Further Celebrating Slim Thug's Bosshood

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Slim Thug is a boss...and having your own private weekend to show it off is a boss-like thing to do.

Rappers can do certain things that we in normal life just can't. If we tried it, it would be awkward and weird-looking; you can't just stroll into your local Whole Foods with two bikini models on your arms and tell the clerk you want sliced pineapple. You also can't stand on the top of your building and say you can't see your haters. Know what they call you when that happens?

Crazy. Not a boss, just crazy.

Point is, Slim Thug can do and has done a lot in his nearly two-decade rap career. I've been listening to him when he was a teenager running on the Northside and jumping on Swishahouse tapes; I was barely a teenager myself. Now he's achieved some national success and become a second-tier figure (or close to it) on Houston Rap's Mount Rushmore.

Since the rap world down here was too busy celebrating the life of Thugga, mixtape releases totaled just one this week, but we're saving that one for a larger spotlight. In the meantime, let's just say Slim is involved in at least one prominent Houston rap street single that you should be aware of.

Guess who leads this column off, though: Mike Jones. Mike Jones? Mike Jones.

Mike Jones, "Set the Record Straight" The curious thing about a new Mike Jones record in 2014 is that you have absolutely zero idea where it's going to go. Mike is in the midst of challenging Bonecrusher, of all folks, to a rap battle so it's like the Madden 2004 soundtrack is trying to cannibalize itself and Good Charlotte is asked to watch from the sidelines.

"Set the Record Straight" rides a train of menace and parks it somewhere in the middle of downtown for all to see. It's not Mike revealing names and situations for everything that went on to lead to him not staying in Houston, a move like that that would be far too messy and intriguing. Instead, it operates as a reminder that despite what Jones went through, he achieved plenty by hitting shows nationwide and still remaining somewhat relevant in spite of it all.

K Yung, "Leanin" Trap records these days seem so far distant from in years previous. The drug talk is still opulent, maybe more than ever, but sonically there have been noticeable advances.

Snare drums are kicked up to even higher notches, the 808s hit harder and the pianos stab even deeper. However, the cadences have warped from gruff and guttural to sing-song and, in the matter of Young Thug, yelping. Missouri City native K Yung straddles that fence on "Leanin'," offering up an Autotuned opening in regards to driving in foreign whips, getting oral favors from chicks, and warning foes of weaponry lest they try to test him.

More new rap on the next page.

BeatKing feat. Danny Brown & RiFF RaFF, "Rambunctious" Oh BeatKing, this column was looking a little lonely without your omnipresence.

The history of rowdy rap really dates back to Three 6 Mafia's destruction of Memphis clubs back in the '90s. The sound has morphed here and there into Chicago's "drill," New York's unique slice and the California brand known as ratchet, but there's nothing quite like how they do it down club South. It dominated your college years, and soundtracked plenty of your nights.

For this fight record, BeatKing's linking up with two welcome weirdos in Danny Brown and RiFF RaFF is a kind of joy in itself. Namely, it's the first moment where his limber and towering baritone gets to work with RiFF RaFF's high-pitched yelps and brash delivery.

Slim Thug feat. Sauce Walka, Sancho Saucy & 5th Ward JP, "Errbody" I'm aware I shone a bit of light on Thugga's Thug Thursdays 2 mixtape but hearing the Sauce Twins -- a combo who sound just as deadly as Shaq and Penny on the pick-and-roll -- thump their way over Yo Gotti's "Errbody" every day for a week, you're reminded how sometimes street tracks can be simple and great all at once.

Then again, anytime you want to immediately believe you're going to punch a lyger in the throat and benchpress 1,100 pounds, this needs to be heard at high volume, preferably in a residential area.

Lil Keke, "It Didn't Matter" In the midst of a pretty decent Houston rap summer -- downplaying it of course, because it was pretty great -- Lil Keke gave us Money Don't Sleep, another appropriate hustler's-anthem album where money was his purest motivation.

Even when dealing with friends turned foes turned friends again, as is the case with "It Didn't Matter," Keke knows where his loyalty lies. And apparently so do the residents of his native Herschelwood where in the DJ Young Samm-directed video, two cops try their damndest to catch a perp only to watch him blend in with the crowd.

The lesson here? Don't ever trust anybody who attempts to dress up like Mike Lowery from Bad Boys 2 for fun.

Brando writes about Houston music to death, right here and as editor-in-chief of dayandadream.com. Follow him on Twitter: @_brandoc.


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