The Mid-2014 Houston Rap Awards
Houston rap has never been in a far more comfortable, and possibly profitable, place. Think about it: the city has two radio stations that both support local artists left and right, and the once-banished Trae Tha Truth is once more openly celebrated on the airwaves. At the same time, long-rising underground stars such as Doughbeezy and DeLorean have made their first dents upon radio.
Photo by Marco Torres Doeman
Propain and BeatKing have had the two most ubiquitous singles. Hell, Mr. Scarface rose from the ashes and decided a new album was in order. The Latino contingent is stronger than ever, and the depth of talent just below the rappers already mentioned here is deep.
I like comparing Houston rap and the WWE -- not just because of the city's insanely rich history with the sport, but because it's so linear. The superstars of yesteryear, such as Slim Thug, Bun B and (to a small extent) Z-Ro, are still viable, but the youth are now ready to handle the mantle of being the flag-bearers. With that in mind, here are the mid-2014 awards for Houston's rap scene, all tied to the men who brawl in the squared circle every Monday and Friday, plus one Sunday a month on pay-per-view.
THE DANIEL BRYAN AWARD: DOUGHBEEZY & BEATKING
(Houston Rappers of the Mid-Year)
Daniel Bryan is WWE's king of the "Yes" Movement. For 18 months he was built up as the underdog in the company. Not like John Cena, who really is the authority, Bryan is a legit underdog -- a B+ player who is capable of being the best in the world, but never truly crowned as such. Then WrestleMania 30 happened, and Bryan not only went through Triple H's Tiger Suplexes, he also managed to hoist both the WWE title and that Big Gold Belt in the air as champion.
In a sense, that's how you can say Doughbeezy and BeatKing finally won: they're one another's closest competition in the race to the top. Consider this: the Clown Prince of Houston rap not only managed to get the attention of Complex, he squired another radio smash with "Smile," has another in rotation and manages to keep everybody guessing on his Gangsta Stripper Music 2 tape.
Dough's résumé for 2014 is quite impressive as well - a full length mixtape that struck with two noticeable singles, a definitive Doughbeezy anthem in "I'm From Texas" and the two even tandemed together for "She's On Top". Can't debate anybody else.
THE "CHAMP IS HERE" AWARD: DOUGHBEEZY, FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOON
(Mixtape of the Mid-Year)
BeatKing vs. Doughbeezy. One is street, calculated and punched-up fun. The other is trying to make a statement by amplifying everything that's worked previously. By the thinnest of hairs, Dough's tape impacted a bit more than BeatKing's, even with a late challenge from Le$ to deal with.
THE "THIS IS AWESOME" AWARD: YVES, SINCERELY YVES
(EP of the Mid-Year)
If this award had any real history, AllDay would have owned it three times over. Tawn P and Preemo dropped three quick-strike EPs that were rich in boom-bap and traditionalism while also holding some modern traits. This year, there have been two EPs of actual consequence: Doeman's DYNA and Easy Yves Saint/Yves' Sincerely Yves.
With all of the edge attached to it, Sincerely Yves by leaps and bounds should have made more noise than it did. It still has legs, the "Juice" video as gritty as anything we've been able to catch in the last year. Doeman's tape, while strong is up against a snarling beast here from one pissed off Niceguy with a lot to say.
Story continues on the next page.