Rolando Rodriguez

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2014

    Snow Tha Product at Warehouse Live, 2/27/2014

    Snow Tha Product Warehouse Live 2/27/14 Thursday night at Warehouse Live, I met Claudia Feliciano, a short, soft-spoken, wide-eyed Latina with a timid laugh. "Houston is one of the cities where I get the most nervous at, the others being Atlanta and New York City" she said while searching for an iP ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2012

    Kidd the Great: Why You Should Go See a Rapper You've Likely Never Heard Of

    A few years ago, fellow Houston Press writer Rolando Rodriguez and I conspired to create a bilingual underground Houston rap version of those "Pass The Mic" videos that were popular for a very brief period. In retrospect, it may have been the most niche-est thing of niche-y things: We attempted to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2012

    Rest Of The Best: Houston's Top 8 Latin Nights

    Note: This article was written by Rolando Rodriguez and Marco Torres. In March of this year, Houston beat the likes of Los Angeles and New York as the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the country and that landmark development was mainly due to the growth of Latinos. Back in 1990, Latin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2010

    Breaking Down HPMA's Best Latin Hip-Hop Ballot

    ​Nearly eight months ago Rocks Off began covering the hip-hop movement in Houston's Latino community. Latino hip-hop artists in Houston have been putting out music since the early '90s and have largely Latino followings. Some have a bit of crossover appeal, but for the most part, it lives with ... More >>

  • News

    June 10, 2010

    Mayalino's Message

    Readers respond to "Deporting All WetWacks."

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2010

    Stefani Vara's Operation Musical Rewrite

    ​ Wednesday, just a few minutes shy of 4 p.m., Stefani Vara was driving from Corpus Christi back to her home in Houston after a quick day trip. It had been a while since she heard Tejano music. It's what she grew up with and she realized she missed it. She realized it was part of her roots...part ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2010

    "It's About Damn Time" You Heard Gotty

    In Monday's mix bag we plugged a video, "It's About Damn Time" by under-the-radar - maybe not for long - 24 year-old hip-hop artist Gotty. You know, when we first took a listen, we were really digging it, but we took it for what it was - probably a track being played all over 97.9. We assumed this ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2010

    Dead Prez Taps "Richmond Revolutionary" Lee-Coc To Open

    Photos by Kris SearsM1 of Dead Prez at the Houston Palestine Film Festival​ Lee-Coc at the HPFF​The Houston Palestine Film Festival (HPFF), which features a wide range of films that highlight the unique strength and struggle of the Palestinian people featured the legendary M1 from Dead Prez on S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2010

    Arizona Rapper G-MOE Talks About His State's Situation

    "DRANK SIPPA" from ALONSO MURILLO on Vimeo. Everyone is talking about the controversy surrounding Arizona's SB 1070, and Rocks Off was curious to take the temperature of the Grand Canyon State's hip-hop community. So we got in contact with our current favorite Arizona Latino hip-hop artist, 23-year- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2010

    Mayalino's F*** These WetWacks: A Mixtape Must-Have

    Mayalino - We Alive Now from Chase Rees on Vimeo. Rocks Off drowns ourselves in mixtapes, and we've come to one conclusion: It's hard to find a good one. But like a domestic violence-prone girlfriend, we keep going back to the mixtape circuit because we think, "he'll change." Mixtapes feel cheap, f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2010

    World Premiere: Coast's "Still Walking" Video

    ​ If you're new to Coast or if, perhaps, this is your first listen to arguably one of the most embraced underground hip-hop artists in Texas, you might click other write-ups hyperlinked throughout this blog to know more about him. You'll see lengthy proclamations in the comment section, which serv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2010

    Cinco De Mayo Tips and a Playlist For Gringos

    ​ All right, our non-native Mexican brothers. If you're going out tonight to have some Coronas, hit on drunk Latinas and take silly pictures while wearing a sombrero, at least try not to look like a total jerk. Rocks Off is going to help you, but we need to start by schooling you on the basics. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2010

    The Worst Rap Battle Ever, And Best-Kept Hip-Hop Secret In Town

    There's lots of talk about Cypress Hill coming to Houston next Tuesday. But to get that legendary Latin hip-hop/funk sound on a regular basis, you might not have to go farther than La Porte. That's where you'll find a group called Hafaza, made up of mike-wreckers Frank, Omar, Luno, Gonz and Bar Jes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2010

