.
More new Houston rap on the next page.
Just Brittany, "Something Different" In a weird way, Just Brittany's entire battle with the Houston music scene has been all about authenticity. When she makes ratchet music for the clubs and with hypersexualized tones, people nod and bounce because that's what they believe she should be doing. When she takes risks both artistically and creativity, such as on her "Blind Man" track and here with "Something Different," people scoff and shy away.
Lyrically, it takes Brittany all over the place, unable to settle for a regular man because he was too attentive (sorry, DeLorean) and left to her own experimentation between people you think she should settle for: rappers, drug dealers, women, it doesn't matter. There's a self-confidence here as she tries her damnedest to shed labels, even if as trolls proved on Sunday night (when she announced herself "next" after Beyoncé's VMA performance), they want her down at the bottom.
Tim Woods, "Probation" For a smoker, probation is akin to having a blunt in front of you yet being handcuffed with zero chance to smoke. Thus, a smoker's anthem for those who aren't supposed to smoke needed to be made. Leave it to Tim Woods, a potent smoking dreadhead with energy galore, to slow down a bit and discuss a high number of different strains of weed while also letting his thoughts about sex and more be known. A high man's dream.
Stak5 feat. Scarface, "America Da Beautiful" Considering all the racial uproar that's taken place in America's heartland these past two weeks, "America Da Beautiful" from Scarface and Stak5, a.k.a. Port Arthur's own Stephen Jackson, is rather appropriate.
It takes Michael Artis somewhat out of his element and drops him right into shooting propaganda territory. Jackson knows all about dealing with racism, not only being from Short Texas but also proclaiming he'd never play for former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Not to mention there are PLENTY of shots of Sterling, Michael Brown, the militarization of the police in Ferguson and, of course, Scarface to sum everything up.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The Ask Willie D Archives Houston's Top 10 Hipster Bars, Clubs & Icehouses 2014 Today's 10 Most Promising Young Metal Bands Hip-Hop's Seven Best Breakup Songs Houston's Top 10 Rooftop Bars and Lounges