One Last Look (2013 Review by Noon)

The homie Noon has joined forces with Optimo Radio to help promote the local scene. This is his 2013 Year In Review and we are happy to bring it to you. #IfItAintLocalItAintLive

One Last Look – The 2013 “If It Aint Local It Aint Live” Year End Review

 

Now that we’ve had time to settle into the new year, we felt it appropriate to take one final look at the Houston year in Hip Hop.   2013 was a year of many great personal accomplishments for Houston’s top local talent and tragic losses that left us feeling incomplete exiting the cold December nights. Houston’s local talent pool landed on some of hip-hops largest platforms and we ran into a freshman class that may go down in hip-hop history. Of course no list is complete without the good old “everyone did so much we couldn’t fit it all in” disclaimer. Fact remains we attended the shows, we jammed the music, we watched the videos, we bought the merchandise, we followed the tweets, and we told our friends along the way. So with that being said, here’s 2013 the way we saw it, and along the way we’ll pepper in some artists gearing up for huge years in 2014.  Ladies and gentlemen we present to you the only list that counts, The 2013 “If It Aint Local It Aint Live” year end review.

 

Best Solo Rapper – Roosh Williams

From the pages of the Houston Press and the Houston Chronicle, to a “day in the life” video from Complex magazine, Roosh Williams owned 2013 from January to December. Williams released two critically  acclaimed projects featuring the likes of Scarface, Bubba Sparxx, Action Bronson and more, finding both his 2013 releases on the Houston Chronicle’s best of 2013 list. Roosh even found himself invading Houston’s local news stations with his own feature on the WB NewsFix Tuned In segment. Sprinkle in his amazing live shows, midwest tour, the years hottest collabo “Ridin Thru My City” ft Doughbeezy, and it’s pretty clear to see that Roosh made all 12 months his personal bitch. 


  Runner Up – Delo

Many will make the case that Delo is deserving of the #1 spot and you’ll get no quarrels from us on that. With videos on MTV Jams, BET’s 106 & Park, and even a live freestyle appearance on the famed BET countdown, Delo made some bold moves. Many of these moves seemed to be the natural expected progression for the hometown hero. “Grace” was what it was suppose to be; a great follow up to the “Hood Politics” series the rapper made his bread and butter on. There’s no slowing Delo down going into 2014.

 

Best Mixtape – Les “E36”

Point blank period. There was no mixtape that produced the longevity or buzz this mixtape created. From online activity to actual street bangability Les gave Houston rap fans a tape they simplyhad to listen to. “E36″ is the perfect collection of music for a city that requires a car, and once it was in the deck it didn’t leave for the next 3 to 4 months. Les also showed he was much more than”that guy Slim Thug is backing”. This mixtape allowed Les to craft his own identity in murky hip-hop waters.


   Runner Up – Killa Kyleon “Lean On Me” 

This tape begins with an angry Morgan Freeman and ends with Killa leaving us wanting more. “Lean On Me” also produced the hit “My City”  featuring Kirko Bangz which found regular play on MTV Jamz. Highlights include tracks where Killa shows us some smooth jazz melodies and of course features a heavy dose of Houston producer Trakk Sounds. Tracks like “Batman” and “My Ni**a” stay true to Killa’s “eat everything on the plate” beat diet. Another 5 to 6 songs might have placed  “Lean On Me” in our #1 spot, and it’s surprising we only got 9 tracks given Killa’s reputation for a 2 Pac like work ethic. 


   Best Producer – Trakk Sounds

Was there a major mixtape release that didn’t feature this guy’s production??? Seriously, rarely have we seen a local producer with such a broad musical touch and a catalogue to match. Trakk Sounds was everywhere in 2013. From Delo to Doughbeezy and Slim Thug to new comer Isaac Reid, this producer touched every corner of Houston fueling the O.G’s and elevating the rising talent. 


  Runner Up – Beat King

Another category that could be a complete toss up. This producer received more local radio play than any other local producer and he did it as a rapper. The self proclaimed Club God introduced a future classic guaranteed to get trapped in your head with “You Aint Bout That Life”, a title that spent most of the year plastered all over swaggful young teens T-shirts. Releasing a mixtape every month including “Astroworld” and hits like “Throw that A”, Beat King stayed in high demand. In 2014 we’d like to see Beat King lend some of those bangers he’s hogging for himself to some of Houston’s rising talent, but those beats are his babies and he can raise them how he sees fit. 


