In the past decade or so, we’ve mainly seen the biggest names in music hail from Atlanta or Florida; from the likes of Playboi Carti, Gunna, Future, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, to XXXTENTACION, Lil Pump and Ski Mask the Slump God, all of them helm from the two household cities. But one city that has always been overlooked and constantly underappreciated for years, is Houston. There’s been a huge influx of new and insanely creative artists coming out of there lately, from the likes of TravionKB, no friends, LIX, and a.dluxe to BBY Kodie, DENNIS, tisakorean, ygr and uglysincebirth, Houston will be home to the next wave of artists to take the music industry by storm.
lix & a.dluxe
Over their numerous collabs over the past months, it’s become increasingly apparent that when you put LIX and a.dluxe together, they’re an unstoppable force; but then again, that’s what happens when you pair an insanely gifted singer and one of the most creative and masterful producers in the game right now. Together, the two have the ability to create infectious pop tracks like “Want This Love,” slow-burning experimental songs like “Restless,” smooth bangers like “track 003” off “TALK MY SH*T VOL 001″, or a dark, nightmarish track as seen on “WRECK IT.” When their together, LIX and a.dluxe are able to craft some of the most beautiful music to come out of the underground, as well as some of the most refreshing and unique. It’s pretty rare to see such highly-gifted and capable artists this early in their careers, so if you need a breathe of fresh air in your playlist, look no further than this dynamic duo:
You ever listen to a beat and instantly feel yourself slowly begin to levitate out of your chair and get transported to another dimension? Like your taking an expedition to space, and the year is 1969, and your currently in the shoes of Neil Armstrong, drifting in the Apollo 11 as he waits and completes tasks aimlessly as he drifts in space. What would you listen to in that moment? What would you listen to if you were making a triumphant journey to the moon? For me, one of the few producers who can take me to the space, and give me that pure euphoric feeling, is none other than no friends. He’s a close friend and frequent collaborator of future Houston icon BBY Kodie and they’ve recently, just released a short and sweet, 6 song EP, entitled “no friends & kodie.” The intro to this is one of no friends best instrumentals to date, the melody on it is just too good, featuring a fast-paced, futuristic piano melody that fluctuates speed throughout, featuring some neat progression skill from him. Every time I listen to this song, the mixture of the incredible production along with the classic “are you friends with anybody” beat tag and Kodie’s absurdly pleasuring adlibs make me feel like I’m about to take lift-off. On top of his futuristic sounds, he seems to have garnered a knack for making/re-making old-school R&B beats from the late 1990s-early 2000s, and he executes them elegantly, as seen on funky tracks like “BBY USHER” and “R. KODIE.” Through the past year since I’ve stumbled upon him, he’s displayed an awful lot of talent and potential for a young producer, and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for the future.
Whenever I’m stuck in a bad place mentally or had what seems like the worst day of my life, I always go to tisakorean to cheer me up. His music can give you no other feeling than happiness and put you at peace. There’s something about the goofy, seemingly over-used adlibs of his and his constant fixation on being “soapy” that just makes me gleeful and can get me through a rut creatively and mentally. The energy Tisa brings on tracks just rubs off on you, whenever he yells “WERRRRRRRRRRRK” it can put nothing but a smile on your face and make you move. Amongst his aggressive yet infectious adlibs, he whips out some of the hardest lines and delivers them in a range of inflections: “Wells Fargo, baby what’s in your wallet/I do not work at a bakery but I do want cake/I do not do no makeup but I’m gonna fix your face/Ever say I’m moving pounds don’t mean that I’m moving weight/Yes it’s hot but I can make it a cold case; but it’s autumn so I do need the damn breeeaaaak/Class start at 7’oooooooo clock, so I guess a nigga late/ready set go, but this is not a race.” Tisa is one of my favorite new artists in rap today, he’s got it all, from the infectious melodies and adlibs, to the impressive self-production skills he possesses, to his amazing dancing skills, he’s got the skill set and personality to become the shiny crystal in a dry, sandy beach that is the current rap landscape.
