The Only Houston Rap Gift Guide You'll Ever Need

Categories: Swagometer

Photo by Marco Torres
Screwed Up Records & Tapes is practically Santa's workshop this time of year.
If you know someone who lives and breathes H-town hip-hop you may want to surprise them this Hanukkah or Christmas by showing them your cultural awareness and gifting something related to the rich local rap scene.

Use this handy guide that showcases books, custom automobiles and of course music created for and about Houston.

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10 Ways Amanda Bynes Is Already a Rap Star

So apparently there's been a legit hip-hop record deal offered to Amanda Bynes. By all accounts it isn't a joke, which is utterly mind-blowing. The guy responsible for this offer, Daniel Herman of Chinga Chang Records, has spoken out, claiming to have cleared the way with both Sony Entertainment and The Orchard to feed into this fuckery.

I am probably alone in my admiration of Ms. Bynes, but I totally thought she was cute on All That back in the day. However, I'm confused as to why any legitimate outlet would offer her a rap contract. She's had a rough time the past few months, with scandal after media scandal hanging above her head, and even if she's punking the shit out of us, it's gotten to the point of well past weird. I can't wrap my mind about any record offer being anything other than a publicity stunt.

However, given that this guy swears on his cat, dog and mother that he's serious business, I have to take him at his word and try to find a light at the end of this strange Amanda Bynes rapping tunnel.

If this record ever sees the light of day, I'd put my money on it being a sign of the musical apocalypse, so you might want to start insuring your MP3s now. Y'know, for when that album drops and the charts explode into a million pieces because they've given up on life.

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5 Rising Stars In the K-Pop Invasion

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Said to be a product of South Korea's robust economy, optimism and cultural pride, K-Pop has taken over the eastern part of the world and is now making its mark in the West. K-Pop really made a hit in American pop culture this past summer, with the rapid online spread of Psy's "Gangnam Style." That video was released on July 15, and by the end of August had reached the No. 1 position on YouTube's Top 100 Music Videos chart with more than 9 million views per day.

In September, Psy was signed to Schoolboy Records, the U.S. label also home to Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber. Now, this past weekend, "Gangnam" surpassed Bieber's record for most-viewed YouTube video of all time at more than 820 million times and counting.

"Gangnam Style" is essentially about big balling in the affluent Gangnam district of Seoul, while the "horse-riding" dance move featured in the video is now a staple on dance floors worldwide. But Psy is hardly the only dynamic K-Pop performer out there. For your curiosity, here are a few other K-Pop upstarts with all kinds of style.

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Full Swag For DJ Screw & Framboise; Half Swag For Riff Raff

Categories: Swagometer

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Riff Raff has all the swag.
One of the many things we love about Houston is the diversity of its music. For instance, on Tuesday night we went to Mango's to see Psychic Palms and Mikey & The Drags, two of our favorite local garage-rock bands. After The Drags performed their cover for "Then He Kissed Me" by The Crystals, the dudes from Swishahouse started setting up their turntables for dubstep night.

Garage rock and dubstep in the same night under the same roof; it was beautiful...and a little off-putting.

If you haven't gone to a dubstep show yet, let us assure you that the hype is very real. Tuesday was our first time witnessing the tomfoolery. It was sort of like a slowed-down rave. No one looked old enough to drink and they were dancing and swinging their string lights around like "Whiplash" from Iron Man, except on hella MDMA. The low-frequency bass lines reminded us of DJ Screw. What would Robert E. Davis Jr. think of this Swishahouse dubstep movement?

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Full Swag For Das Racist, No Swag For Astros & Paul Wall

Categories: Swagometer

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Das Racist is Rocks Off's favorite joke-rap group, ever. It annoys most people we know -including our boss, who is like, "All right, no more Das Racist for everyone's sake, please." That's being nice - Ed. Earlier this year, we traveled to SXSW strictly to catch every show, and we're planning to do the same when they return to Texas in October.