   Best Female Artist – Beyonce 

It only took the hometown diva a decade and a half, but the number 1 chick in the game finally realized the asset of bolstering her own city. Not only did she bring Houston legends together for what some call the remix of the year, she also released a game changing video LP. Much in the way local mc’s release their music, B worked in the dark with no one expecting it. Beyonce poured on the 84’s and candy paint releasing a video so Houston it included graffiti mecca “the Kingspoint Mullet” and even saw the megastar crowned “Mrs. 3rd Ward.” She even nudged her hubby to come out of his normal too cool for school bravado and host the biggest after party of the year: The Magna Carter Tour after party at Gatsby. Jay was even forced to pour on the H-Town love in his own hit “Tom Ford”. The way the power couple released music this year was both revolutionary and game changing. With Jay going straight Samsung download and B going iTunes video release the power couple put the industry on notice, that music will never be released the same again.


   Best Rap Duo – Dirty & Nasty

Long considered underdogs in the Houston rap scene, Dirty & Nasty remain uncompromising in their approach. The duo found themselves on stage at many of the top local concerts, gracing stages at venues like Fitzgerald’s, Numbers, and Warehouse Live performing alongside legends like 8Ball & Mjg, Souls of Mischief as well as rap sensations Riff Raff and Lil Debbie. The duo gained frequent press from the top music outlets, papers, sites and blogs. They also released the true to form LP Black Gold which found itself getting the Chopped not Slopped treatment from Swisha House cofounder O.G. Ron C and HPMA Best Dj Nominee Dj Candlestick. The duo spread their talents around all corners of Houston, finding themselves appearing in hip-hop musicals and even taking on the role of writer. As the duo’s self proclaimed Best Dressed Rapper in Texas, Dirty made his way into the pages of Act Badd magazine. Throw in two great music videos and the group’s constant support of other local events and artists, and we believe Dirty and Nasty are deserving, even if we’re the only ones willing to say so. 

 

 

 

Runner Up – All Day LLC

This duo began the year ready to take all top spots, coming out of the gate with great shows like an amazing performance with Detroit legends Slum Village. Then the unexpected happened and the co-ed duo found itself dealing with a shocking turn of events. Male duo member Preemo was shot in what was believed to be an attempted car robbery, all while trying to make it to work on time. Preemo would spend the next 6 month recovering from his wounds. None the less, the group soldiered on releasing 3 critically acclaimed EP’S  in 3 months. Nominated best rap group in this years HPMA’s, they even found themselves as one of the few artists to receive a royalty check. All Day LLC was also listed on MTV UK  as a top 5 group to watch for in 2013. With Preemo back to health and Tawn P running through performances at soulful showcases like the Debonaire Lounge, we fully expect this duo to make up for lost time in 2014.

 

Best Rap Group – Twenty Eleven

A refreshing addition to the local scene, Twenty Eleven brought true originality to Houston’s musical landscape. Widely considered the gentleman in the room, Twenty Eleven went against every stereotype and made people feel pretty comfortable wearing suits to shows. Powered by frontman Brad Gilmore the live band ushered a new era of debonaire, bringing class and chivalry back to Houston’s nightlife and with it some of Houston’s hottest female audiences. Breaking ground as the first local rap group with their own VeVo Channel, Twenty Eleven also claimed Retweet of the Year when lead MC Brad Gilmore was retweeted by none other than J-Hova himself. Live shows like Shwayze and The Pharcyde further bolstered an extremely impressive year for the band. 


  Best Video Director – Michael Artist

This year had a lot of tough choices, but this one doesn’t require much debate. Flat out; no video director had a better year than M.A.F. Michael Artist Films. It seemed every thing he touchedended up on television. From Bun B to Paul Wall, M.A.F. helped launch rising talent providing them with hollywood worthy videos and even resurrected a few careers with his eye for cinema. We really don’t have to say too much for Michael Artist, as he lets his body of work speak for itself. 


