The 25 Best Houston Rap Projects of 2013, Nos. 25-21

And so it came in the year of our Lord 2013 that Houston rap decided enough was enough. 2012 was already a banner year for the city in terms of local product, all roads leading towards The Niceguys' sophomore project James Kelley as king of the hill.  Randomly, have you ever played King of the Hill? That's nuts. That's how we got the Hunger Games in real life, only with death and shit. Survival of the fittest, survival of the fittest.

So here before you is a list, no wait, THE LIST, that will once and for all settle the debate on who had the best rap release from within Houston's city limits in 2013. Sadly, some artists couldn't be listed more than once, otherwise we'd have an entire list dedicated to how high Le$ floated on this project or how often BeatKing tried to assault every club in his vicinity. Others tried to sneak in at the last damn minute (I'm looking at you Dante Higgins and Undergravity's The Freshest MCs.)

The bastardized sister to this list, which was released this past summer, should be a precursor. Good? Good.

25. Bigg Fatts, Appetizers Last year, Fatty Haddy might have had the most humorous take on big-boy rap with Fast Food. The Appetizers theme continued the food talk in title only, as Fatts here picked up on the "intelligent ratchet" scale with a snack pack of tracks like the anthemic and straightforward "I Ain't Done Yet" and "Slow It Dine," which was sexually charged yet verbose.

24. KDOGG, Alias EP The Headwreckas' more quiet monster spent 2013 either in school or dominating ciphers at a record pace. His purest moment of fury manifested on Alias; compiling every split personality in his body to launch punchlines at people.

23. Young Von, Snob University Nepotism has never met Young Von and Young Von has no idea what the word even looks like. He may be a second generation Boss Hogg-er as Slim Thug's nephew, but Von can hold his own, filling this 16-track EP with enough bravado and fun that you have to dig it.

List continues on the next page.

22. Isaac Reid, Nothing 2 Lose The first guy up to bat from TrakkSounds, Albie Dickson and Chinky P's rap camp, was Isaac Reid in 2013 and Nothing To Lose saw him surmise everything he needed to know about crafting a pretty decent debut tape. Here balance is key and, for all of our sakes, "Changing Lately" (feat. Devin the Dude) gets the formula of hardened man done wrong by a woman right.

21. Twenty Eleven, 20 Summers That pop sound Twenty Eleven experimented with on previous record The Twenty Eleven EP? Here it got blown up and transformed into a more adult being. There's songs about sex, relationships and a funeral-procession-slow, well-executed cover of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good."

The boys finally made good on mixing what made their first two full-lengths shine with a few rough edges. 20 Summers has the polish, and Twenty Eleven has the makings of Houston's next great band.


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