The Houston Press Underground Rap Awards, Vol. 3
We are 75 percent of the way through with 2011, and somehow it is still unclear: a) Which underground rapper is having the best year; b) Which is the best underground rap song of the year; c) Which underground rapper has had the best verse of the year; d) Which underground rapper will land atop the essential Houston Press 10 Best Houston Rap Albums of the Year list, and; e) Which underground rapper has established himself as the clear-cut best of the new generation.
Finally, Delo has some competition.
It's pretty perplexing. And pretty inspiring. A big proper story on all of this coming soon.
In the meantime, since we're 75 percent of the way through with 2011, it is time for the third issue of the Houston Press Underground Rap Awards. This is the final go 'round before December's year-end festivus of listicles and virgin sacrifices (or whatevs). The two previous installments ran in March and June - Ed.
Fifteen awards this time. There were originally more than 23 awards, but the column ended up stretching out towards 3,000-plus words. We spent two hours cutting out really excellent awards like "Best Song That Might Be About A Fish" and "Stage Show That Makes You Want To Stick A Nail In Your Eyeball."
Those'll come later, probably. At any rate, off we go...
The "Best Tape of the Year (Thus Far)" Award
Delo's Hood Politics Vol. 2 has been an absolute headache for every rapper not named Delo since he released it during the first quarter of the year. It's just been too overpowering and well-done for anyone to deal with. And really, it started to seriously look like it might fall that way through December.
But then Killa Kyleon decided he'd make Candy Paint N Texas Plates 2, the best project he's ever done, and blammo, carpet out from under the feet and whatnot. Killa is king. And since we're here...
The "Guys, Come Now, That's Not Fair" Award
Killa Kyleon + Bun B + Lex Luger = FYL
The "You Can't Watch This Video With The Lights Off" Award
Trae's "Strapped Up," featuring Pyrexx. Why? Um, did you watch it? That shit is terrifying.
L-R: Pyrexx and Trae tha Truth
Incidentally, Trae just recently announced that he's building a children's shelter. Think that's reason enough to believe his hands aren't made of stone and steel? The only difference between four years ago and today is if you got beat up by him in 2007, you were just a dude that was beaten up, but if you get beaten up by him today, you'd just be a dude that got beat up by a guy that's opening a children's shelter.
The "If You're Paying Attention, This Song Is So Much Fun" Award
Lots of sirs have rapped about Houston this year, but nobody has done so as creatively and enjoyably as the mostly invisible D-Risha did on "Ebonics," a four-minute soliloquy that explains what every bit of Houston slang ever has meant. Did you know that "unit" is another way to say "outfit"? Do you know what it means to "bar plex" or have something "sowed" or what it means to look "hulled out"?