  Honorable Mention – Branden Luce – Over Grind Productions

With only 52 weeks in a year this video director hit the scene releasing 32 ready for tv music videos. Thats not including his live show coverage, capturing huge moments in music like Bone Thugs N Harmony and 8Ball & Mjg’s 20th anniversary tours. He found a few of his video on worldstarhiphop.com; a huge accomplishment for upcoming artist and directors. With some of the quickest turn around in Houston, Branden Luce helped fuel very productive years from emerging artists like Kyle Hubbard, Harkore, FDA, Seano Phresh, Hogg Booma, and The Population, not to mention he did it without repeating any of the same concepts or ideas from previously released videos. Each video was a fresh start with its own identity and directions. Based on work ethic alone, Over Grind Productions is sure to compete for the #1 spot on our 2014 list. 


 
 Best Music Video – Maxo Cream “Lewinsky”

This video begins to some as your typical rapper with a gun video. Maxo Cream brought us a rather un-nerving display of visuals. You see the guns – you see the goons – and you may want to turn away but you can’t. Something just isn’t right and behind every frame lies a reason to keep watching. “Lewinsky” is a track that may remind you of Asap Rocky’s “Peso” or “Purple Swag” in the since thats its hypnotic. The song sucks you in the same way the visuals do. We won’t spoil the video for those who may be seeing it for the first time. We just advise you to watch all the way to the last frame. Now thats some scary shit!


  Runner Up – Frankie G Da Mex “Shut This Bitch Down”

In a late entry to the 2013 field, Denver Harbor native Frankie G brought us a true cinematic display. “Shut This Bitch Down” was an edge of your set thriller based in the present, yet channeled through the days of Bonnie & Clyde. From peepholes and kick doors to red heads and rings of fire, Frankie G Da Mex created a visual display much of his own creation and vision. It appears he and director David Ngyen are gearing up for another video collaboration that could end up as our top video once the dust of 2014 settles.


  Best Dj – Elroy Boogie (RIP)

In what could also be considered the saddest moment of 2013, its with heavy hearts we honor the years best DJ Elroy Boogie. When word hit the hip-hop scene that Kracker Nutz Dj Elroy Boogie had lost his battle with cancer, shockwaves were sent throughout the community. What followed was a show of support unlike any seen in todays local scene. Prompting the feel good event of the year “Boogie in the Park” , a mural in his honor was painted along the side wall of Fox Hollow and he was even granted his own day by Houston Mayor Anise Parker. If you paid close attention you also saw the “Boooogie On” mural in his honor on Monday Night Football. The loss of Elroy Boogie was by far one of worst moment of 2013 but the support that followed was one of its best. Its the unity he inspired after his passing that earns Elroy Boogie our top Dj honors. 


  Rookie of the Year – The Aspiring Me 

Son of fallen hometown legend Big Mello, this aspiring MC first caught our attention at a music conference of all places. There he stood before a panel of legends honoring Swisha House’s inclusion in the Rice University musical catalogue, prompting stand up salutes to young MC from legends like Lil Keke & Michael Watts. He would soon link up with 90.1 The Groove’s Dj Elevated for a wide variety of shows and landing on some of the cities top mix tapes. Including Dj Good Grief’s 199Live series with stand out tracks. He would find himself back at Rice university for an incredible show with fellow hip-hop counterpart Fat Tony. He received a wide amount of press throughout the year, but most impressive is his ability to thrive as an artist with a style completely opposite of his fallen father’s shadow.  RIP Big Mello.


  Best Male Vocalist – Kidd The Great

Kidd The Great is no stranger to the local rap scene. Long seen alongside fellow rhyme mate Hollywood Floss, 2013 would be the year Kidd finally shook the role of hip-hop sidekick. Carrying a uniquely soulful voice into his own spot light, his mid year release “Thats How I Be Liking My Mic” found itself on the pages of the Houston Chronicles “albums you should be listening to”. Never taking himself too seriously he hit Houston with comical videos, where he depicted himself on the corner hustling every mixtape he could possibly move. Kidd sets himself apart as one of the few singers with the energy and voice to entertain hip-hop crowds without boring them to the exit door or stepping into Charmin soft territory. He’s caught the eye of local promoters who are rushing to book Kidd for more big shows and he recently went on his first Texas tour. Kidd The Great ended the year rocking some amazing live shows and booking more tour dates going into 2014. 