    Dope House Records Invades San Antonio

    Photos by Rolando RodriguezCarolyn Rodriguez moves the Fiesta crowd.​ If you know anything about San Antonio's annual Fiesta celebration, you know it's a two-week excuse to show up three hours late to work hung over and throw up in your company's restroom a few times throughout the day without ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2010

    Porn-Loving SEC Employees Deserve A Helping Hand

    ​ When we heard news that Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) employees were watching porn while our country's economy was crashing, it didn't surprise us ... at all. Yeah we know, the SEC was formed to police Wall Street, and while the culprits were getting away like bank robbers, 33 SEC emp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2010

    Tejano Ain't Dead; Chingo Bling Puts On His "Lentes"; Flatline Rides For His Block; And The 210 Mic Pass

    ​How can something be claimed dead when it still has life, when it's still living in speakers, iPods, as well as the hearts and souls of red-blooded American music lovers across the country? When it's still being passed on to younger generations? In the track "Pimpin' Ain't No Illusion," Pimp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2010

    A Playlist For Our Wetbacks in Arizona And For All Who Pray For Them

    "It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the appalling silence of the so-called good people."- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.​There's something so powerful about music. It gets us through life's bu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2010

    J-Dawg is HataProof; Lucky Luciano Blows Candles At Zona Latina; Fort Worth Holds it Down for Latino Hip-Hop

    J-Dawg BHO CD Release Party 4-16-2010 from Hata Proof Films on Vimeo. Over the weekend, J-Dawg of the Boss Hogg Outlawz paid a visit to Hata Proof Records on the Northside for a CD release signing of his anticipated Behind The Tint, Vol. 2. You'll remember the piece we did on Big Cease and the multi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2010

    The Hot Seat: Athena Anesti, Houston Entrepreneuress And Five-Star Chick

    ​ Writing on hip-hop, we see lots of hip-hop videos, so we see lots of video girls igniting our manly senses, but few make us want to know more about them. They're hot. They serve their purpose. Game over. But Houston's Athena Anesti took our damn breath away. When we recognized her on our MySpace ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2010

    Chingo Bling's They Can't Deport Us All Makes Good Census; Still Missing Selena

    ​ Our weekend was full of political conversations with folks who we never have political conversations with; let us tell you, we couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. We decided we were going to try and convince everyone we knew back home to fill out the census. Three different conversatio ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2010

    H-Town's Underground Hip-Hop Scene Rises with Fetti's Commitment To Catching Every Moment On Camera

    ​So when a man beats you to your own video shoot, there's a problem. That's how we really took notice of 34-year-old Mikell Limbrick, the Trinity Gardens representer known to the streets as Fetti. When we filmed the Houston Press Mic Pass (now in its final stage of editing), which he got no invita ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 23, 2010

    Mayalino's "We Alive Now" Video and Big Dan's "Lentes" Video... Trailer

    ​ Mayalino, your favorite JBlock Street Gang member of Southeast's Magnolia, just released a high-quality video, "We Alive Now," from his Fuck These Wet Wacks album, dropping the third week of April. "The song is really real to the Mayalino contrast, rebelling against hip-hop rules, rebelling agai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 17, 2010

    Behind the Lyrics: Bunz is Twin City's Lifeline to Houston Hip-Hop

    [Ed. Note: We temporarily interrupt our real-time SXSW coverage to give you something else to read about for one of the last times this week.] Richmond and Rosenberg are tough places to describe, partly because there are many faces to the two towns, which are referred to on the streets as just one ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2010

    BRWN BFLO Is Ballsy; Preemo's Concrete Dreams Passes the Time

    "Illegal aliens come from all over the world, not just from the hole in the fence in San Diego." - George Lopez, "Corazon," on BRWN BFLO's self-titled album. ​Rocks Off gets lots of thank-you notes from readers showing their appreciation for giving Latino hip-hop a voice, though we find it odd. W ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2010

    The Hot Seat: Pro-Choice, Pro-Flirting, Carolyn Rodriguez Is As Real As It Gets

    ​This past Monday was International Women's Day, and this week commemorates women and the issues that impact their lives. So it was probably important to get a woman in The Hot Seat. The first lady of Latino hip-hop, Carolyn Rodriguez, seemed like the perfect fit. Last time we saw Carolyn was at a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2010

    Monday Mix Bag: A Mic Pass In Atlanta, New Felony Video And Some Wal-Mart Confessions

