Screwston, Texas

Five Spot: Flying the Mddl Fngz

Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and, sometimes awkwardly, tie it to a bit of Houston rap. It's five videos and occasional cussing. Send tips to [email protected].

Mddl Fngz is a hard hitting (and totally texter-friendly) rap group that formed in 2002, in part as an offshoot of UGK when Pimp C was incarcerated. They're lyrically talented, gruff in their presentation, and utterly convincing in the Look How Mean I Am In My Black Shirt And Hat And Sunglasses role. (Their new mixtape, Smokin' Wit Tha Enemy, is out now. Buy it here.)

Yet, despite being one of the more intimidating tough-talk rap conglomerations currently operating, they've gone largely unnoticed by the mainstream rap audience. Here's where we'd like to point out that the YouTube page for B-Hamp's "Do The Ricky Bobby" has amassed more than 1.3 million hits in less than eight months. People are sooo stupid.

If you're a fan of harder-edged rap stuff, you've got to give these guys a try. For your consideration:

"Murda On My Mind," feat. Z-Ro and Bun B: "I seen some shit that'd make the average nigga vomit" - yipes. One time our cousin Brian smashed his thumb in a car door and ended up having to pull the thumbnail off because it was all busted to hell. That almost made us vomit. We suspect Bun B is talking about something a little more sinister.

"Leave Another Behind," feat. Chamillionaire, Paul Wall and Bun B: We'll admit it: Part of the reason that we picked this song was because we got to rehash that badass XXL "Don't Mess With Texas" cover shot. But seriously, how long are magazines going to continue giving every Texas rapper that same wack Wild West angle? Probably until those magazine are gone for good. Which should be about two more issues, or something.

"Ain't Nothin' Fuckin' Wit Texas": No, the "Fuckin' Wit Texas" slant isn't exactly thesis material, but the effort here is strong nonetheless. FYI: Notice the abundance of black shirts and hats and sunglasses here. We swear to God we wrote that line in the first paragraph before we even saw this video.

"Retaliation Is A Must": Okay, we would like to rescind our previous complaint about local rappers being unfairly saddled with the Wild West theme. It seems to be somewhat self-fulfilling. Why would you even include that whistle in this song? It's superfluous. On a side note: How sick would a Bushwick Bill contribution have been here? "Retaliation..." is exactly the type of brooding sound he was built for.

Bun B, "Take The Hood Back," feat. Slim Thug, Vicious and Mddl Fngz: We love this type of hood reclamation track. Also, here's something that came up in a conversation the other day that's been on our mind lately: It's pretty much the worst offense in the world to be labeled a snitch if you're a rapper. Do you know the only other profession where that is taken so egregiously? Law Enforcement. Ironic, right?

We mean, they're pretty much sworn enemies. And you always see on TV - which is where we gather almost all of our police-related intel, by the way - where some hard ass cop is pressing someone about not ratting out his people even though he'd never do the same. Someone should really bring this up to both parties. It'd probably go along way to bridge the gap. Or it wouldn't. Whatever.

Have a good weekend.

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Shea Serrano