  OG of the Year – Bun B

2013 was a year that saw the trill legend pour more concrete on his already rock solid OG foundation. Bun took hip-hop to new levels, breaking barriers in the process and he did it locally. From the worlds first Rap Coloring Book to his historic collaboration with the Houston Symphony, Bun did it all. The Houston legend continued his work on the WB with Buns Beat and quietly produced some of Houston’s top online radio shows. He also released the Epilogue and featured on some of Houston’s top local hits, continuing his role as an ambassador of sorts to Houston’s top local talent. 


  Runner Up – KB Da Kidnappa

This Houston legend stayed true and kept the Street Military mantra alive. Releasing “Black Mamba,” a project that did a great job of feeding those in need of that classic Street Military sound, Da Kidnappa ended the year dropping 2 gritty music videos in 2 days. The MC continues to be approachable and willing to drop knowledge on Houston’s next crop. He’s often seen wearing a snake around his neck as a symbolic reference to the venoms of the rap game.  Nonetheless, KB continues to be an artist up and coming rappers can access and one community leaders turn to when searching for an outreach to Houston’s urban community.  


  Hustler of the Year – Harkore

A hustler can be defined in many ways, some good some bad. Which ever way you describe it there wasn’t any other artist that stayed as active as Alief native Harkore. Harkore began the year dealing with legal issue that could have seen him completely removed from the Houston Hip-Hop scene. Even in the face of that adversity Harkore grabbed on to 2013 by the horns and never let go. He built massive support from his NSR movement, booked some of the cities best live shows and released a steady stream of videos. Harkore was steadily on his grind, creating his own soon to be iconic image and getting creative with his hustle. Constantly thinking of new ways to promote himself, he purchased a booth at the H-Town Sneaker Summit for the sole purpose of selling his new mixtape “Concrete Jungle”. He branded his own line of Alief snapbacks and even sold art pieces in his own image. One of his top moments in 2013 was his performance at Fitzgerald’s with Wu Tang Clan Alumni Raekwon. The show eventually would see him usher out Bun B for an onstage performance and where the Trill OG would offer Harkore his own G Pen after beating the case that was lurking over his head. 2014 is set to be a big year for the always recognizable Harkore. 


  Best Year – The Mighty D Risha 

This is an honor given to the artist that started at one place in January and ended in another in December. The artist that made the most of the 365 days allowed in 2013. An artist that made the most of the opportunities in front of him and created the most for himself. Its hard to argue against D Risha, but surely many will. Always relishing the role of the underdog Risha took no prisoners in 2013. Demanding his respect and calling out those still in refusal to offer that which he has earned. Risha was 1 of 7 Houston artists featured on the world renown A3C music conference in Atlanta Georgia, an opportunity he created for himself when he got the inside scoop that some artist booked wouldn’t be able to attend. Risha rushed to put himself into those slots, while receiving the go ahead from the artist who’s role he would be filling. He would chronicle that experience and turn it into consistent press coverage. His project “Gauntlet” would be named a top release of the week by the Houston Press and his show resume was second to none, including Immortal Technique, Raekwon and Riff Raff to name a few. He also took a step up in his video game releasing videos that finally brought the D Risha message home. Perhaps its best D Risha was left off of so many of the other best of 2013 list. From what we see, The Mighty performs best with a chip on his shoulder. He kicks off 2014 booked to tour with Def Jam/ MMG recording artist Gunplay so it looks like there will be no slowing down. By the way its completely okay to read this and say… Fuck D Risha!


  

Best Sound Engineer – Sniper SPC

Sound master of the famed South Park Coalition. Sniper put out a body of work not seen locally in recent years. The driving force behind three thats right three, 2013 K Rino album releases including “The Maven”  and “Plantation Rebellion”. All while continuing his work with fellow rhyme mate Rapper K and releasing his own “Inglorious Bastards”. The On Point Studio CEO also provides rising artist like Swisha House’s Lil Young and Brickmade’s Lil C an elevating sound quality. In a year that saw the storied SPC  celebrate its 25th anniversary, Sniper released what seemed to be 25 years worth of music. Kudos!