    Back in the day when we were teenagers in the hood, there was this guy with a really great personality who would come to our door once a month with brand new store merchandise. We're talking about anything from bicycles to VCRs (we said it was back in the day) to woman's costume jewelry. They were ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 19, 2010

    Felony: It Would Be a Crime Not to Listen

    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 innermost thoughts and desires. In reality, it's just a fucking cool Q&am ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2010

    Mix Bag: An Exclusive With Aztek, A Night At The Electric Company And More Mixtapes Galore

    Courtesy of AztekL-R: The Kanye, Jay-Z and Aztek​Man, what a weekend. We sat down and chopped it up with them Southeast Houston hip-hop veterans Sen and Lil Villain, and Kansas-raised artist Uno. They gave us a rundown of an entirely un-talked about dimension of Houston's hip-hop history. More on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2010

    The Hot Seat: Lee-Coc, Richmond Revolutionary

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2010

    Recovery Has Exorcised Lucky Luciano's Demons. This Rapper Is Clean.

    In the January 5th edition of the Houston Press, you read about a small piece of Lucky Luciano's life - his addiction to drugs and alcohol and life of pimping strippers. What you didn't hear about is how he escaped death on Houston's freeways several times. You didn't hear about the time he flipped ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 1, 2010

    Coast and Stunta Wreck the Mike at Jet, After Zilla Gets Us Drunk At Toc and We Stupidly Stand Up Carolyn Rodriguez

    Screw Washington Avenue clubs and their selective admittance. We'd rather hit up downtown and get felt up for guns or knives and listen to some hard-core hip-hop. 11:15 p.m., Saturday: We met up with V-Zilla at Toc-Bar because his studio, or as he puts it, "the dungeon," is nestled underneath the c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2010

    Low-G: From E.S.L. Mockery to Historic Spanish Hip-Hop

    "When I'm on my last line I'm gonna let ya'll know." "Yo, yo I want to welcome... welcome everybody to Hustle Town. Are we recording? Alright, let's do this, fellas." True Houston Latino rap fans don't need us to cite the opening lines of this track or what album it appeared on, but maybe you need ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2010

    1992 Redo: DJ Flea and Dat Boi T Give Underground Artists (and Listener) a Free Weekly Music Platform

    ​ It's something we haven't addressed yet, but it's been brought up numerous times in our talks with Houston's underground Latino rappers. When Univision's hip-hop stations in Houston went away this last decade, so did those artists' airwave platform. But sometimes you have to look back in order t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 22, 2010

    V-Zilla is Houston's Hip-Hop Monster on the Mike

    ​ "The reason I want to be alone, is I'm tired of all the things that went wrong that would've went right if I had did 'em on my own." - Nas That quote is perfect for this story because Victor Gurrola, Jr., aka V-Zilla, was once the best rapper the world had ever seen who wasn't known by his own c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2010

    "Weird" and Proud, Preemo Understands the Meaning of "Hustle Town"

    ​ We think "Weird Al" Yankovic screwed it up for everybody. There aren't lots of times you can use the word "weird" in a good way. That's one of those words we need to take back, on the real, because when you put "weird" into the right context it can be a positive thing - a differentiator from th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2010

    Filero Battles with the Past, Takes Control of His Future. Second In a Two-Part Series.

    [Ed. Note. See Part 1 of Rocks Off's encounter with Filero here.] A hint of things to come? Filero (left) and SPM square off at checkers back in the day.​ When we talked to Filero about how much the rap game has changed since he saw the first Texas Latino rap album, actually a cassette, in the Gul ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2010

    Filero Isn't Scared To Tell the Un-fairy Tale. First of a Two-Part Series.

    Filero holds the Pioneer trophy he won at the 2009 Texas Latino Rap Awards.​This could be our most controversial Latino rap blog yet, or the first of many. We really don't know yet. We can tell you what we do know. We're 16 stories in and just starting to scratch the surface of the dynamics of Hou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2010

    Answer an Urgent Appeal to Heal Haiti by Getting Some "Swagger"

    [Ed. Note: Please email any news of further music-related relief efforts to] Bobby Moon & Lil Flip - Swagger from AK Kurji on Vimeo. If you're looking for a way to contribute to the Haitian relief efforts, Houston-based international pop artist Bobby Moon is going to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2010

