Screwston, Texas

The Super Houston Mixtape Tuesday Column

We're at the midpoint of the year of our Houston Rap Lord two thousand-fourteen. In that short span, we've seen BeatKing topple buildings and get Nicki Minaj's attention, Doughbeezy's slow fury wreak havoc all over the country, two radio stations viciously vie for listeners, DeLorean arming himself for radio play, Propain basking in the victory that Ridin' Slab secured him nearly a year ago. His understudy Doeman, meanwhile, became one of Houston's fastest-rising Latino rappers; same for Dat Boi T and Young G, not to mention GT Garza. The Houston Press Music Awards got more rap love than ever, it seems, and...OneHunnidt's tape is still not out yet. Bummer.

A full review of the past half-year in Houston rap is forthcoming; the city's crowning achievement, though, is simply not combusting during Drake's extended stay. But before that, we must dig into an absolute metric ton of new music and videos by Houston artists. May as well do this alphabetically and go on down.


DeLorean feat. Mitchelle'l: "Picture Me Swangin'" If you ever wanted a butter-smooth track about Houston car culture and looking dead in the eye of haters who could barely crack a steering column -- much less push something powerful like a clean-ass Caddy -- this is it. Cory Mo digs into the Pimp C School of Making Everything Sound Like Superhero Music for DeLorean's official radio debut, featuring Mitchelle'l of Grand Hustle. That's right, we've got an extension of Pimp, an extension of T.I. and DeLorean, himself an extension of every good aspect of being a bridge to both slices of Houston rap. A win-win.

Doeman feat. Propain, "Jodeci" During the peak glow of SXSW, Doeman, the stocky yet lean-eyed Latin spitter formerly of Chavez High School, released his DYNA EP. Rather short and to the point, it allowed people to understand that when he solely seeks to rap his ass off, he's not one to fuck around.

"Jodeci" was his one tried and true "lifestyle" track, a term I'm applying to any rap song that has no direction other than to impose the idea that for whatever reason, said rapper is just cooler than you. The video makes Doeman and, by proxy, Propain and even Doughbeezy look like stars of the party.

Easy Yves Saint, "Juice" When it was just a spastic standalone single, Yves' "Juice" had a hard enough edge to determine its own place and figure. The visuals, shot by longtime directors OG Danny Ocean and Hai Salem, offers something much more darker and anxious. There's a gritty hunger added to the Sincerely Yves track, almost as a snarl for everybody who snubbed him from a HPMA nomination.

Frank Loot, "No Pressure" Black and white visuals seem to be the best for serious introductions. Take Frank Loot, for example, built from the Maxo Kream class of gruffed-out menace with panache for trying to rip people's heads off on wax. "No Pressure" builds off the idea of a lycanthrope, a metamorphosis from relaxed and stable to unhinged and focused on a singular goal. Loot represents that and then some here, which when you're dressed in all black doesn't leave much to the imagination.

Column continues on the next page.

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Brandon Caldwell has been writing about music and news for the Houston Press since 2011. His work has also appeared in Complex, Noisey, the Village Voice & more.
Contact: Brandon Caldwell