Now we have a reason to talk about them again. After releasing two mixtapes in 2010, Heems and Kool A.D. finally released their first album, Relax, this past weekend. When Rocks Off gave it a listen, initially we were a little disappointed. We heard quite a few recycled lyrics and an old beat from a B-side.

DR also put "Rainbow In the Dark" on the album, which was their very first song and video from 2009. The more we listened, however, the more it grew on us (unlike Tha Carter IV).

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Muhammadali Out-Swags Irene & This Week's Earthquakes

Despite what you may have heard, swag isn't dead yet; at least not in Houston. Have any swagged-out projects or general ideas? E-mail

We've all discussed the great Tuesday and Wednesday East Coast and West Coast earthquakes, Hurricane Irene, and the inescapable apocalypse. It's Friday, so it's pretty old news by Internet time standards. It only took a few hours for Tumblr and the rest of this Internet to circulate this totally tasteless Michael J. Fox meme.

While we were searching Twitter for some feedback from the aftermath of the quake, we discovered that the only person who really suffered from any natural disaster this week was Sir Richard Branson, and we're not referring to his disastrous X-Men Sabretooth face. Haaaaay.

Branson's "main home" on his private island caught fire during Hurricane Irene the same day of the earthquakes. Let the record show that this man has at least four houses, and some kind of tiny village (that's what we heard), on that island.

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No Swag: Paul Wall's Rumored Young Money Deal, Falling Stages

Despite what you may have heard, swag isn't dead yet; at least not in Houston. Have any swagged-out projects or general ideas? E-mail

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Remember this?
Paul Wall Signs to Young Money? People have been saying that The People's Champ has decided to sign with Lil' Wayne's Young Money Empire. Why?! Why, Paul Wall, would you ever make this decision?

Let them keep Houston's Short Dawg, they don't know any better.They don't know what that star 'bout! They don't know what that Barre 'bout! Guess we can't complain too much, though - it's all speculation. Since his 100-pound weight loss last year, we haven't even felt the same about ol' Pow Wow. We miss the chubby grill master; this Paul Wall.

Swagometer: 0

No swag. This partnership would be worse than that feature he did for Brooke Hogan.

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City of Houston Bangs Screw; Ganksta NIP Bangs Heads

Despite what you may have heard, swag isn't dead yet; at least not in Houston. Have any swagged-out projects or general ideas? E-mail

This week in Houston (sweltering) swag, Rocks Off is going to stick to the old-fashioned basic news structure, starting on the negative side of the Swagometer and ending in the positive integers.

A local promoter and DJ has been getting some negative attention on the Internet over the past few days from an adversary who's apparently out to publicly defame him. We first noticed the post about him on Facebook, and the next day saw the same post (with his work details) on a Houston message board.

Swagometer: -5. It's one thing to post relevant information that pertains to someone's career or their integrity,. It's quite another to publicly share decade-old information in the hopes that it destroys a person's reputation and career because of your own personal resentment. This Internet shit is crazy, yo. Watch out, people.

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Swagometer: Brawling Strippers & Fat Tony's Filthy New Band Name

Despite what you may have heard, swag isn't dead yet; at least not in Houston. Have any swagged-out projects or general ideas? E-mail

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Ryan Grimes
Best. Photo. Ever.
Aside from working every day at Girls Rock Camp Houston, this week provided Rocks Off with its usually consistent amount of swag, and even a new, corny joke: Why did the hipster burn her mouth from eating pizza? Because she ate it before it was cool. Har, har, har.

This past Wednesday night, Ke$ha had a show in The Woodlands and Rocks Off's friend Ryan Grimes managed to snap the above pic of three young girlfriends, each dressed in T-shirts with a glittery "K." It's hard to know exactly where to start here, but we think that it's high time someone coins a term for Ke$ha fans; something similar to Insane Clown Posse's "Juggalos."

Swagometer: 0. No swag, but nevertheless, we think "this meme about to blow-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh."

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