Deluge Of Underground Rap Releases Keeps On Coming

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Apparently, the City of Houston has enacted some sort of bill stating that everybody release new rap music every single day of the goddamn year. How else to explain the abundance of emails received these past few weeks with music? It very nearly surpassed the number of hate messages we received, which is pretty impressive.

Six pieces of music you should listen to this weekend before the next 14 tapes come out next Tuesday:

1. After building up a fair amount of anticipation among undergrounders, Montana, the floppy-haired dynamo from rap group ATW, released his first solo effort, Lift Off. The EP is every bit as unruffled as Montana is; he wanders around through myriad soundscapes (boom-bap sonicism, worldly production, subtle and engaging horns), existing two steps away from ostentatious and six miles away from anxious, somehow still appearing likeable and charming.

Highlights include "Green," the front half of "Leavin' Flo" and the bombastic "Front Butt," which, despite our sincerest hopes, is not, in fact, about an actual front butt. Listen to the full thing here.

2. Yung Zavey, the precocious MC we first saw take on Wayne's "6'7'" track several weeks ago, has officially released his mixtape for free download, Thinking Out Loud. Despite a skit that introduces the tape that runs too long, it mostly flows well, highlighted by "Sweat Shop," which sees Zavey float around in his most natural cadence, and "Everybody Raps," which samples the same set of horns that The Niceguys did on "The Show."

Also, there's a skit on there that's less a skit and more a straight sound bite from Montell Williams' surreal interview re: his marijuana use. It's still funny. Get it here.

3. Did you see Propain's "Don't Even Worry" video? Man, that guy is tough. Were it not for the hashmark-rap bit that he gets into at the end, it'd pretty much be an unassailable song. It's more aggressive and affecting than "Say I Won't," but equally as primed for radio success. Also, it's pretty clever of him to start rapping about two beats before everyone thinks he's going to.

4. Definitely grab this. That's the avante-garde American Guy EP that Riquo Jones is pushing around. We couldn't point you towards three people in the city who are trying to do the kind of music that Jones is doing here. If you play this for a girl and tell her specifically that it reminded you of her when you heard it and that's why you liked it so much, she'd almost certainly make out with you.

Or she wouldn't. Who knows? Girls are unsolvable puzzles, like a Rubik's Cube with 64 different colors on it. Check one. There are exactly 64 individual squares on a Rubik's Cube. We counted them up for joke. Dedication, son.

5. Oh, J Franks - we'd never heard of him either, a fact he addresses that fact on a song called "Money," which starts with "Okay, okay, I know you really haven't heard of me"- teamed up DJ Don (definitely heard of him) for his My L.I.F.E. The best misusage of a popular refrain on the tape: "Loose lips... will leave a nigga with his throat cut."

That's from the cumbersome "Power." It features features from the aforementioned Propain and the undermentioned Kritikal. It's cool. The best song, though: "Coolin'," which features a gross saxophone sample, a high hat and a snare drum. Grab it here.

6. The Beez leaked a song from his forthcoming tape, Kool Aid and Reggie Bush, a title that birthed an extremely minor controversy on Twitter. The premise: people poking at the fact that it's a variation of Wiz Khalifa's successful Kush and Orange Juice tape, a criticism we mentioned to him specifically beforehand. You have to appreciate how relentless Doughbeezy is in his assault on the local rap scene.

Have good music? Send it to sheaserrano at gmail dot com. Have shitty music? Drive into a wall.

Extra Credit: O.N.E. stopped by a Hornbread performance to make everyone who hasn't been paying attention to him and his music feel like an ass for not doing so. That guy is almost always fun live.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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