Thursday evening, perennially (and unjustifiably) overlooked rapper GT Garza held a release party for his latest tape, @ItzGarza. Sponsored by Jose Cuervo's Platino line, the event was held at SF2 South, a store that has suddenly become a juggernaut within the Houston hip-hop community.
We went, hung out for a bit, listened to the tape a few times, then cobbled together some notes about both. They're below. You know what it is.
#AlbumNotes GT Garza is a talented rapper. He just understands how to do it. It clicks in his brain. He might whiff on a chorus ("Dollars In My Denim") or song idea ("The Man"), but his execution is almost always hardy and full-bellied. Sometimes it's hard to believe that all of his musical ferociousness comes from his thin, thin frame.
It's like a magic trick or something, like when they cram a lady into a teeny tiny box. And that's usually the most interesting aspect of any of his tapes. (Point of Reference: "52 Pick Up") No difference here.
Another thing that's interesting, and this has become more and more common, is the idea of building promotion right into the album itself (the title, again, is @ItzGarza). We'll point you towards this splendid article Jeff Weiss wrote at our sister paper LA Weekly back in 2007 about the origination of this sort of thing.
#MixerNotes Some of the recognizable faces that were in attendance: producer Cy Fyre, producer/rapper Cory Mo, rapper Dat Boi T, rapper/ponytail enthusiast Bunz (he has two ponytails!), rapper Franchise from the underappreciated duo Franchise and Yung; and photographer/musician/former Artist of the Week/beardist Third World.
Also, and maybe most importantly: Free fajitas. Not cookies, not cupcakes, not sandwiches. Fajitas, bitches. Your move, aspiring rappers with upcoming in-stores.
#MixerNotes There was one point in the evening when Bunz was talking to another guy with a ponytail. That's three more ponytails in a two-person conversation among men than there should've been. Speaking of...
#AlbumNotes Bunz makes two appearances on @ItzGarza, with his work on the Black Eyed Peas-ish "Rock A Show" sounding especially good. He can, at times, try to bully his production, but on "Rock A Show" he lets it guides his cadence. He doesn't do anything terribly complicated or groundbreaking lyrically, but that's kind of what that situation called for. Kudos for that.
#MixerNotes Cy Fyre wears (or was wearing, at least) a calculator watch. That's something you need to know, it felt like. That guy is cool, cool, cool.
#MixerNotes Dat Boi T somehow managed to wear his pants no higher than past his mid-thigh, which is pretty damned impressive.
#MixerNotes Black guys with blonde hair is not a good look. Why would you do that? Don't you remember how that shit worked out for Sisqo?
#MixerNotes Big Records Group is GT's managing group. They've been around for a bit but just got busy this past year. GT's record label is called The Machine, which is a very excellent name for a record label.
Other entities that have referred to themselves as The Machine: former Laker and present asshole Sasha Vujacic; the guy from that Nic Cage movie 8mm that starred in the snuff films; a secret coalition of white fraternities and sororities at the University of Alabama that became powerful enough to allegedly influence Alabama politics. Has there ever been a more varied group of things corded together by name?
#AlbumNotes The runaway winner for the What's The One Song On Here That You Won't Delete Even If You Delete All The Others? contest is "Rollin'," a Chalie Boy-assisted swale. He's always been a lot of fun when he makes these sorts of unexpected appearances. You can't listen to it and not immediately feel like listening to any of his songs not called "I Look Good." That said...
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#AlbumNotes The most fun song on the tape is "Great White," wherein GT Garza unleashes his ego and lets it shit all over some piano keys and a bass thump. Where we tasked with selecting one song from this tape that could display why it is that you should always at least download new Garza music, it'd be this one. It's economical and ominous and mean, three places Garza exists naturally.