That was the crux of a recent Twitter back-and-forth between DJ Mr. Rogers, easily one of the best DJs Houston has to offer, and Slim Thug, a Houston mainstay whether he's rapping or just speaking his unfiltered mind.
"Do You" is not really a brand-new concept, it's something people ask of their rappers every single time they touch the mike, even moreso when it comes to rappers in a certain region. It's a two-sided argument of course in regards to success, to either follow current trends of what's hot versus what works.
When looking at Houston's new-jacks, those who are in the crosshairs of Rogers' argument, it's all about being "hot" and how their own particular talents lead to their own idea of success.
For every Doughbeezy, BeatKing and Propain, three artists who have stuck to their guns and seen noticeable bumps in popularity, there are acts like Killa Kyleon: lyrical stalwarts who continue to line up instrumentals and knock them down with punchline-heavy barbs. But Killa still could be considered a national "newbie," put up for the XXL's Freshman class countless times, which in turn baffles those of us who have closely followed his career.
Either way, those who have either just started to kick the tires on their careers or currently seem comfortable in their steps are the ones next in line to get skewered by the masses.
MIXTAPE OF THE WEEK: Boston George, Trappin In Traffic Boston George is to Houston as French Montana is to New York. Both are lovable goons, both are capable of making strip-club material that radio and every other vehicle in the vicinity will eat up. The only difference is that George's verses aren't rap's version of karaoke, and he's not dating a Kardashian. To note, Trappin In Traffic arrives a year after his Boo Rossini joint tape Drug War. As rote as that one was in displaying George's talents, it shrinks in comparison to what Trappin offers.
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The best of Boston George revolves around his main topics of thought -- drug dealing and himself. The Autotuned-up "Kilo" is a fine example of George being a goofball, tweaking a tried-and-true idea (again, drugs) and pushing his highest attribute (charisma) to the nth degree. He can role-play around with the likes of Rick Ross and Slim Thug on "Greatness" and dig deep into the sonics of Atlanta trap, with Lil Lody behind the boards for most of the tape. It's quite the dynamic. Trap-rappers need solid production in order to succeed maybe more than any other variety.
J. Cole can drag drab production of his own merits to choice records of success, but Boston George needs dark moments where bass lines bubble past their threshold to really take effect. A "Plug" remix with Young Jeezy is a clear example of how things can work, even when paired with a man clearly attempting to evolve his own identity.
Moments like "I Know the Plug" and "Mexican Potna" stick to his own merits. You know exactly what George is capable of as a rapper, or as a presence more than anything. He has Marcus Manchild around to handle those loaded moments where lyrics and bravado must match, such as "Moma" and "Right Now."
It then begs a new question: when exactly did George leapfrog Manchild, and when is Manchild going to arrive back to his previously stated perch? Download Here
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Kirko Bangz feat. August Alsina, "Rich" To his credit, Kirko Bangz has a charm about him, one that has existed since his days at Prairie View. He's got humble-rap down, enough that it can seep through all the ink on him for a pretty good rap song. The August Alsina-assisted "Rich" is another example of this, a cut off Bigger Than Me where Kirko isn't satisfied with a certain level of monetary success.
Instead, we're dealing with Kirko wanting to pay back everybody from his mother to his friends and keep them happy while also maintaining his sanity. Sorry, Sallie Mae, Kirko has zero ducats for you.
JT, "More Than Gold" Piano stabs are what makes JT's "More Than Gold" synergize with its heartfelt message. Taken from the Houston rapper's recently released Moment of Silence album, the song speaks on his father's battle with dementia, his lasting legacy of raising not only JT but his brother as well. It shakes, echoes a bit with sentiments like "be a man of integrity" and more, almost like the Kipling poem.
Ever since Lecrae raised the profile for rappers who happen to espouse Christianity far more than any other piece of subject matter, the more the lines are starting to blur as far as what may be considered "Christian Rap." Which is better: more inclusion, less separation.
Sevon feat. Propain, "Everything" Here's a intriguing aspect of "Everything," the single by relative newcomer Sevon and guest-starring Propain: it's incredibly impressionable. Sevon is raw and still searching for his own voice, but visually is made to look like a star here. Like the movie Blank Check or something -- a kid who just lucks into new surroundings and splurges. Anytime you get minor co-signs from Doughbeezy, a few models and Pro, you kind of get star treatment.
Sevon wants all the items seemingly tied to a successful career -- money, cars, clothes, women -- and is attempting to find his way through an Autotune bounce track with a big smile. He understands his newness, and how everything can be gone in a second. He gets it.
Sevon is also opening for Devin Tha Dude next month, which is another plus to deal with.
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