An Easy Guide to The Box's 97.9 The Concert
Last year, the first edition of 97.9 The Concert featured a number of who's who in the local rap community. Propain, he of the 2013 Mixtape of the Year and all-around Houston star down to the twang, headlined along with BeatKing. The second, taking place Thursday at presumed location House of Blues, has the distinction of being just as diverse with a few new wrinkles added in. (Follow #BoxPopUpShop for ticket locations.)
There are numerous artists on the bill, some recognizable, some you may possibly be hard-pressed to pick out of a police lineup. That's where I come in.
From: Denison, TX
Twitter: @OfficialSoMo, 192K Followers
Song of Note: "Ride"
The Skinny: Before you take into account how SoMo, the Denison singer/songwriter and Republic signee could have amassed nearly 200,000 Twitter followers, take into account the fact that he's a singer who rose to prominence via YouTube and cover songs. The guy once redid an entire Drake album, which is halfway meta considering Drake whines about his exes in a far more sincere and understood way than Robin Thicke ever would with Paula. Second, his bedroom burner, "Ride," has at least made your girlfriend think about doing some sleazy yet sexually awesome maneuver in the bedroom.
He released a full length self-titled album in April, a series of clinging to your body and whispering-in-your-ears-esque R&B records that painted him more as a sex symbol and lothario than lovelorn guy who wanders the night in search of "the one". Comparing it to today's class of R&B, if you could call it that, its perfect bedroom music. Be thankful he's never made anything as awkward as Next's "Too Close."
Twitter: @Doughbeezy; 12.8K followers
Song of Note: "I'm From Texas"
The Skinny: Jeez, what hasn't been said about Doughbeezy? From a Houston perspective, this may be his biggest show yet. Off the top of my head, I can't recall him performing at the large stage at House of Blues. His sound has evolved from utilizing a full band onstage to simply him, an on cue hype man and a DJ. He didn't necessarily start the band movement, but you could argue that a lot of "mini-trends" in Houston rap kicked off because of Dough.
Merchandising, the air of being omnipresent, the aforementioned thought of every rapper believing a band was right for his sound - most of that could be traced back to the bald-fade king of the Southeast. He's released three mixtapes, the latest of which, February's Footprints On the Moon, has propped him up as a potential winner for Local Musician of the Year from this very publication.
Twitter: @StunnaBamDSD1; 1.9K followers
Song Of Note: "Buy What I Want"
The Skinny: Last year, Stunna Bam scored a minor hit with "Buy What I Want," a strong-armed club single that asserted solo dominance inside a singular, almost id-catering manifesto. It couldn't have come at a more interesting time for the rapper who through personal tragedy changed his name, continued moving into the lane of "lifestyle" rap and decided to outfit his entire project with club creations that either came from the brain of June the Jenius or someone who attempted to be close to him.
Stunna offers a detour from a lot of the rappers on the bill, a middle ground between stunting and introspection. Radio (and advertisers) have bought into what "Buy What I Want" represents, much like how they eagerly sapped Propain's "Say I Won't" from all of its underdog promise and instead made it sound like Hiram Clarke on top of Houston's Rap Mount Olympus. Then again, the remix to "Buy What I Want" is a deeper dive into this solely based on the guest help from Atlanta enigmas Rich Homie Quan and Rocko.
Twitter: @GoMCBeezy; 22.2K followers
Song of Note: "Uh Oh"
The Skinny: Fat Pimp is probably the most astute and best-known to average Box listeners than anyone else on the bill. Mainly because Since at least 2008, the Dallas heavyweight has burrowed his gruff twang into people's heads with the likes of "Rack Daddy," "Masarati," "Roll Me Up," his guest verse on BeatKing's "Smile" and now "Uh Oh."
If BeatKing is Houston's tried-and-true king of the clubs, then Fat Pimp is that to Dallas, a juggler of street fame transferred into rap stardom and a keen sense of understanding that big dudes, for whatever reason, have a higher idea of how to score women by the hundreds. Fat Pimp is a fully realized rapper, one that can even get at Taraji P. Henson if necessary.
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