Houston Music

A Buffet of New Houston Mixtapes Worth Going Back For Seconds

Remember when I said that Houston had basically ventured to Atlanta after Chedda Da Connect’s Chedda World mixtape? BeatKing took that to the next level, grabbed Nephew Texas Boy and decided to head down I-10 East to rap over 14 (!) Atlanta rap beats. That’s not only sticking to a theme, that’s bending the idea of Texas borrowing from Atlanta and vice versa so far that everybody can see it. What TexAtlanta does is take BeatKing’s hyperactive A.D.D. mindset, pairs it with somebody and tells him to go out and hit something. It takes a special kind of weirdo to try and out-weird Atlanta mainstays like Young Thug and Future and push them out of the way. BeatKing and Nephew Texas Boy are those exact kind of weirdos. “Double-yeeews is all I know,” BeatKing sings like King Louie on “W,” before proceeding to mention sleeping with people no less than five times because he’s bored or because he can. That’s strippers, her friend, your friend, etc.; in other words, BeatKing and Nephew Texas Boy don’t care what your relationship status is, he’s coming in to mess everything up.

CHEDDA DA CONNECT, Catchin’ Playz Season
Not that I would have advised upon doing such things, but Chedda Da Connect has not only released a mixtape to prop up his “Flicka Da Wrist” buzz, he dropped an album right after that. All this coming a full year after releasing a mixtape. Remember how we noticed Yo Gotti will forever release Cocaine Muzik mixtapes? The same is starting to happen with Chedda. If he’s not Catchin’ Playz, he’s living in Chedda World. The one supremely interesting thing about Catchin’ Playz Season isn’t how hard Chedda is pushing similar topics on us, it’s how he turns Caitlyn Jenner into an idiom for men acting like women. That’s right, “Bruce Jenna” is the major talking point of Catchin’ Playz Season because of not only the boldness but how it works as a club track ready to start a fire. Everything else? A literal ton of lifestyle rap about buying drugs, flipping drugs, buying things with the money made from flipping drugs, and then some. Chedda might have caught lightning in a bottle once with “Flicka Da Wrist,” but Lord knows he’s going to bludgeon rap fans over the head with subtle reminders about who he is and what he raps about.

KAB THA DON & KDOGG, Trap Chronicles
Dear Lord, if there were ever a super hard-ass rap duo in Houston, it would be these two. Here’s the skinny about Trap Chronicles: it’s KDOGG and his razor-blade-thin but cuts-just-as-deep rap voice acting like secondary muscle to KAB Tha Don’s shoot-first-and-ask-short-questions-later preacher-style oration. You can hear KDOGG yelp “We the Boss Twinz!” on a freestyle of “2 Legited” and believe him. You can also hear KAB Tha Don discuss drug-rap shit and how he only drinks prescribed lean. Trap Chronicles is so Northside, George Young drops a snare and choked-off hum for “Aggressive” and Southsider “Levert” Rob Gullatte talks freaky tales, not even discussing sleeping with a woman unless she has sheets on her bed. What KAB & KDOGG attempt to pull off here is a lot of trap talk with equal amounts vigor for a chosen profession and disgust for the possible end result: jail. “Ridin’ With a Sentence” jumps with plenty of paranoia and wicked assurance: “he said he’ll take the case long as there ain’t no bodies." In a live setting, KAB Tha Don could make any recently clean addict come back to the dope. In any other setting, KDOGG probably would rap with a garrote to send a saved person back to sinning. That’s just how convincing these two are together.

RetroKash's last tape, Imperial, arrived a couple of years ago. Then, it was a comfortable mix of sort of nasally New Orleans shit-talk and braggadocio over laid-back production almost straight from a Los Angeles weed shop. The effort remains the same on 10K, as RetroKash continues to splay out his New-Orleans-to-Houston to parts of California, albeit with more ‘90s-like vibes. The title track riffs on wanting things of old as opposed to the trends of now and the tape carries that feeling. Even when Sauce Factory ambassador Rizzoo Rizzoo shows up in the early half of the tape, 10K runs like a Chevy with the top blown off and plenty of girls to grab along for the ride. It’s a skimpy ten tracks, relatively short compared to some of the more bloated efforts that arrived over the Thanksgiving holidays, but it settles as another hearty meal for the Louisiana native. The gumbo he brings — especially in his drawl — might be thick but it's adaptable, to say the least.

SAUCE TWINZ, Don’t Let the Sauce Fool You
If you remember SNK games, that's where the sound effect that leads off the Sauce Twinz's latest mixtape comes from. The Twinz have released so much music in 2015 that it's not only hard to keep up, it's hard to differentiate from tape to tape. “This ain’t a dance, this a lifestyle,” Sauce Walka says on “Steal My Drip,” and he’s right. The Twinz and the Sauce Factory blare out in clubs from Houston to Los Angeles running off the same fuel created from “2 Legited” and last year’s In Sauce We Trust. On Don’t Let The Sauce Fool You, the Twinz are in defense mode, stiff-arming everyone trying to box them in. They’re going to talk money, even if the rather interesting in name “Winnin” with Meek Mill doesn’t show up here. Walka is going to vaguely mention slumming with his “twin” Saucy before making it to this current spot. On the long-awaited “2 Legited 2 Quited (Remix)”, it’s Saucy who adds a verse to Walka’s major record, discussing his history of pimping, from the Kappa to right now. The Twinz aren’t running out of ways to spill the sauce, they’re still letting the rest of the world catch up.
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Brandon Caldwell has been writing about music and news for the Houston Press since 2011. His work has also appeared in Complex, Noisey, the Village Voice & more.
Contact: Brandon Caldwell