The 25 Best Houston Rap Projects of 2013, Nos. 15-11

15. Boston George & Boo Rossini, Drug War: Da Brickstape
If there was ever a single-minded tape that executed everything it needed to in a small space, Boston George's talk of trapping with Boo Rossini for the duration of Drug War: Da Brickstape was it.

Nobody is going to put George on a Mount Rushmore of lyricists, but on this throwback to those mid-'00s street tapes of violence and dark singles ("Strip Club"), George and Rossini tossed out more chest-thumping bravado and sneers than ever before. Additions from Rich Homie Quan, Scarface and Yo Gotti only made the package feel wrapped even better.

REWIND: The 25 Best Houston Rap Projects of 2013, Nos. 25-21

The 25 Best Houston Rap Projects of 2013, Nos. 20-16

14. Travis $cott, Owl Pharaoh
What a peculiar year for Travi$ Scott. First, he released Owl Pharaoh, which delivered his mostly chaotic production style and ready-made singles ("Upper Echelon," "Drive") to a national audience. Then he influenced plenty of Kanye West's Yeezus album, got an album credit on Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail, and closed it all down by touring Japan.

OP had plenty of bite, elongated synth changes and thundering bass, but $cott's improvement is going to come with his rapping, since the world seems to be immersed in jocking his production style.

13. Express, Higher Learning
If we're talking about projects that followed their concept to near-perfection, Express's follow-up to How to Be a Player sufficed. Higher Learning owns its own ecosystem: militarized, outspoken and (just like your time in college) filled with questions and answers about the establishment before you. "Peace" and "Higher Learning," two clashing tracks of guitar, keyed-up angst and promise, are only two of the standouts here.

List continues on the next page.

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