Anti-Lilly & EnVy Hunter Seek REdefinition

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MIXTAPE OF THE WEEK
Anti-Lilly & EnVy Hunter, REdefinition

Last year, Anti-Lilly awoke from a haze. He picked out his afro, put on his glasses, rolled up, smoked and then released Memoirs & the '90s, a template of how to create a jazz-rap album inspired by your upbringing watching The Secret World of Alex Mack and hearing A Tribe Called Quest records.

The sound and horn arrangements continued far enough for his scratchy, charcoal-like whisper to maintain its balance on Stories From the Brass Section with producer Phoniks. In other words, his talents are rather defined: he's a dreamer and lifestyle-rap connoisseur who turns every character in his raps (whether autobiographical or not) into a key figure for something else down the road.

EnVy Hunter, the bowling ball who stands large over his contemporaries due to his girth, released every bit of frustration inside of him earlier this year on his own debut tape, Patiently Waiting. A rapper who damn near lost his life thanks to a heart ailment and dashed football dreams should have plenty to say, and EnVy's definition revolves around being pensive, angry at times and keen on making sure people know him.


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The 10 Best Texans-Bills Rapper Tweets

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Photos by Jesse Sendejas Jr.
The Texans shot down the Bills' hopes for a win
The 2014 Houston Texans have a new coach, new players, new hope and the same dedicated fan base of Houston-based rappers. As in years past, they took to Twitter on game day to comment on the home team's gridiron action.

And, as in years past, Rocks Off read their tweets more thoroughly and efficiently than Tony Romo reads defenses. Here are the best of the bunch from Week 4, a home win against Buffalo which netted the Texans more wins this new season than they had in 2013.


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The Five Greatest Duos in Houston Rap History

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Z-Ro and Slim Thug in the "Summertime" video
This past Saturday, Slim Thug decided to break plenty of hearts among Houston rap fans.

He announced on Instagram that his King & a Boss album, that long-awaited disc between he and enemy-turned-BFF Z-Ro, wasn't coming out. Thanks to timing, the proposed project had lost a bit of its luster from when it was originally announced on the heels of recent collaborations "Summertime" and "Lovin' You."

They still paired off together perfectly; imposing figures on two fronts. You weren't going to duck around a Slim Thug verse without Z-Ro punching you in the throat via a chorus or verse of his own.


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I Get Off With a Vacuum Cleaner. 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!

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Photo by Mario Jaramillo
SHOULD I TESTIFY AGAINST MY FRIEND'S EX-BOYFRIEND?

Dear Willie D:

I've been getting to know this woman, but haven't crossed the line intimately. I was over at her place and her child's father (they aren't together) came over and started some mess. She and I stood up for each other and he left only to call the cops. I ended up being told that I have a court date in which I was a circumstantial witness to a domestic dispute.

I was told by her lawyer to take the stand against this guy on behalf of this woman and all domestically abused women. I understand that it happens the other way around too. But now I'm in a situation where my life is at risk in the coming years for a woman who isn't even 100 percent sure about her commitment to me.

If I testify against him people will say, "Oh, he's a snitch." If I don't testify on my friend's behalf she'll never forgive me for not standing up for her. That'll eat me alive from within. What a tangled web we weave. What should I do?


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The 10 Best Texans-Giants Rapper Tweets

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Let's hope it's only temporary...
The 2014 Houston Texans have a new coach, new players, new hope and the same dedicated fan base of Houston-based rappers. As in years past, they took to Twitter on game day to comment on the home team's gridiron action.

And, as in years past, Rocks Off read their tweets more thoroughly and efficiently than Tony Romo reads defenses. Here are the best of the bunch from the worst Texans effort of the new season, a Giant disappointment with the good guys on the wrong end of a 30-17 score.


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Reformed Rapper Lecrae's Chart Victory for Houston

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Photo courtesy of Stache Media
Wednesday, Lecrae Moore, the 34-year-old rapper who was born and raised in Houston but now resides in Atlanta, broke new ground. His latest album, the accurately titled Anomaly sold 88,000 copies and landed at the top of the Billboard 200.

88,000 copies for a rap album in 2014 isn't paltry, ranking fifth among American rappers this year for first-week sales. It was a shade under Wiz Khalifa's Blacc Hollywood, which sold 90,000 in late August, and a historic victory for Houston, Anomaly is the first album from a Houston rapper or group to top the Billboard 200 since UGK's Underground Kingz in 2007.


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Rob Gullatte's "Seen It All" Passes the Sniff Test

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The fun thing about having a rap column is that you get to sift through plenty to understand even more. Some projects, such as the fruitful, fire-charged ones by Neko and Stephen Jackson this week, are preludes to something bigger (Neko as an EP, Jackson as an album-before-the-album a la Lil Keke). And some singles bring up new artists and new discoveries even when you're bored with the product or tired of inventing new ways to determine if something is hard, forceful or even passes the sniff test.

There are a few shows coming up, namely the RUN HOU event put on by T.H.E.M. at Fitzgerald's this weekend (tix here) that should have your attention. Hell, there's a show damn near every week that should have your full attention. Then again, myself and the rest of the world are promptly waiting on new music from Roosh Williams, DeLorean and a host of others. That would put a nice little bow on Houston rap in 2014, the year that everybody realized they're in this together whether they like one another or not.

Or you could be like Rob Gullatte and just rap for the utter hell of it. To the songs of the week!


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I Live Well But I'm Not Happy. 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!

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Photo by Mario Jaramillo
I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO BE HAPPY

Dear Willie D:

I'm a computer analyst who makes over $80,000 a year. I like my job, but that's all it is; a job. I live in a nice house, and drive a nice car. I have a wife and 4-year-old daughter who I absolutely adore, but I'm not happy. I try to be happy and sometimes it works, but not for long. I may be happy for a day or two tops, and then I'm sad again. I don't know if I'm depressed or what.

I should be happy. After all, I have all of the things that society says should be a reflection of happiness. You're a successful man. Have you ever felt unhappy for long stretches of time? If so what did you do to cope?

Unhappy Feelings:

It depends on what your definition of long stretches of time is. The longest stretch of unhappiness for me was when my mother died. I was depressed for months. However, typically a long stretch of unhappiness for me is five minutes. That's because rather than internalizing setbacks, disappointments, and conflict, I compartmentalize them so that I can focus effectively on business and personal relationships.


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Fat Tony's Fall Function Turns Up All the Way

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Photos by Marco Torres
Does Fat Tony know how to throw a party? The answer will always and forever be "Hell Yeah!" With the help of sponsor Remy Martin, Tony invited his Houston homies DJ Good Grief, Bombón and Rai P to assist him with the kickoff soiree for his upcoming tour. Our own Marco Torres sent in this visual summary of the event, held this past Saturday at The Summit, a new-ish venue located at 3536 Navigation Blvd. in the East End.


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The 10 Best Texans-Raiders Rapper Tweets

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Screencap/Click2Houston.com
The 2014 Houston Texans have a new coach, new players, new hope and the same dedicated fan base of Houston-based rappers. As in years past, they took to Twitter on game day to comment on the home team's gridiron action.

And, as in years past, Rocks Off read their tweets more thoroughly and efficiently than Tony Romo reads defenses. Here are the best of the bunch from Weekend 2's merciless beatdown of the Oakland Raiders, which opened with a touchdown reception by...J.J. Watt?!


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