 

 


Best Event/Concert – Brisk Bodega ft. Bun B, Riff Raff & Fat Tony

Taking place at graffiti mecca the KingsPoint Mullet; hosted by Lipton Ice Tea a Pepsi company. Lipton Brisk came into one of Houston’s rarest venues with a massive budget to put on a completely free show that popped up out of no where. Popping up on twitter as an rsvp link hours before the event, the night that followed was truly one of a kind. Taking place in a venue covered from top to bottom in Houston’s best graffiti, the often forgotten element of hip-hop. Dj’s Gracie Chavez from Houston’s latin inspired BomBon and Ill Faded front man Jose Gorbea provided and evening full of awesome jams. The event saw very memerable performances from Bun B & Riff Raff. The event took place on the same day news broke that Kracker Nutz Dj Elroy Boogie had fallen to cancer. Fat Tony took the moments after his set to dedicate the performance to the beloved DJ. Combine the free admission with the free liquor and the nicest port-a-cans the city has ever seen and Brisk Bodega take the crown for best live event. 

 Best TV Personality – Ky Meyers TUNED IN WB NewsFix

Some how, some way, this glowing young lady from Seattle landed on Houston airwaves, invading your evening news with a witty smile and keen taste for local music. 2012 saw Ky Meyer’s Tuned In segment cover many of Houston’s top Indie rock bands, The Ton Tons quickly come to mind. 2013 would be the year all this home town flavor finally rubbed off and Ky seemed to find her groove. She spent much of the year displaying Houston’s top local MC’s, giving artists like Kyle Hubbard and Roosh Willaims their first primetime spotlights. She would continue to show consistent local support highlighting rappers like Bun B, Paul Wall, Propain, and video director Michael Artist. She hosted local christian rapper concerts and she spotlighted talent that had long been overlooked. She even hosted the 25th annual Houston Press Music Awards alongside Geto Boy Willie D. She’s a fresh face and her energy is contagious. It was pretty hard not to Tune In to Ky Meyers in 2013.


   Best Promoter – Lunaface Promotions 

A company that sprouted and bloomed organically, with no major budget or local allies. Lunaface Promotion brought the widest variety of shows to Houston’s best venue consistently. Bolstering multiple sell outs and continually bringing hip-hop legends to town every month of 2013. Cases can be made for other promoters that had bigger years bringing the industries top headliners. Lunaface however lands this title by making the most of this particular year. The Houston based company brought a wide selection of shows like punk rock trio Girl in a Coma, funk groups The Kashmere Stage Band and Damn Funk (who recently released a project with Snoop Dogg). They brought the industries biggest hip-hop legends like Raekwon, Slum Village and Stone Throws Peanut Butter Wolf. They even made bold moves bringing the Based God Lil B and over the top characters like Riff Raff. Not to mention they did it all without overloading show line ups with 10-25 rappers you never heard of. A promotion company that has seen it share of ups and down in pervious years, 2013 saw Lunaface refocus and gain stride. The year would also see the promotion company expand it’s reach, taking on its first tours with the like of The Pharcyde, 8Ball & Mjg and ending the year announcing yet another Texas tour with Maybach Music Group wild man Gunplay. Add in the launch of its very own breeding ground showcase “The Local Theory” and its hard to find a company that brought more to Houston while treating local artist fairly. Lunaface Promotions shows no signs of slowing down as just this week they announced another great show with west coast rap veteran Rass Kass. 


  Best Photographer – Marco Torres

The Mexican born Houston Press photographer spent 2013 capturing some of the cities biggest moments and live shows. As a true supporter of all things hip-hop including the MC, Dj, B-Boy and graffiti artist, Marco Torres’ camera never seemed to need an off switch. From his coverage of Free Press Summer Fest to his up close and personal shots of Jay-Z’s Magna Carta tour, Marco did much more than step outside the box. Carving his own notch covering Houston’s graffiti culture, Marco would also find himself in the streets of Miami covering events like the famed Art Basil. Impressive accomplishments like his work with AT&T sister company Aio Wireless, found the photographer taking on the role of designer, creating images and designs for the companies products and accessories. He kept true to the code of journalism, covered the stories that deserved to be covered, and did his part to break deserving talent. 

 



Ambassador of the Year – Rocko Stedy (Stay Diverse Houston)

An artist himself and true hip-hop poet, Rocko Stedy’s outreach was felt on a local and global level. When the world rushed to the aid of the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, the Filipino MC worked directly with the Philippine embassy, crafting an official recovery song that helped raise over $400,000 in aide. Rocko was also hired directly by Mayor Parker to write the official Houston theme song. His works appeared regularly on local Houston news, gaining him appearances on shows like Fox 26 news and Good Morning Houston with Debra Duncan. He performed at over 70 international music festivals and performed at over 11 local schools promoting diversity and his coined “Pride of Place”. Rocko also released a moving LP and supported many local MC’s and Dj’s along the way. His ability to take hip-hop to places its normally excluded from, rightfully earn Rocko Stedy our first Ambassador of the Year Award. 


