Filero Isn't Scared To Tell the Un-fairy Tale. First of a Two-Part Series.

Filero with Texas Latin Rap Awards Pioneer Awards.jpg
Filero holds the Pioneer trophy he won at the 2009 Texas Latino Rap Awards.
This could be our most controversial Latino rap blog yet, or the first of many. We really don't know yet. We can tell you what we do know. We're 16 stories in and just starting to scratch the surface of the dynamics of Houston's Latino rap game. Since Rocks Off started riding this Latino rap wave, it's been smooth sailing.

Most of the artists we've featured pay homage to the most successful Texas Latin rap artist in history, SPM. We wondered when the wave was going to come crashing down. After talking to Texas Latin rap pioneer Filero, we got drowned with reality and left the conversation reaching for the surface, gasping for air.

Pimp C called out Young Jeezy because he didn't give a fuck. Truth, or his perception of it, pulled rank over his other half's friendship with Jeezy, so he put Mr. 16.5 on blast for not calling himself Mr. 10-a-key. And young folk, who probably didn't know Pimp C because they were shitting their diapers when Sweet James Jones was helping lay the foundation for Southern rap, probably looked at Tony Snow like, "N*gga, where you come from?"

Filero compared himself to Pimp C when we talked to him, because when it comes to the pretty picture many have about Houston Latino rap and its evolution, he isn't scared to put his bare hand on it and play "wax on, wax off."

If anyone has that right, it's Filero. We'll tell you why.

Filero 2.jpg

Lots of people have told us that the best albums ever made by Houston Latino rappers have a post-2000 drop date, and they probably have a good artistic argument. We have to admit, though, that anybody who tells us that, we look at like the Rio Grande Valley native who claims he's been "listening to UGK since the 'beginning'... since Big Pimpin'." All we can do is laugh, because they ain't from H-Town. They didn't grow up here in the '90s and can't understand why previous Latino rap albums' impact elevates their rank and influence. And that "Hey dumbass, 'Big Pimpin'' was the beginning of the end, not the beginning."

The first albums made by Latino rap artists are credited to Grimm, Filero, Lil Villain, Lord Loco, Balazo, Shadow and Ikeman, members of Aggravated (founded in 1994), later known as The Most Hated due to label disputes. For all intents and purposes, they are pioneers of Mexican-American hip-hop in Texas along with SPM. But a false perception is that Mr. Hustle Town was alone.

Their self-titled albums, Aggravated and The Most Hated, are only preceded by Grimm's first solo outing, and might be considered the Texas Latino rap equivalent of N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton and Niggaz4life. SPM's Hustle Town is another that's just as cherished and beloved as those two. In fact, Filero tells us that early on, SPM met with Aggravated to talk about joining the group, but it was decided there were too many members already and SPM would be better off going solo.

We know. You chuckle because you know SPM ended up being much better off. End of story, right? Well, not so fast.


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