In case you didn't notice, 2014 is essentially exactly the same as 1994. Nirvana is in the news constantly and The Arsenio Hall Show just got canceled again. That's a shame, because we here at Rocks Off are pretty big fans of Arsenio. Apparently the coveted 18-34 audience didn't have the same fondn ... More >>
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 >>
"We'll do the pause, then when we're ready..." - Russell "The ARE" Gonzalez What if I told you that Houston rap is much more than slow, loud, and bangin', syrup-dripped, gangster, pimped-out, and/or trill? That a certain rap crew from Houston that headlined SXSW's very first official hip-hop showca ... 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 >>
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link. Last year, at the Houston Press Music Awa ... More >>
Rapper Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill today announced their tandem Life Is Good/Black Rage tour, with an October 31 Houston date inluded. The duo will be at the Bayou Music Center on Halloween Night. Nas just released a new disc, Life Is Good, this past July and Ms. Lauryn Hill -- as she is now being bill ... 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. This Week's Panel: Slim Thug, Lil O, E.S.G., Delo, hasHBrown, Medicine Girl, Mac, Chane, more. Not Invited: Marcus This Week's Prompt: King ... 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 >>
People often forget that hip-hoppers are humans, too. They breathe, sleep, eat, and salivate at the sight of buttermilk donuts just like us. And, every now and then, they'll geek over other rappers, just like us. It would have been so much easier to compile a list of rappers dissing other ra ... More >>
Good Friday? How about great Friday? Here at Rocks Off we try to ensure that each and every Friday our readers get a full and healthy dose of local music news set to tide them over until we return. So without further ado, we present the newest installment of Magnolia City Mixtape. The soundt ... More >>
RizohTuesday's panel (l-r): Tre9, Malice, Lupe Fiasco, Talib Kweli, Trae Tha Truth, Bun BThere was a time when everyone either wanted to be hip-hop or sleep with her. Hip-hop, in her nascent days, was akin to that hot chick everyone wanted to take to the dance. But now that hip-hop is old and ... 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: Bun B, Lil Flip, D-Risha, Renzo, Kyle Hubbard, Do ... More >>
Zake Sushi Lounge hosts hot weekend parties.
Rocks Off can't rightfully remember the last time the whole Wu-Tang Clan was ever in Houston, if they ever have been. For some reason, we keep wanting to think they came once with Rage Against The Machine around 1997. In 2007, they came to Dallas on the Rock The Bells summer tour with Nas, Ta ... 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 >>
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 >>
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. K-Otix Universal (Bronx Science, 2001) K-Otix are the Hawk and Animal of Houston rappers, a seeming ... More >>
Athlete, Carney: Sat., June 26. Walter's on Washington. All Leather, Balaclavas, Yip-Yip: Sat., May 15. The Mink. The Bangles, Tonic: Sat., May 29. Moody Gardens Outdoor Amphitheater. Tyagaraja, Black Queen Speaks, Peekaboo Theory, Robert Ellis & The Boys, The Tontons, VerseCity, Wayside Dri ... More >>
Daniel Kramer New York Dolls, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, House of Blues, June 4: "What we got last night at the House of Blues was an hour-long set of sporadic and confounding re-workings of their bedrock material, and a whole helluva lot of middle-of-the-road bar rock from two dimming ... 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 introducingliston@ ... 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: Juicy J & Project Pat feat. Slim Thug & New Genesis, "Ike Turner Pimpin'" "I'm a motherfuckin' ... 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, homies. Single of the Week: "I Look Good" remix, featuring Bun B, Slim Thug and Juvenile Note: We initally hated Chalie Boy's "I Lo ... More >>
Want to help fight breast cancer and possibly get pawed by some of Houston's hottest older ladies? Boy, is this the right weekend for you. Sugar Ray, pimping its new album Music for Cougars, headlines House of Blues' "Cougars for a Cause" show Saturday night with Austin power-pop heroes Fastball, ... More >>
The Third Ward's favorite son produces his most important album to date.
Photos by Ben BrennanHip-hop is a peculiar thing. Not only is it a genre of music, it's an art form as well. Unlike any other genre, when an artist makes a command, the audience immediately complies. When they spit rhymes, verse after verse, they take their willing participants on a journey to place ... More >>
Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and list five reasons why it's either brilliant or dumb-assed. Send tips to email@example.com. How's this for a stretch: DMX, if you'll remember, was recently incarcerated for the 93rd time for, meh, it ... 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, homies. Single of the Week: "Funny Valentine," Dustin Prestige Wire To Wire Lupe Fiasco, whom you'll remember recently announ ... More >>
Photos by Karma Neff To attend The Jones Experience, a hip-hop show headlined by Nasir “Nas” Jones (above) and opened by Talib Kweli, at Warehouse Live Monday evening meant one specific thing: pledging allegiance to a distinct strain of hip-hop that goes by many terms - purist, boom-bap, consci ... More >>
A Different Breed
Blogging: Hip-hop's new element?
Linking you to the best in legitimate, artist-approved exclusives
Monday, May 29, at The Flat, 1701 Commonwealth, 713-521-FLAT
The imminent launch of new venue Warehouse Live makes it official: Downtown is now Houston's live music hot spot
Saturday, August 13, at HUSH, 15625 Katy Freeway, 713-330-HUSH.
Wednesday, June 8, at HUSH, 15625 Katy Freeway, 713-330-HUSH.
The lyrics flow at the Starving Poets Poetic House Party 3
Okayplayer -- the Roots' home on the Net -- is more than just a Web site. For some hip-hop heads, it's a way of life.
RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta (Sony/Columbia)
Jay-Z previews his latest opus, The Black Album