Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Talib Kweli Reliant Arena November 27, 2013 Standing in the shadow of a diminishing Astrodome, the rarely used Reliant Arena played host to more than 5,000 Houstonians for a showcase of some of today's biggest hip-hop talent Wednesday, when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis returned ... More >>
In today's society of more, more, more, it's becoming a bit of a rarity, especially with all those reunion albums that keep coming out, but sometimes legends have been made from just one big hit. Ever so often one album comes along that is so monumental, we all fall in love with it, and then the ban ... More >>
Rocks Off is not going to lie. The prospect of getting into concerts for free is what leads many people to become music writers/reviewers in the first place. Though it's not true of everyone, we've generally found that with experience comes plenty of practice in the art of grading on a curve. But n ... More >>
I love Queen, and the late Freddie Mercury had the best rock voice ever (in my opinion), so it pains me to say that some of music's worst thought-out lyrics are scrunched into the opening lines of "Bohemian Rhapsody." "Is this the real life?/ Is this just fantasy?", the song begins, but mere breath ... More >>
It's a toss-up whether actors or musicians will go to greater lengths to make rent, but some musicians have even found themselves so hard up they've been forced to take an acting gig. Such is the case with the haystack-sized Sleepy LaBeef, who in 1968's The Exotic Ones appeared as the "Swamp Monster ... More >>
The big music news of the new year so far is that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are expecting their first child. Everybody seems to have an opinion on that, and I won't go into how I feel about it because it's irrelevant. As long as Yeezy is still making music we all love, what business is it of our ... More >>
Word to your mamas, sucka emcees. It's the Fourth of July (or, as the Native American guy that I went to college with used to half-jokingly refer to it, "The Most Fucked Up Holiday I Can Think Of... Why Don't We Just Go Ahead And Start Celebrating 9/11, Because That's Basically What This Is For Me") ... More >>
This week, the new owner of the Houston Astros Jim Crane opened Pandora's Box of Hearty Suggestions For A Struggling Franchise and discussed changes to the team. Cheap beer (yay!), cheaper seats (double yay!) should be one of the first things but Crane suggested that the Astros do the unthink ... 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@gmail. ... More >>
We live in a time where crappy reality television has taken over three of the networks that were once originally dedicated to music videos, artist interviews and delivering current events from the younger generation's perspective. With all the flack that MTV (Music Television) gets about not really ... More >>
Photos by Marco TorresBlack Star feat. Mos Def & Talib Kweli House of Blues September 8, 2011 Mos Def knows how to make an exit. With the lights dimmed and the curtains dancing toward the middle, Mos Def stayed on stage and shimmied to the beat of Archie Bell & The Drells' "Tighten Up." The ... 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. ... 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 introducingliston@gmai ... 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. Thurogood Wordsmith The Appetizer EP (Self-released, 2010) The noodle-voiced Thurogood Words ... 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 >>
Albums are to artists what children are to parents: You never want your favorite kids to move out, but you can't wait to send the other ones off to college. (Rocks Off should know; we were one of those favorites.) Here, we salute five artists who were brave enough to distance themselves from ... More >>
Photos by Marco TorresTalib Kweli House of Blues September 4, 2010 Once upon a time, Talib Kweli was poised to become a mainstream hip-hop success. His blend of conscious rhymes with accessible beats made him a force in rap. Peers, from Jay-Z to Kanye West, constantly showered him with adula ... More >>
New Orleans is home to many rappers, including Lil Wayne and Juvenile. So, when Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast five years ago this weekend, it only felt natural for hip-hop to step up and capture the debacle on wax. It's been five years since the disaster and this Katrina-inspired playlist ... More >>
Artists have many ways of expressing admiration for their peers. Name-dropping those who inspire them in liner notes and offering them groupies on the tour bus are just a couple of ways of showing respect. Covering one of their popular songs? Now that's the ultimate tip of the hat. That's an ... More >>
Looking back, this past decade wasn't too kind to rock and roll as a whole. We lost plenty of people who weren't exactly disgustingly huge as Michael Jackson or as monolithic as Johnny Cash. This decade took its share of people who were massively influential and iconic, but not on the grand worl ... More >>
The best Texas albums of 2009...or what we could squeeze in.
You can think of this weekend's Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin as the indie, metal, and hip-hop little brother of the more staid Austin City Limits Music Festival. The fourth edition of the two-day event held in Waterloo Park in Austin starts tomorrow afternoon. Per our stated life path, Rocks Off will ... More >>
Are you an aging hip-hop performer? Then the Rap Institute of Acting is for you!
Equally gifted in jazz and R&B, area native Robert Glasper moonlights in Maxwell's touring band.
Photo by Mark C. AustinWas it something we said or did? Aftermath openly gushed about how great the weather was on Friday and how it seemed that maybe, just maybe, we were going to finally attend an Austin City Limits (ACL) that didn't consist of heat and dust. Well, it seems that the powers ... More >>
Armed with our sort-of handy cellphone we were able to Tweet from ground level at the festival, with sometimes hilarious and vulgar results. Mostly the latter, because we are foul people. Over time, our Twitter updates devolved into angry rants, as you will see below.@hprocksoff sez:Oh god they real ... More >>
Larami Culbertson 9:30 p.m.: Just walked in to see the place pretty well filled. Snoop is playing through the speaker system. If you walk into a venue and "Gin and Juice" is playing, you can take that as a sign that you're going to have a good time. Well, that or that a riot is going to break out ... More >>
29-95's Joe Mathlete introduces the world to "crunkcore" artist Broken-NCYDE. Prima Donna meltdown or not, Jenny Lewis still has talent. If only she had manners. We Wore Masks screens her "See Fernando" video. Southern rap is still alive. Thankfully, Cocaine Blunts knows this, giving us H.A.W.K. an ... More >>
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. Photos courtesy of ... More >>
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 email@example.com. Thanks, homies. Single of the Week: "Sunny," Promise Pseudo Wire To Wire We disliked Soulja Boy, and then we read this Scarface inte ... More >>
Michel Gondry attempts to celebrate DIY filmmaking, but comes up short, stale and flat
Little Brother performs Friday, June 29, at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483. Orgone and DJ Haul also perform.
Comeback kids, rhymin' Limeys and songs about partying defined Hip-Hop Nation in 2006
Stuck with Bruce Willis in rush-hour traffic? You could always walk
Chappelle returns with a raucous Block Party
Wednesday, June 8, at HUSH, 15625 Katy Freeway, 713-330-HUSH.
The ten most dangerous and radical hip-hop records of all time
The New York Times misses the point in its attack on "rockism"
College Dropout (Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella)
Here Comes the Fuzz (Elektra)
Four New York turntablists redefine the art of deejaying