He Might Be a "Lil Young," But He's Not Stupid

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The first time Rocks Off ever went to Houston's Show Palace Cabaret, we took eight tequila shots in a row in less than ten seconds (we have witnesses). Our friend Billy, who lost the tequila-shot contest, filled up three urinals with food he consumed that night and probably all the way back to the third grade. Two naked blond bombshells covered themselves in baby oil and played slip-and-slide on the stage.

The guy whose bachelor party we were celebrating went home with a stripper. We didn't know him that well so we're not sure if he ever got married, but that's not the point of us revealing this part our life to you.

Edgebrook product Aaron Miranda, known as "Lil Young" in the streets of Houston, is the reason we're letting you in on our The Hangover type of evening more than ten years ago.

It's hard to be jealous of another man. That's a bone that's just not in our body, but we couldn't help but be a little envious - OK, lots of envious - of this rapper when he told us that as an 18-year-old high-school senior, he was leaving the South Houston High School campus and heading to Show Palace to DJ almost seven nights a week at that fine gentleman's establishment.

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For most men in the world, that would probably be their dream job. For an aspiring H-Town Latino hip-hop artist, let us tell you about an even better gig: becoming the first Latino artist for the legendary Swishahouse music label.

That's where Lil Young sits today. Two years removed from getting paid to play music strippers could bounce their asses to and selling his mixtapes between songs, Young is talking to Rocks Off sitting in a Southeast Houston studio next to a different kind of booth - one that records lyrics and could define his future.

But before we step into the booth of the present, we need to take you back two years and into another strip club, The Perfect Rack. We need to do this to not only to tell you how Young got to be a groundbreaker in the Houston rap scene, but to help you understand why his signing with Swishahouse is historic.

For years, young Meskins in Houston have looked to Swishahouse artists to push their speakers to the limit, to make their car floors messy with stacks of mixtape and album CD cases, to make Houston hip-hop important again in the national music scene when it had taken a decade-plus hiatus. Michael "5000" Watts and G-Dash, owners of the Swishahouse label, did all of those things.

And despite being in a city whose growing Hispanic population will soon make up half of Harris County in just a few years, they captured the loyalty of this community without ever having to put out an artist that resembled them physically. For the record, we write that with 100 percent amazement and zero percent resentment.

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