Ah, rappers and music videos. Some are vehicles for self-promotion, others are tools used to promote a message, a gaggle of asses or some good ol' wholesome debauchery. In the case of the Houston rap class, music videos are always eye opening glimpses into the future, either telling what a talent could possibly become or how such a talent can make a low budget idea turn into a big budget reward. This week we snatched up videos that maintain Houston aesthetics while injecting something new. And no, we're not calling it New Houston.
Artist: Marcus Manchild Song: "Purple Swagg" Director: Michael Artis
The Video: How does one truly define they're from Houston and they rap? A ton of purple, homages to the original Timmy Chan's and cameos from Bun B and Killa Kyleon, right? Right. Manchild's graced this stage before, but since his star is reaching supernova at this point, putting on for Houston all the while chastising any and all who didn't grow up on it or aren't from here yet profit from it is his new mission.
"Purple Swagg" snatches A$AP Rocky's beat of the same name (minus a G), making a statement with direct barbs towards the entire sub-culture who decided to lift Texas rap in the same way Elvis ripped Chuck Berry. The icing on the cake is using Pimp C's infamous "Atlanta" interview to drive the point home even further. Who knew Manchild would be the first and loudest one to speak on this issue?
Side Note: A$AP Rocky will have his first Houston show this Sunday at Warehouse Live. It may be a zoo, but something tells me it's one of those can't miss in-the-moment shows.
Artist: Kirko Bangz Song: "Fuck Action Freestyle" Director: Mr. Boomtown
The Video: If you've followed the career arc of Kirko Bangz, it goes something like this: "Rap, hoes, hoes, rap." There's a chart available somewhere that details this even further but Bangz decided to just literally show you with "Fuck Action Freestyle".
Not only is Kirko in that same purple haze that made "Drank In My Cup" and "What Yo Name Iz" such viable radio-worthy singles, he's running with the two-chick/one-bed formula to a tee. With OG Ron C as a soundtrack. It's sNSFW, which means you may have to sneak around the job just to watch.
Side Note: The video released on Valentine's Day. Kirko Bangz didn't take his side chick to Popeyes, he just did the two-for-one with his other side chick. Take note, fellas!
Artist: Hollywood FLOSS Song: "Line 'Em Up" Director: Apollo Stackwell
The Video: I stand 5'7". In real life, I'd get crapped on if I were at a playground and a six-foot-tall dude wanted to square up. So when Hollywood FLOSS makes videos for the underdog filled with homages to every big-man/little-man fight in existence, my heart warms.
All right, so FLOSS won't obtain street cred by having a damn water-gun fight in the middle of the park with a bunch of people for "Line 'Em Up," but its fine. It's the sort of fun you don't see out of Houston's rap class, and arguably the most indirect fun had by a rapper onscreen since UZOY decided shooting zombies was great.
Side Note: FLOSS has released two projects within a small span of one another, One Fan At a Timeand The Legend Begins. Grab them both to keep up with all the Houston rap releases for your MP3 collection.
Artist: H.I.S.D. Song: "Rockit Man" Director: Damien Randle
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The Video: Houston's most underrated rap group flip a distorted Elton John sample and play futuristic Drop Squad in the latest video from The Hue A.D. Can we imagine that going to rap school with H.I.S.D. would consist of futuristic powers, drinking things like the Holy Grail and then snatching up Jordans from strangers? We'd think we'd pass that with aces.
Side Note: Westbury High School gets an obvious shout-out here, same for random ballers who think they can hoop because they have Jordans. The former is neat; the latter is faker than hope for the Astros this season.