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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Fat Tony: "Ain't No Rest In This Business"

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Photo by Nicholas Zalud
Fat Tony DJing Thursday's Black Lips/King Khan show at Fitz
In the middle of July, during another random rap show at Warehouse Live, Fat Tony emerged with a distinct smile on his face. It's common with Tony, the Houston indie-rap darling whose last two projects -- 2012's Double Dragon with frequent collaborator Tom Cruz and 2013's Smart Ass Black Boy -- were met with similar groupings of adjectives and praise-like declarations. Tony weaved through multiple well-wishers, sat back on a couch and eyed things for a moment before dipping out to enjoy his night.

In the in-between of Smart Ass... and now, Tony (born Anthony Obi) has reserved his stature as one of Houston's known minor deities. He's performed as a featured artist at a Museum of Fine Arts Mixed Media event in May, was inducted into Red Bull's Sound Select fraternity and kept people geared towards him in slow increments via oddball collaborations ("Love Me," with Maxo Kream on ) and neatly put-together singles ("No More," with producer iLL Faded).

"Ain't no rest in this business," Tony says with a dash of confidence. He wasn't directly asked about a follow-up to Smart Ass..., but the thought of it lingered in the air.


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Further Celebrating Slim Thug's Bosshood

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Greg Noire
Slim Thug is a boss...and having your own private weekend to show it off is a boss-like thing to do.

Rappers can do certain things that we in normal life just can't. If we tried it, it would be awkward and weird-looking; you can't just stroll into your local Whole Foods with two bikini models on your arms and tell the clerk you want sliced pineapple. You also can't stand on the top of your building and say you can't see your haters. Know what they call you when that happens?

Crazy. Not a boss, just crazy.


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The 10 Best Texans-Washington Rapper Tweets

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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 an opening-day victory against the Washingtons.


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I Took a Good Woman for Granted. 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 BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC BE LEGAL?

Dear Willie D:

I walked inside of a McDonald's today and saw a woman breastfeeding her baby. What was particularly disturbing to me was that she had her whole breast exposed. I've heard about other stories of women breastfeeding in public, and business owners being sued for banning the practice.

What is your opinion on breastfeeding in public? By the way. I'm a woman.

Disturbing the Feast:

I don't have a problem with it as long as it's done with class. Some women are discreet with breastfeeding, while some will just whip out their breast for the world to see. I think breastfeeding is a private and intimate act. Some people say breasts can be seen on television and in magazines so they don't see a problem with it.

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Devin the Dude Flies High in New Alamo Drafthouse PSA

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Photo by Marco Torres
Anyone who has caught a movie at an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema knows about the theater's anti-talking and -texting PSAs. The chain is as celebrated for its super-strict etiquette protocols as it is for its buckets of cold beer. Strike up a conversation or light up a touchscreen while a movie is in progress and you'll be out on your ass, and the Alamo makes sure you know it.

Since 1997, the cinema's many franchises have shown offbeat public service announcements regarding the rules before every film it screens, cobbled together both from classic (and "classic") film footage as well as pointed warnings by famous folks from Will Ferrell to Ann Richards.

Now, your favorite rapper's favorite rapper has filmed an Alamo clip of his own. A new "Don't Talk" PSA shot by none other than local underground legend Devin the Dude will premiere on Thursday at the Alamo's Vintage Park location. Mr. Copeland himself will be on hand to greet fans before the premiere and stick around to catch a special screening of his favorite movie, the '80s hip-hop classic Beat Street.

Now, the Dude being the Dude, you can bet that the herb-obsessed rapper felt the need to get high while rolling tape. What you might not have guessed is that the altitude came courtesy of the MC's favorite toy -- and it ain't a vaporizer.


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