Doughbeezy & Dat Boi T at Warehouse Live, 7/30/2014

Photos by Marco Torres
Doughbeezy, Dat Boi T, Cray Cray
Warehouse Live

A Wednesday night at Warehouse Live shouldn't be about comedy, yet that's what you get sometimes.

Wednesday was billed as a show to be headlined by Dat Boi T and Doughbeezy, something that may commonly happen given both men's pull of fans and musical output. So worrying about either of them performing and keeping people entertained is not an issue. Dat Boi T, the Screwed Up Essay himself, at least understands where he sits in Houston, somewhere where the old Screw Shop resided and a foot stretched out from his candy-blue Cadillac.

Onstage clad in wolf-grey Jordans, black shades and a dangling Screwed Up Click chain, T chose to stick to his tried and true subject matter -- Houston, every bit of its sprawled-out glory. He waded knee-deep in local ecology when unearthing South Park Mexican's "Mary Go Round" in the middle of his set, called out for every legendary rapper who claimed residency here to get their just due and more.

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I'm Bored With My Boyfriend. Help!

Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!

Photo by Mario Jaramillo

Dear Willie D:

My girlfriend and I have been together for three years, and I'm ready for the next step in our relationship. I want to marry her, but every time I talk about long-term commitment she changes the subject and says stuff like, "Let's just live in the moment" and "Anything can happen." I'm not satisfied with just dating. I'm 32 years old; she's 31, and neither of us have kids.

I thought the idea of being in a committed relationship was to get married and build a future together, but she seems to be on a different page. I love her a lot, but I'm starting to feel like I'm wasting my time. What in the hell does she mean by, "Anything can happen?"

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OG Ron C to Host New Chop Not Slop Clinic

Since its debut a few months ago, DJ Supastar's Spin Academy has hosted plenty of large names in the DJ world, from DJ EQue to DJ Kid Capi. Located right near the Astrodome, it's a hub for any number of aspiring DJs whether old or new to try their hand at moving the crowd, all by timing, record blending, mixing and more. Now the Academy is going to be blessed by a literal OG in the game.

OG Ron C, head of the Chopstars and arguably Houston's most noted DJ not named Premier or Screw, will be hosting a clinic on how to properly chop and not slop records or in other words, become an honorary member of the Chopstars.

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New Houston Rap: What if We Had a Bobby Shmurda?

In the span of four months, hip-hop has found its latest winner of the Chief Keef/Trinidad Jame$ Memorial Trophy. You may remember those two, both of whom were signed due to viral hype -- Keef mostly off the strength of what he's accomplished to the teenagers of Chicago and Jame$ solely off "All Gold Everything."

To date, only one of them has released an album, Keef's Finally Rich. Even though it produced one of my favorite hazily remembered songs in "Love Sosa," Keef couldn't promote the thing for being constantly in and out of jail; he's currently in Interscope limbo. Meanwhile, after reaching a plateau with "Gold," James tried to release a second tape called 10 Pc. Mild, but it didn't capture anywhere near the same type of buzz that his previous release Don't Be S.A.F.E. (and to an extent "Gold") had. Like Keef, he's in limbo, albeit over at Def Jam.

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Scenes From the 2014 H-Town Sneaker Summit

Photos by Marco Torres
"I got more soul than Nike Airs, givin MCs nightmares"
-- Big L, "I Don't Understand It" (1995)

I have to admit, I'm not a sneaker head. Until yesterday I had never worn, much less owned, a pair of Jordans. Sure, I remember being the cool kid in the class when my mom bought me a pair of Nike Huaraches back in middle school, but I was more comfortable wearing Vans and Airwalks and Adidas.

I do, however, see the appeal of it all. If your homie from down the block collects sneakers, and the cool chica who is friends with your cousin is always wearing a fresh pair of J's, and your favorite rapper rhymes about his Yeezy's or whatever...It becomes more than just shoes. It becomes a community.

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I Don't Like Him the Way He Likes Me. Help!

Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!

Photo by Mario Jaramillo

Dear Willie D:

I'm a 17-year-old runaway who has been living with a 26-year-old man for three months now. I just got tired all of the rules at home. My parents know I'm living with a guy, but they think he's closer to my age. We have sex from time to time, and we do things together, but I don't consider him my boyfriend. I have told him that I only want to be friends, but he treats me like I'm his girl.

He introduces me to his friends as his girlfriend, and whenever I talk to other guys on the phone he goes into a rage. I'm only staying with him because he literally begged me to, and he said that I didn't have to pay any bills. When I ran away from home it was his idea. Yes, I knew he wanted more than a platonic relationship, but he convinced me that we could just be friends. Now he acts like we're in a relationship.

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Trae Day 2014 in Photos

Photos by Marco Torres
Six years ago, in the sweltering summer of 2008, the City of Houston bestowed a proclamation upon one of its citizens, a certain Frazier Othel Thompson. Rap fans know the man much better now as Trae Tha Truth, Houston's own "King of the Streets." The following year, the city was rewarded with "Trae Day," a free family block party and concert that has become an annual extravaganza of music, carnival rides, health screenings, school supplies and giveaways.

So much has happened since the first "Trae Day," both in the city and in Trae's personal life and rap career. A dispute with 97.9 The Box and subsequent ban from the station's airwaves only fueled Trae's urge to work, first aligning himself with Lil Wayne's camp and then signing with Grand Hustle, the umbrella label run by the self-proclaimed "King of The South," Atlanta's own T.I. Trae also suffered the loss of his brother "Money" Clip D and ABN associates Dinky D and Poppa C to gun violence. A bullet even managed to find his shoulder, although he would make a full recovery from the shooting.

Despite all of the adversity, Trae Day lives on as one of Houston's most anticipated annual events, and Tuesday's 2014 edition at NRG Park was full with memorable moments. Here is a short racap of yesterday's festivities as seen through my camera lens:

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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.

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Gas Up the Chainsaw: Ganxsta NIP Is Back

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Photo by Jody Perry
Ganxsta NIP at Numbers, 2012
When picturing Houston hip-hop, most fans are apt to conjure images of hedonistic success: candy paint, gold grills and a cup full of purple stuff. And why not? The good times roll on a set of wire-spoke rims down here. But from its very earliest days, the city's sound of the streets has contained its fair share of darker themes as well: Drugs. Misogyny. Murder. In the '80s and early '90s, especially, it wasn't all good in the 'hood.

Nowadays, most local MCs are content to rap around the edges of this heart of hip-hop darkness, careful not to stare into it too deeply. But in that same darkness there still dwells a man known as Ganxsta NIP.

His 1992 Rap-A-Lot debut, The South Park Psycho, pushed past the violent and gritty lyricism of MCs like Ice-T into a whole new territory of fucked up. Rhymes about chainsaws, cannibalism, dismemberment and necrophilia cast Ganxsta NIP as the villain in an auditory slasher movie. This wasn't hardcore rap; this was horrorcore. And like any good horror-movie villain, Ganxsta NIP always returns for another taste of blood.

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Boston George Traps a Hit With Traffic

"Do You."

That was the crux of a recent Twitter back-and-forth between DJ Mr. Rogers, easily one of the best DJs Houston has to offer, and Slim Thug, a Houston mainstay whether he's rapping or just speaking his unfiltered mind.

"Do You" is not really a brand-new concept, it's something people ask of their rappers every single time they touch the mike, even moreso when it comes to rappers in a certain region. It's a two-sided argument of course in regards to success, to either follow current trends of what's hot versus what works.

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