I’ve come across many artists in Houston that believe in doing it for Screw and candy coated Lac’s swangin’ down the boulevard, but I’m rarely stoked by them because their music is usually not very good. These are the “real Htine rappers”. The cats still banging Screw tapes like its ’94 and sipping syrup like its water. Please believe I have no problem with Houston culture. It’s amazing because I come from Boston where we really don’t have a culture represented in rap. It’s like the Wild West out there. People pretty much trying to blow making music everyone else is making. It’s a travesty.
I bring up the culture these new rappers want to represent because they do it poorly. They try to mimick the June 27th Freestyle but the problem is their execution is very poor. You have these guys, then you have guys trying to make the sound Atlanta is producing. Eh. I’m down with bigging up the culture 100% but let us do it better than the ones that came before us (and can we let ATL do ATL, or do it better, good music is good music and I can’t speak negatively about that). That Screw era laid the foundation so let us build and get better. Just look at A$AP Rocky. That could’ve been someone from the city.
There is one local rapper that I feel represents the syrup sippers and June 27th stans in a positive light though. That rapper goes by the name of Chino. Residing on the Southeast side of town, Chino is no stranger to talking about the culture on the mic. He has been at it for the last several years and is slowly sharpening his sword. He shows that on his new project, The Beautiful Struggle. I always joke to him that if you listen closely you can hear the slab line swangin’ on every track. With a heavy southern drawl, you can hear the Houston in his voice and it’s quite refreshing. It’s refreshing to hear someone so immersed in the Screw era yet still sounding new and himself.
This project is 9months in the making and was originally 24tracks. The final release is a little bit slimmer but is not lacking. His last release, 3rd Coast Born, is not on the same level as this project. Skill wise, production wise and quality. That’s great news because it shows he’s getting better/moving forward and progression is never a bad thing.
Enjoy and let us know what you think.
–Jackie Tran, MJR