The two-man collective consisting of 30YenBlack and Apexdoodie are cooking up some of the hardest music that the depths of soundcloud have to offer and not nearly enough people are paying attention; but that’ll change with time. They’ve released some well-crafted bangers in the past year or so, coming out with moshpit-inducing tracks like: STICKS, Enemies, Double Energy, AAAA!, 2019 MAKE EM HATE ME and TODAY! w/ lix that have garnered the attention from the likes of Icytwat, so that must mean their doing something right. Both Doodie and Yen have such aggression when they hop on a beat, and with every verse you can just tell that they both have so much fire and energy inside of them to let go of, and they put that same amount of energy into each bar. Whenever artists put this much passion into their songs that you can just hear and feel off instinct, that it’s coming straight from the heart and its genuine; that’s how you know their going to go places and uglysincebirth has just that.
This man right here is truly something special, and quite frankly, I don’t think the world is ready for DENNIS. His music is some of the hardest out, not just in Houston, but the rest of the world. In pretty much all of his songs, he consistently delivers some of the hardest and most darndest lines you’ll hear: “That bitch booty fat, bout as big as my head/need dollars like butter, I need em in spread/that aint enough, but it’s all I could give/If you really need more then I can give you my rib/She asked for a ring then I gave her a funyun/if the bitch talk shit, then I’m gonna pee on her glasses/your bitch really dirty, her tities be ashy/black lives matter, needa stop with the lynchin/I’m finna break down, break down like Lindsay/more fish in the sea, so go catch you a cod/Let a hoe break your heart better put it in rice/put her hands on me? oh well I’m ray rice.” Lines like these put him up to Hoodrich Pablo Juan and Gunna level in terms of his captivating and absurd punchlines. On each song, Dennis just delivers so much passion and emotion, sounding like he’s out of breathe after every verse, as if there’s “fire inside” of him and “like usher” he’s “letting it burn” on every song. If your looking for a new artist to deliver banger after banger but has a hidden soft side that’s overlooked, DENNIS is your guy.
There’s not enough words in the english vocabulary to describe how truly great BBY Kodie is. His music is one of a kind, you can’t remotely try to replicate any of his flows, his multiple different cadences, wild adlibs or his expansive multi-genre production capabilities. They’re far too unique for anyone to do it better than Kodie himself. His progression has been nothing short of extraordinary, consistently developing some sort of new style and continuosly adding to his deadly arsenal of killer flows; recently, starting to work with newly found Hollyworld member Stacy D45H, making some insane tracks with him that are a bit different from his typical style, as well as always experimenting with his production, going from a variety of monikers such as Harley Wilcox Jr. and White Forest. His erratic charisma and energy on every song transitions into his live performances, having the stage presence of Prince every time he graces the stage; as he moonwalks with ease and starts up mosh pits at every show he’s at. He’s easily the most excited about an artist that I’ve been about in a while, from his multitude of fire flows, the impressive punchlines that go straight over my head at times, his extreme confidence that may be too big for his head, to the effortless cadence and swagger he oozes, BBY Kodie is the leader of a massive revolution that is quickly coming to fruition in Houston.
Other than the listed 6 above, Houston is a booming bee-hive of talent, from creative, hard-working artists like Paris Aden who release a plethora of beat tapes and occasionally hops in the booth and records an incredible track like “Paris Corelone Freestyle” that might just contain better flows and better rhymes than your favorite rapper. To amazing producers like TravionKB (screwkota, BlondSicko) and Peace who are currently making some of the rawest, most disgusting beats to surf the internet, from incredible melodies like “PICK ME” and “MY TURN!” to innovative, beautiful beats like “#FUCKSCENEGIRLS” and “JET SKI.” And then you have masterful rappers like hoodstardaplug who only has 2 existing songs on the internet “voodoo” and “223’s” but somehow persuade me to constantly replay them, leaving me always wanting more music from him; and YGR who makes bangers like “DO IT AGAIN” and “Mirror” in his sleep. On top of the already impressive brewing pile of artists, growing in numbers every day, Houston has been putting on some head-turning shows recently, with organizations like Don’t Die and Modern Lover throwing massive functions that the hottest in Houston come to perform at.
In the past year, throughout all the ups and downs, through all the fire and chaos inside my mind, through all the times where I feel like the world is crashing down upon me, I always look to music as a friend; and lately, it looks like all my friends are helming from Houston and they’re being crafted and molded by some of the most wonderful, caring people, who put their heart into every song, every bar, every hook, every melody, and every beat. BBY Kodie’s music helps boost my confidence and make me feel like I’m on top of the world, LIX’s and a.dluxe’s music helps calm me down and bring me to a place of serenity and solitude, DENNIS’s music helps my mental, no friends beats make me feel like I’m in space, Tisakorean’s music makes me smile, and Uglysincebirth’s music makes me want to rage.