Mike Dean

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2014

    New Houston Rap: In Memory of M.U.G.

    Normally the Houston rap column would start off with an anecdote about my life, or something that happened to me that inspired me to write something poignant and funny and stuff, but this time that would be misleading. This past Sunday afternoon word got out that M.U.G., a bowling ball of hardened ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2014

    GT Garza Sticks to the Script On Legacy of Ritchie Valens

    Maybe it's because they hold down the concept of traditional Houston rap more than anyone else, but today nothing typifies that late-'90s, hazed-out lull of street rhythms combined with Mike Dean-like church organs more than the Hispanic rap crowd. And now we're in the age of the inevitable: the slo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2013

    Travi$ Scott Aims High With Owl Pharaoh Debut EP

    There's a methodology about Travi$ Scott (neé Jacques Webster), the 21-year old Houston rapper who bolted to Los Angeles following a short stint at the University of Texas-San Antonio. It revolves around muddled synths and drums that sound buried below the earth, both of which he uses to tinker wit ... More >>

  • Music

    November 22, 2012
  • Blogs

    November 14, 2012

    Meet Travis $cott, The Biggest Houston Rapper You've Never Heard Of

    Asking your typical Houston rap nerd about artists on the verge or in the national spotlight usually circles the same cliched wagon. Normally they'd list off your usual suspects, sprinkle off a couple indie darlings who hang in different sects of the city, all while being very political and not want ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2012

    Back On My Block: Celebrating 10 Years of Scarface's The Fix

    Ten years ago today, Scarface broke through nationally for good with The Fix. His work with the Geto Boys had made him a cult favorite, making his story of being better than amazing to put Houston on the rap map. The Diary; Mr. Scarface Is Back rank as Nos. 3 and 6 on Rocks Off's list of the Top 25 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2012

    Rap Round Table: What Is Scarface's Best Album?

    Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Each week, Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. This Week's Panel: Preemo, O.N.E., Medicine Girl, Renzo, Yung Truth, Chane, Scooby, Kane, Kyle Hubbard, Mac, more. Not Invited: The man who cried ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2012

    The Space City Beat Battle & The Best H-Town Producers Ever

    Despite a venue conflict, the championship edition of the Space City Beat Battle will go on Saturday evening at the Mercury Room. If you've never been to one it's almost like watching a ritualistic rite of passage where cocksure arrogance and chest pounding reign supreme. Sample based producers who ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2011

    Last Night: Kanye West, Jay-Z and the Watch the Throne Tour at Toyota Center

    Photos by Marco Torres​8:08: You know what's just never a slick move? Red wine in a plastic cup. Just an FYI, ladies. "Oh, you're drinking red wine? That's classy. Wait. Is that a plastic cup? Never mind. I forgot this was the Walmart break room." 8:58: Ooh, neat. There's a guy here wearing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2011

    Rap Round Table: Who is Currently the Best Producer in Rap?

    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 Gray​This Week's Panel: Slim Thug, Mug, Yung Redd, Delo, Preemo, Chane, Brad Gilmore, Herney the Great, Mic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2011

    Cy Fyre: Mega-Producer Builds Big Beats, Never Sleeps

    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 ​What we have here is the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2011

    Galveston Wants to Trade Your Boob Flash for a "Mardi Gras with Manners"

    GuidryNews.comThrow me something mannerly, mister!​Galveston is calling for this year's Mardi Gras to be "family friendly", but don't get excited for topless MILFs. It's not going to get that kind of friendly.According to the Galveston County Daily News, a new promoter called Yaga Entertainment In ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2010

    Tourists, Tar Balls and Tort: Galveston and Deepwater Horizon​Before his visit to Texas President Obama hosted a cookout for family and friends on the South Lawn. On the menu: andouille sausage, crawfish and shrimp, all fresh from the Gulf Coast. He told press in a statement, "Americans can confidently and safely enjoy Gulf seafood once ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2010

    Is Bun B's Trill OG Really Worth The Source's Highest Rating?

    Ed. Note: Unlike The Source, Houston Press style abbreviates "microphone" as "mike." ​Bun B's Trill OG has become the first hip-hop album to earn 5 mikes in The Source since 2005. In case you haven't picked up a copy of the magazine since the Clinton administration, here's a breakdown of its ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2010

    Beyonce's Naughty T-Shirt, Devin's Suite 420, Eric B Vs. Nicki Minaj, Rick Astley Chopped And Screwed...

    Welcome back to Turning the Screw, Rocks Off's weekly rap post. It probably won't rhyme, at least most of the time. E-mail tips to Thanks, homies. Single of the Week: Kritikal Van Gogh, "Dog Eat Dog" Wire to Wire ​Beyonce had tongues wagging at this weekend's Coac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2010

    Y'all Musta Forgot: Scarface's The Fix

    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 Scarface The Fix (Geffen, 2005) ​The Fix is the seventh solo LP from Scarface, the album that h ... More >>

  • Music

    January 8, 2009
  • Blogs

    December 23, 2008

    Houston, Texas, America, Meet Huntzville...and Watch the Eff Out

    Hard to believe it's been 20 years since gangsta rap went overground with N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton. Through Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg to Tupac and Eminem, it launched most of hip-hop's biggest stars for a good decade, but these days even artists like T.I. and Lil Wayne have sacrificed serious str ... More >>

  • Music

    April 6, 2006


    My Homies Part 2

  • Music

    November 10, 2005

    Bun B


  • Music

    May 26, 2005


    Let the Truth Be Told

  • Music

    November 23, 2000

    Volume, Volume, Volume

    COC may be edging toward the mainstream, but the metal specialists still refuse to conform

  • Music

    December 18, 1997
  • Music

    April 24, 1997
  • Music

    January 25, 1996

    Ghetto Do-Gooders

    The 5th Ward Boyz may not be saints, but they're not sinners either