  Most Shocking Moment – Shooting of Preemo (All Day LLC)

This could also be called the “Thank God It Wasn’t Worse” award. Just as Houston Hip-Hop faithfuls had been hit with the sorrowing loss of Elroy Boogie, news also broke that Houston Press Music Award Nominee All Day LLC MC Preemo had been shot on his way to work. Thankfully, the shooting wasn’t fatal and the MC recovered in a matter of months. Nonetheless, Preemo would find himself sidelined just as the duo was gaining momentum. Preemo seems to be fully recovered now as he’s been spotted traveling all over Texas. Heres to a healthy Preemo in 2014.


  Silliest Rap Feud – Renzo vs Delo twitter war

Lets aka this one the “Why You Bringing Up Old Shit” Award. A one night only affair that started with a simple “What did ya think of my new project”. Response “Wasn’t really impressed with the last two, haven’t heard it yet” and all hell broke loose. Challenges to battle live onstage ensued and shots like “my homegirls laughed at your cd” were fired. Rappers and bystanders caught stray bullets  and the line between the cool kids and the other guys was drawn. There was no major fall out but it was by far the most memorable thing I recall on twitter in 2013. Here’s to keeping it on wax… or tweets.


  4th Quarter Award – Big Gerb

An award given to the artist with the best finish. The long time Optimo Radio favorite and co host found new ways to spread his message in 2013. The plus sized MC released music and videos at a rate 10x faster than artist 5x smaller than him. He traveled to California in an effort to push his music outside state lines and closed the year with a 3 page article in the Houston Press, an article that takes you deep into life of the naturally paranoid. The massive yet huggable MC has recently caught the attention of some of the cities biggest promoters and looks to have some exciting opportunities ahead of him in 2014. He’s also unknowingly found himself to be the most recognizable figure in one of Houston’s best latino rap crews, Hongree Mobb. Featuring the slick sound of Yung Surreal and the latina version of Mia X, female hard hitter U Neek. Hongree Mobb stands in the face of those who still try to say latinos can’t rap.


  Things We Wish Would Have HappenedBushwick Bill at Geto Boys “Reunion” FPSF

After a massive advertisement campaign the included billboards of all 3 Geto Boys, famously stating “we don’t talk to police”. Bushwick Bill not performing at the widely advertised Geto Boys Houston reunion was a let down that literally baked itself into peoples skin. With the summer heat exceeding 100 degrees, Houston rap fans stomached the stinch of hipsters and took to FPSF expecting to see something historic. What they got instead was a reason to wish they were anywhere but there. Rumors still circulate as to why Bushwick didn’t perform that hot summer day, everything from him being too drunk to perform to getting arrested moments before stepping on stage still remain. Willie D and Scarface did the best they could to salvage the moment and make the best of the situation, but this wasn’t what Geto Boys loyalist had been sold. They felt over exposed (to the heat) and under whelmed by the show taking place before them. Did I mention it was hot?


  DoughBeezy’s Footprints on the Moon

We wanted this – we really wanted this. August came, our bags were packed, and our trip to the moon had been postponed. Upgrades to the spaceship was the reason we were given when we were told we wouldn’t be preparing for take off. Its worth mentioning that Doughbeezy also pushed back the release of 2012’s Blue Magic to make the same upgraded and repairs. What followed was a project so strong it created a huge demand for more. Our hearts were broken when we were told there would be no Doughbeezy release in 2013. Dough stayed busy releasing multiple features, leading the local scene in merchandise sales and ending the year prepping his fans for the now January release date. His recently released video “Riding Round” continues the tradition well crafted videos and he appears to have an anthem on his hands with “Im From Texas”. Footprints on the Moon can’t come fast enough, until then get your dose of the southeast beast by following the MC’s #MondaysOnTheMoon via twitter & instagram @doughbeezy. 