    Cesar Lozano, Illegal Alien, Is Now Big Cease, American Dream Come True

    ​ The video that usually crowns our Latino hip-hop blog is going to come at the end of our story today, because without explaining how the American Dream has evolved, the music video won't be given the meaning it deserves. First, you need to know that the American Dream takes on many forms. The Am ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2010

    Carolyn Rodriguez: From Selling Crack to Prescribing "Medicine" for the Soul

    One of the first things Carolyn Rodriguez, the Houston-based female singer and rap artist by way of Arkansas, by way of North Carolina, said to us is that she doesn't like bios. "When you make a bio you have to keep it politically correct," she tells Rocks Off. "You can't tell the real story." She' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2010

    The 2010 Census Launches the Latino Underground Into the Mainstream; Other Bold Predictions for the Coming Decade

    Will Lil Young be one of this decade's breakout Latino rap stars?​ Can Latino hip-hop in Houston continue to thrive as a black-market force, of sorts, whose sales are invisible to the IRS, and evolve into a powerful underground economy without the acknowledgement or praise of mainstream music medi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 1, 2010

    We've Got Flatline. Clear! Houston Can Jump-Start the Heart of a Music Career

    Flatline feat. Trae, "Fuckin With Texas" @ Yahoo! Video Back in 2007, we came across a hip-hop video on YouTube that featured Trae, so naturally, we eagerly clicked on it. The track starts off with a sick Bun B sample. "You fuckin with Texas, you fuckin' with the best/ I ain't hard to find/ I'm in T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2009

    Coast: Not a Beach, Not a Rapper... Just Damn Good Music

    COAST "I CAN'T COMPLAIN" MUSIC VIDEO from G Films on Vimeo Our mother once told us that whenever she went to the coast during life's crossroads, she felt closer to God. That's because people often take their problems to the coast, because whether they are conscious of it or not, they feel they are a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2009

    Behind the Lyrics: Although Rap Doesn't Pay His Bills, the Northside's Stunta "Keeps It 100"

    STUNTA "I'm 100" Music Video from G Films on Vimeo. The last time Rocks Off hooked up with Stunta, there was lots of talk about "keeping it 100." "When I say I'm bein' 100 I'm basically sayin' I'm being 100 percent authentic, 100 percent true to myself and to anybody else," he says. "So to say 'Kee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2009

    Low Points Dominate the Decade for Houston's Latino Rappers

    ​ Sunday, Rocks Off crept down Little York on the "Nawf" side of H-Town to scope out Northside rider Big Cease's video production of "So Off the Chain," featuring Dat Boy X of Dallas and Houston's Lucky Luciano (above). Sure enough, Houston's underground scene was in full effect to provide support ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2009

    For Hip-Hop, Brown Could Be the New Black... or the New Wetback

    ​ For anyone following the Houston Latino rap theme as of late and are wondering why Rocks Off might be telling more of a cultural story than a hip-hop one with our artist profiles, it's because amongst the traditional hip-hop following in America, Houston's Latino rappers may very well be looked ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2009

    GT Garza: Doing Right by Tha Carter - But Not That Carter

    In death comes life, so the saying goes. For 24-year-old Southwest Houston rapper GT Garza, the cliché emulates the birth of his career. Ask GT about who inspired him to first take the microphone and he won't spit out the usual suspects in Southern hip-hop. No, he'll talk about a young man named L ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 11, 2009

    Don't Call it a Comeback. Call It a Cultural Moon Rising.

    ​ During the Washington, D.C. sniper hunt of 2002, you didn't want to be the person who owned a white van in that metropolitan area. That's because the alleged sniper, who randomly killed ten people and critically injured three, was supposedly driving one. Everyone was looking for that vehicle des ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2009

    Lucky Luciano: Boss of Houston's Latino Rap Family

    ​ Deep underground; way below the mainstream music land of Top 40 Billboard Charts and MTV countdowns thrives another existence entirely, made up of independent, Houston Latino hip-hop artists who didn't get the memo. You know the one. It reads: "All aspiring artists must plead big record compani ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2009

    San Antonio Blogger Has Had Enough "Free South Park Mexican" Sentiment

    Michael Hogue​A little over seven years ago, we wrote about the South Park Mexican trial. The rapper, born Carlos Coy, had it all: money, his own record label, a nightclub and, most importantly, the ear of a generation. He was the voice of a new type of person: the Southern and Southwestern Mexica ... More >>

  • More >>