10 Hot Houston Rap Tapes for 2014

Doughbeezy, Footprints On the Moon
Last year, this was the most sought after rap tape in the city. Doughbeezy's Footprints On the Moon was supposed to be that piece of material where the witty punchlines and sonics eked out a blissful marriage. And like a good marriage, Dough pulled back on the then late-winter release date to give it more time to cook.

2011 tape Reggie Bush & Kool Aid gave fans a small glimpse into Dough, a fearless competitor whose persona seemed larger than life even if he resided right around the corner from you. The next year's Blue Magic was as monstrous as it seemed with the Killa Kyleon-aided "Fuck You" and a feature from Bun B himself, and made the Kool Aid fun a hell of a lot more serious and focused. A single from FOTM is already in rotation, the fun and brash "Riding Round," but that's all we've heard from the project so far. Monday afternoon he said it'll be out February 4.

Hollywood FLOSS, The Sound Hitchhiker
FLOSS, along with Dustin-Prestige, John Dew and hasHBrown, makes up The Council, a rap crew that digs into music all the same yet with varied interests and peaks. hasH has The Last Cassette Playa still on deck, but the group's proverbial Energizer bunny is Hollywood, who has been releasing EPs and mixtapes with abandon.

His next tape, Spirit of Competition -- set to feature all comers who dare try to best him on the mike -- is one thing. Under wraps at the moment, The Sound Hitchhiker shall take the cake with sonics provided by the normal cast of characters including Sweet Valley High, Chris Rockaway, Jett I. Masstyr and more.

Rob Gullatte; Untitled
Remember Abortion: The Project? It was nominated for a bunch of awards and became one of the greatest rap tapes to ever emanate out of Alief. (The others belong to Maxo Kream and Damilare.) Gullatte may say his earlier work was blunter and more profound, but Abortion sent someone who was already a certifiable madman a la early DMX into a different stratosphere. SPIN lauded him, as did a few major rap blogs, and his stellar feature appearances in 2013 have placed us here -- where his as-yet-untitled project should warrant crazy praise too.

Shostoppa, YSL
For a year now, I've been wrestling with whether or not Shostoppa, a lanky individual with a penchant for crafting hits (as opposed to out-rapping his competition) is either properly rated or severely underrated. He's dug in the trenches on multiple occasions, damn near outshining Lil Keke on Prince Cannon's "Hold Up" a little less than four months ago. Now he seems primed for a mixtape, the rather apropos YSL, that will once and for all settle the debate. Or possibly even up its volume.


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