Jambalaya Festival Bayou Music Center May 23, 2013 Ingredients: Houston, Texas A roomful of screaming, dancing teens G-Eazy, RL Grime, Big Boi, Zeds Dead, Earlwolf Instructions: 1. Open the doors of Bayou Music Center at approximately 4 p.m. Allow scores of teenage hip-hop enthusiasts t ... More >>
As often as I've been complemented on my taste in music, I've been ridiculed for the horrible television programs I sometimes watch. Case in point: my DVR's arteries were recently clogged with episodes of the ABC celebrity competition, Splash. For those who may have missed it, Splash was a taped an ... More >>
When Chris Kelly, one-half of the teen-rap duo Kris Kross, was found dead of an apparent drug overdose last week, it was a tremendously sad day for Southern hip-hop. Not just because it provided a tragic ending to another tale of a child star struggling with post-fame adulthood, but because his pass ... More >>
During a certain period in time, any given date between 2003 and 2007, when Lil Wayne decided to fully abandon his cartoon-gangster image, the one who sported a Cash Money medallion almost everywhere he went and whose teeth were ripe for a jeweler's appraisal, into the hardest-working man in rap. ... More >>
2 Chainz House of Blues September 26, 2012 "It's ya birthday, It's ya birthday! Bad bitch contest, you in first place!" -- 2 Chainz At the #MadeInAmerica festival in Philly a few weeks ago, only two performers graced the main stage both nights. The first was Jay-Z, the mastermind and curator of th ... More >>
This week the music video for popper Justin Bieber's newest single "As Long As You Love Me" dropped onto the Internets. Co-starring Quentin Tarantino baddie Michael Madsen as a domineering, protective father, the clip feature Bieber as a rebellious and hellraising boyfriend to Madsen's innocent daug ... More >>
Nicki Minaj Bayou Music Center July 28, 2012 I am told by countless bloggers that Nicki Minaj is a "polarizing." Her Grammy performance, her lyrical abilities, whether she's a rapper or pop star, the quality of "Starships"; all have been debated endlessly on this here World Wide Web. Because the I ... More >>
Sometimes some musicians just can't even be put in the same sentence as one another. Depending on people's musical preferences. It's hard to compare and can be a bit confrontational. But one thing is for sure the day on which someone is born can't be changed. And then that's where astrology comes in ... More >>
When people start going on about a hip hop illuminati or the secret messages in Lady Gaga videos we tend to laugh at them, call them kooks, and suggest they spend their free time in more productive ways. Jay-Z is powerful but only a crazy person would believe that Blue Ivy Carter was some sort of hi ... More >>
This past weekend I was at Academy near my house filling out paperwork to buy a shotgun and the One Direction single "What Makes You Beautiful" was playing over the store speaker system. Before that moment I had thought that One Direction only existed in emails from PR agents, my music listings, and ... More >>
I listened to the new Justin Bieber album, Believe, twice this afternoon so I could write this. I am not looking for sympathy because I took it upon myself. I did this so you wouldn't have to, though if you are cool enough to read our blog, the thought of listening to Justin Bieber's Believe wasn't ... More >>
Fame and fortune might not be the ultimate goal for every person to ever write a song or learn an instrument, but it is for a lot of people out there. It would be lovely to believe that music is done 100% of the time for the "right" reasons, but most of us are cynical enough to know otherwise. Some ... More >>
Life may begin at 30, but it doesn't get real interesting until about 150. -- Author Unknown One hundred fifty miles per hour, that is. It's true. The feeling of an open road and an open throttle is unmatched. Rocks Off loves motorcycles. At one point, we owned three, until we found our bike of ... More >>
If you mention and explain the concept of MTV's Rock N' Jock to '90s babies, they will look at you glassy-eyed and slowly walk away. But it's true, in the late '80s and early '90s it was possible to gather the best and sexiest celebrities in TV, film and music for a carefree softball match, with pro ... More >>
Sunday night, when Justin Bieber's new song "Boyfriend" dropped, the social-media landscape at large began comparing it to the work of Justin Timberlake, the music industry's somewhat dormant leading man. I was sad, because I like the Timberlake. Justin Bieber, I bought Justin Timberlake records, ... More >>
If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in the random acts of shit on Earth, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at SXSW. To break down the bright, scintillating chaos, Village Voice Media's roving music e ... More >>
An old Mac Miller mixtape under his first moniker, EZ MacAs long as Mac Miller has been hot, we've been under the assumption that he only has shine because his indie labelmate Wiz Khalifa scored a radio hit. No one can actually like this dude because he raps well. No one could've possibly fol ... More >>
Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Each week Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. Photo illustration by John Seaborn GrayThis Week's Panel: Bun B, Slim Thug, medicine Girl, O.N.E., Preemo, Chane, Delo, Chingo Bling, Doughb ... More >>
The early '90s was a time when some of the best hip-hop music ever was being made, and the beverage of choice was malt liquor. Before rappers glorified Cristal, Ciroc and even their own branded alcohol, there were many hip-hop-inspired malt liquor ads. St. Ides in particular enlisted several ... More >>
Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday that isn't a national holiday (and soon after when it is), Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. Photo illustration by John Seaborn GrayThis Week's Panel: Chane, Kiotti, Dough ... More >>
Forbes has unveiled its annual list of hip-hop cash kings. The Top 20 includes 21 big shottas - who said math was a requirement to work at Forbes? - with whom we'd gladly trade bank accounts. Pop the hood to see Rocks Off's breakdown of the Top 10 earners and what they should buy with all th ... More >>
Houston's history is dotted with albums that, fairly or not, have been swept aside. We'll examine them here. Have an album that you think nobody knows about but should? Email email@example.com. Onehunnidt Legacy of a Legend (Self-released, 2011) Remember Onehunnidt? He's the uber-arti ... More >>
The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. ... More >>
Earlier this week, Chamillionaire, still glowing from being free from the tyrannical grip of Universal Records, released Major Pain 1.5. Thursday afternoon, he was polite (or politic) enough to take a few minutes to talk about the tape. The notes from the conversation and the tape are kind ... More >>
Happy San Jacinto Day, fellow Texans and people who wish they were; i.e. everyone else. If you don't know why today is special, shame on you. But since us Texans are a friendly sort, allow Rocks Off to fill you in. On April 21, 1836, Texian forces under Gen. Sam Houston (aka "Big Drunk") lau ... More >>
SF2Killa Kyleon (left) and GT MayneSF2 Kickback Sunday Club L.A.X. January 30, 2011 8:10 p.m.: Since we last checked in with SF2's Kickback Sunday event, it has grown a bit. They've picked up a sponsor or two, signed up GT Mayne and Rapid Ric to be a part of it, and are putting together larg ... More >>
Nielsen SoundScan released its annual report on music sales Monday, and the results were less than surprising. Physical sales continued to decline, digital sales continued to rise, and crap pop continues to reign supreme both at the cash register and on the airwaves. During the period of Jan ... More >>
Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday that isn't a national holiday, Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. Photo illustration by John Seaborn GrayThis Week's Panel: Lil Flip, Hollywood FLOSS, Yves of The Niceguys, ... More >>
David LaChappelle/ beyondurbanbranding.blogspot.comLil Kim lost the battle before she ever said a word to Nicki Minaj. She lost for reasons beyond her control, and some within her control. She lost the same way the VHS lost when DVDs came out. She lost the way the CD player lost when the iPod ... More >>
Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. Photo illustration by John Seaborn GrayThis Week's Panel: Chris Ward, Chuckway, Kyle Hubbard, Brad Gilmore, Simple Success Not Invited: ... More >>
Teaching is often cast as a thankless, glamour-free job. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the past five years, Rocks Off has taught at a Title 1 (read: poor) school in Hispanic-heavy South Houston. We've been thanked several times for several things. And we've been to several 4- ... More >>
Is LCD Soundsystem's party over on its latest â and perhaps last â album?
Singer-songwriter revisits painful past .
If you woke up this morning wishing for a Pimp C/Drake collaboration, then consider this your lucky day. You should also go ahead and play the mega-lottery while you're at it. Why, yes, the paths of Chad Butler and Aubrey Graham have finally crossed on "What Up," the lead cut from Pimp's f ... More >>
The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to sheaserrano@gmai ... More >>
Aerosmith expects first album in nine years.
How Bun B dealt with Pimp C's death.
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. We'll incorporate the number five in there somewhere. Send tips to email@example.com. Lionel Deluy/ Interscope Records50 Cent is one of th ... More >>
Hell's Belles guitarist Adrian Conner isn't put off by "Givin' the Dog a Bone."
Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org. A snap judgment is the best. ... More >>
Ex-ballplayer and busker George Thorogood: Now playing in a kid's movie near you.
Every Friday, Rocks Off will beam hip-hop artists into our demented, imaginary, incredibly witty, fantasy world of pretend scenarios. We predict it'll soon be known as a feared interrogation of hip-hop artists, revealing their most-inner thoughts and desires. In reality, it's just a fucking cool Q&a ... More >>
Breaking Curfew, Houston rapper MC Kane explains the protocol for putting people down.
In which we advise our favorite people in the Houston scene on their goals for the coming year.