There's this manmade pond near the entrance of the Houston Zoo. It's a great big rectangle that connects to nothing else. There are some statues in it, and some of that nasty vegetation that grows on top of pond water. And there are fish in it too. A shitload of fish.
The way it's constructed - there are concrete benches all along the edges of it, and trees on the exterior that provide shade - it makes for an ideal area to sit and eat lunch with your kids if you were smart enough to pack one.
And naturally, what ends up happening is, a lot of times whenever someone is finished with their food, they'll toss the extra bits into the water. And the fish, all fighting for life in a contained ecosystem with finite resources, go apeshit, pounding into each other, splashing about, trying to grab what they can when they can. The stronger ones, they prosper. The weaker ones, they don't. Darwin would be proud at how perfectly vicious and self-sustaining the whole situation is.
Chances are, he'd feel the same way about this New Houston movement.
Every second that you breathe, these guys (all 442 of them) seem to grow bolder, more auspicious. They release music by the gigabyte, pounding into each other, splashing about, trying to grab what they can when they can. They get beats from local producers, record in local studios and film videos with local videographers.
There's a definite hierarchy - it seems like the two categories currently are "Ferocious Talents" and "Everyone Else" - but they're all grabbing at the same thing. The nature of the infrastructure can be a bit brutal, but such highly competitive environs promise that only the meanest, most talented guys will survive, and that's kind of the way it has to be.
That said, there was a flurry of new music videos released recently here in town, all from guys making their case that they would like to be the city's prominent tertiary consumer.
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Pair up perhaps the most bloodthirsty underground rapper in Houston with perhaps the best R&B singer, and the music seems to take care of itself. "Move On" has to be at the top of anyone's "Hey, Which Houston Rap Video Do You Think Has Been The Best Thus Far" discussion. You have to figure it's only a matter of time before one of these new guys comes up with a super innovative concept for a video that pops nationally.
A solid adaptation of "A.M.," which many argued was the best track from Thurogood's Appetizer EP. Somehow manages to cage Thuro's hyperlikeability. Is there a more sincere smile in Houston hip-hop?
From hasH's extra impressive Relationsh*t album. One question: Y'all fuckin' with that?
Montana has been a part of several videos, and they almost always seem to involve some sort of Road Movie narrative (i.e.. he's either walking or driving somewhere). This has to mean something, right? Perhaps he's searching for something or exploring or maybe even running from something? Who knows. What is known: Do not introduce him to your girlfriend.
One of the most interesting plot points of the upcoming Houston Press music awards: Will anyone be able to knock Fat Tony from his Best Underground Rapper perch? He's been up there for years straight. If he does get ousted, he should absolutely be allowed to hand the trophy over to the new winner, like how Johnny did to Daniel Larusso at the end of The Karate Kid.
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Linked to this video once before, but it's good and it features rising talent Doughbeezy and still nobody is talking about Yung Truth so it gets double play. Truth is better than he may realize, which is pretty tricky for a rapper to do. He is utterly gangster and very big brotherly. Mark it down: If Truth puts the pieces together, next year he'll make a tape that a lot of people will be talking about.