93.7's Beat Down Ups the Ante In H-Town's Rap-Radio Feud

Photos by Marco Torres
Kendrick Lamar
93.7 The Beat's H-Town Beat Down
BBVA Compass Stadium
June 20, 2014

Whether they want to admit it to one another or not, KQBT 93.7 The Beat and KBXX 97.9 The Boxx are embroiled in a war. A cold war, but a war nonetheless.

Friday was just another skirmish in the longer battle, as 93.7 debuted the first-ever H-Town Beat Down, a large summer concert-style event where big names from the world of hip-hop and R&B descended upon BBVA Compass Stadium. Having Future, the god-king of Autotune, love songs and general club artillery close the show was a rather neat twist, to send people home quite happy.

"Where my Day 1 Free Band Gang members at?" the rapper yelled, sporting a mix of blonde and black dreadlocks. He couldn't help but continue running through his set, one not as different as the one he gave fans in November when touring with Drake, but different nonetheless.

Future performs not on just crowd reaction but the sheer range of what he can do. He's spent the better part of three years dominating radio, from his own "Same Damn Time" to chorus work on songs like "Bugatti," "Love Me" and more; Friday, fans got all of that and then some onstage. Even some of his Honest singles, such as "Trophy (I Won)" and the title track, felt far more warmly embraced than what slotted R&B act Trey Songz could deliver.

Songz, maybe more than anyone else on the bill, had something to prove. Not only was he the lone legitimate singer there -- unless you count Future, which means Songz was the second-greatest singer on the bill -- he also has an album coming in a few weeks. The Trigga material got the ladies riled up; enough of them way too young to be singing and yelling at a shirtless man.

One woman even debated tossing her panties at Songz, knowing full and well that said panties and Houston heat may have been just a bit too much. He can toy with emotions onstage, especially the female section of any crowd, all of them just waiting for the moment he takes his shirt off. Sex Symbol Songz, indeed.

J. Cole
The concert itself was built off the hits of its stars, and no two artists played it straighter than J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Cole had already given fans a gift last year with his "Dollar and a Dream," tour so the stop inside BBVA was just a dry run for what's coming down the line. J.Cole live isn't quite that compelling in massive venues like BBVA, though "Who Dat" sounds like something that would keep the Dynamo engaged before a match.

For tweens and those who could only recognize Cole's radio cut like "Work Out," "Crooked Smile" and "Power Trip", Mixtape Cole may not even register. Lamar, on the other hand, at least flexed in two feature verses from "R.I.P." and "Fuckin' Problems" among his good kid, M.A.A.D city stuff. It's time Kendrick, we're ready for that fourth-quarter album.

"The locals are getting only seven minutes? Unreal!", a woman who had come to see Paul Wall and company on a huge stage said with frustration in her voice. It was true, the local kings, the same parade of FPSF's "Welcome to Houston," with Trae Tha Truth in Mike Jones's stead, performed a maximum of 15 minutes. Trae's performance in particular was far more memorable and unique -- a completely a cappella set in honor of the fallen Houston rappers before him.

Review continues on the next page.

Location Info


BBVA Compass Stadium

2200 Texas Ave., Houston, TX

Category: General

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