The 25 Best Houston Rap Projects of 2013, Nos. 5-1
5. DeLorean, Grace
A year ago, Hood Politics 3 ranked as one of the best tapes in the city - a proper balance of Delorean's idiosyncratic middle ground between New York's traditional rap appeal and Southern bravado. Grace capitalized on that motif and more, tossing plenty of Texas and Southern heavyweights in with Delo's own grumble and flair. "Sing On Key" and "Breathe" cracked the national consciousness while there Delo stood, calm as ever and still owner of one of the best tapes in the city.
4. Le$, E36
The canvas of cloud-rap Le$ painted on E36 completely separated him from other niche weed-rappers in Houston. Somehow it wasn't the production from the likes of Jay Z or even the tried-and-true Southern atmospherics that pulled out Le$'s most straight-lined release of the year, with apologies to Gran Turismoand its return to his "steak & shrimp" rider-music approach. It was Freddie Joachim's light, spaced-out works that gave Le$ the proper vehicle to deliver high-class whip appeal.
3. Killa Kyleon, Lean On Me
Kyleon's metonyms and Houston idealism on Lean On Me got him in hot water: a figure in Complex's look into promethazine culture. The Hulk couldn't help but fire back with later freestyles and loosies but he didn't whip his audio wheel harder than here.
You just don't get clever, old-school Caped Crusader metaphors and characterization like "Batman" anymore, besides the hard-gripping street material of "ESE" and woozy riding music of "My City" and Mouse On Tha Track reunion "Cadillac." Killa and brevity go together: he comes, fucks things up and then leaves.
List continues on the next page.