Screwston, Texas

Kirko Bangz Has a New Free Mixtape Out Right Here

About a year and a half ago -- or maybe it was two years or 20? You get the point -- at some only mildly nice bar on 59, I watched a Kirko Bangz show.

This was when "What Yo Name Iz" had gained strength regionally but not enough to produce any truly staggering results, and nothing remarkable happened that night. Bangz got onstage, introduced himself, did a song or two, then walked offstage and stood around the bar area, intermittently talking to people and checking his phone (presumably) to see if anyone had tweeted about how magnanimous his performance was.

I think it cost $5 to get in. He might've been hawking the first (or second) version of his Procrastination Kills mixtape. I don't recall. He was one of a handful of rappers on the bill.

Generally, it's nearly the same story today, even though, specifically, it's a different one altogether. .

He is still a rapper and is still pushing a Procrastination Kills tape; the fourth installment released Tuesday. He is still performing, though now Bangz's music is featured alongside Young Jeezy and Chris Brown and DJ Khaled. Bangz was the only other Houston artist placed on Khaled's recent ballyhooed compilation album, Scarface being the other.

His shows, meanwhile, are now alongside the likes of Tyga on the MTV-sponsored "Closer To My Dreams" tour that hits Bayou Music Center this Saturday.

Bangz's ascent has been remarkable, and is hopefully indicative of a larger shift, inspiring to all but the blackhearted. You may download the new tape at the link, and you may purchase tickets to his next show at that link. And you may tweet him about at @KirkoBangz.

It might be premature to call Bangz a hometown hero, but then again it might not be. Either way, he's certainly closer to the title than he was at that bar on 59. And that's pretty aces.

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Shea Serrano