"I am not one of these rappers that be rappin' just for shine, for these skeezers on these pics on inDmix. Bottom line: I gotta grind." --Doughbeezy
Twelve months is all it took.
At the beginning of last year, Doughbeezy, a 5'7" high bald fade with a rapper underneath, was an unknown. UNKNOWN. Shit, the first time we covered him here in this space, we weren't even bothering to spell his name right (it's ONE word, duh).
Since the beginning of this year though, he has regularly been touted as one of the city's very best talents by some of the city's very best talents. To list all he's accomplished since last January seems unnecessarily perfunctory (music + tours + followed on Twitter by Barack Obama + coverage by major music magazines and sites, etc). Just know that it's been a ton and it's been a ton and it's been a ton.
And this March, with his "buzz" proportionate to his outsized work ethic, he will release his first proper project, Blue Magic. That up there, that's "Grind," the first single from BM. Listen to it. It's a dervish that manages to feel tempered, which is exactly the type of organic evolution* people were hoping for when he began teasing the tape.
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Doughbeezy is one of the genuinely intriguing characters of Houston's underground rap biosphere. He is a modernization of the city's rap archetypes, recognizable but inventive all at once. (Incidentally, those two qualities serve as force multipliers in music; that's why Big K.R.I.T., who possesses that same pair of character traits, developed such an immediate and staunch following.) And were someone propitious enough to make a list of the guys in town that had to seriously be considered as Next Up, his name would be found somewhere within any reasonable argument.
Quick Aside: We spent two or so weeks asking underground rappers in Houston to name the ten best rappers within their respective field, then placed all of the names into a spreadsheet. Each time someone was mentioned, they earned a point. All of the points were tallied and a list was made that ranked everyone. The guy whose name showed up more than anyone else's? Doughbeezy. Sure, it's not the most scientific analysis, but fuck, dude, this ain't Basketball Reference dot com. Chill out.
At any rate, Doughbeezy/The Beez/Doughbeezius/The Southeast Beast, is week's away from the release of BM. This is the first single. And it's good. So go.
*For all of its fun and auspiciousness, Doughbeezy's 2011 tape, Reggie Bush & Kool-Aid, eventually felt like a First Time Out project. There were positively brilliant pieces in it ("Light You Up",' "Pass The Swisher"), but their corners were usually rounded by parts that didn't fit the general narrative of his existence ("In The Morning," "It's On").