New Houston Rap: In Memory of M.U.G.

Photo by Marco Torres
Normally the Houston rap column would start off with an anecdote about my life, or something that happened to me that inspired me to write something poignant and funny and stuff, but this time that would be misleading.

This past Sunday afternoon word got out that M.U.G., a bowling ball of hardened street rhymes and heat-seeking rap purpose, was gone. Dead. There's been speculation about exactly how he died, but from the moment the Instagram posts and tweets began rolling out, I knew something was different.

If you knew him, M.U.G. was quiet and rarely raised his voice unless embattled in a discussion about music or knee-deep into a verse onstage. He seemed like the second coming of J Dawg, the two of them perfectly matched in Boss Hogg Outlaw harmony. His last tape, 2012's astute and relatively smart Money and Pain, was lauded and placed in its proper context as one of that year's best projects.

There's so much untold with M.U.G., not just from a street standpoint but from a life one as well. Trakksounds, a man known for letting his piano sail on where he channels the earliest output of Mike Dean, says the two of them had tons of unreleased material. I expect a tribute to be made at Tuesday's Trae Day from Trae Tha Truth himself. He's like Superman in that regard, someone who despite all the chaos around him can offer a moment of serenity and peace.

That's what M.U.G.'s family needs, and what a lot of the Houston rap scene needs at this point, a sense of balance and outright purpose. For M.U.G., it was family and telling a slice of street life that to him felt authentic because he had lived and breathed it.

Rest easy, M.U.G. I never knew you directly enough to call you a friend or even an associate, but I saw what progress you were making -- and that, to me, was enough.


Doeman, "Prelude To Gold Blooded"
Friday, Doeman, the Latino spitfire who first came out our attention two years ago and became an even stronger force thanks to his alignment with Propain and an even more dedicated passion towards rap will release his Gold Blooded album.

"They'll never take this empire they have built for me," he raps on "Prelude to Gold Blooded," a potential album-opener where he admits to quitting his job all because of belief in himself and the dream he has. Proper, solid, tough.

Story continues on the next page.

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