   Artist to watch for in 2014

Stockzilla – Probably the freshest face to hit the scene in 2013. Stockzilla stayed consistent, releasing great videos and putting on some of Houston’s most energetic live shows. Collaborations with radio friendly MC Rai P & top rap group Twenty Eleven were highlights for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air look a like. He begins the new year booked for a major Texas tour and he has a natural passion for music that doesn’t seem to waiver. So here’s to Stockz taking the driver seat and finding the finish line in 2014.


  Hogg Booma – This artist could have easily contended for hustler of the year honors. Releasing 5 music videos in 5 months while also releasing the uniquely enjoyable mixtape “On My Way”. Recent collaborations with H-Town rising star Stunna Bam place Hogg Booma in great position heading into 2014. A year that may see the Bay City aka BeCareful Tx. native become Houston’s number 1 go to guy for hooks that just won’t leave your head.

  

WhyJae – One Half of Headwreckas’ young gun duo WhyJae & Nino Gotti, 2013 was a year of transition for the duo, finding both artists concentrating mostly on solo endeavors. WhyJae’s has the unique ability to appeal to young trend craving teens and more seasoned slab culture enthusiast. He also released a video “Lights” that could easily be considered video of the year.  He turned hundreds of heads in November when he fell just short of stealing the show at Warehouse Live along side ASAP Ferg. 2014 should show great promise for the young flame spitter. We just hope somewhere along the way he and his counterpart find time to grace us with another verse for verse collaboration. 

 

 

 

Bigg Fatts – If we had a personality of the year award, Bigg Fatts would win it hands down.  The MC never took a day off in 2013, thrusting himself onto the local scene. Invading top underground showcase KickBack Sundays. The oversized MC released a project titled “Appetizers,” but it’s mores like an entree from Kelly’s Country Cooking. Ya know that chicken fried steak that takes up a whole plate. “Appetizers” made its way to the top Houston’s musical menu, being named a top 25 release of 2013. Impressive for an artist we just became familiar with.

 

 

 

Danny Watts – There may not be a purer soul on our list. Danny Watts made his own opportunities in 2013 introducing himself to Clutch City on fm radio airwaves, an opportunity he created for himself roaming the streets of SXSW, where he would meet 90.1 The Groove’s  Dj Elevated. Danny Watts released his first music  video and put on an amazing peformance at local celebrity Basketball Game the Southern G.R.A.B. Alongside veterans like K-Rino, Ronnie Spencer, Los of SUC and rising stars like Doughbeezy and OneHunnidt. He begins 2014 with great show opportunities and new collaborations with former HPMA nominee Ill Laid. Houston needs artists like Danny Watts and we hope 2014 shows the young troubadour the respect he deserves.

 

 

 

Notable Losses

Mama Wes –  A women who literally gave birth to the trill legacy, Mama Wes was finally reunited with her son in heaven. Mother of Port Author legend and Grammy award winner Pimp C, Mrs Wes was yet another local loss to cancer,an illness that made itself very familiar with the Houston music scene. Mama Wes showed little to no signs of her illness appearing at Kickback Sunday,  lending words of wisdom to Houston’s top local talent. The loss of Mama Wes swept in a tidal wave of support for both her and her beloved son.

 

 

 

Mic Flo – The Spacecity Records MC’s was tragically taken from Houston music lovers in the final days of 2013. Mic Flo would be gunned down in what appears to be a deadly home invasion. Details are still murky surrounding the killers motives and the pain of Mic Flo’s death is still fresh on friends and families minds. Mic Flo was just gaining steam releasing music videos and features. Unfortunately  Houston won’t get to see one of its most promising Latino artists prosper. In the wake of this devastating tragedy the hearts of all of us here at OptimoRadio.com are with Mic Flo’s family and friends.

 

 

 

Lady Dre –  Long time supporter of local talent and promoter for venues like Toc Bar, Jet Lounge and Club Kingspoint, Lady Dre would suddenly be taken from Houston hip-hop, as she would suffer a stroke for which there was no recovery. Her loss was felt throughout the rap community. Whether she was speaking to SPC legend K-Rino or the newest artist to hit the scene, Lady Dre showed each artist the same respect. She was a huge loss to Houston’s latino rap community and her presences is and continues to be truly missed. 

 

 

 

Well guys thats 2013 the way we saw it. We didn’t have a crystal ball or St. Nicks ability to be everywhere at one time. Hell we didn’t even intend to write a best of list, but now that we have tell us what you think. If theres any artist you think we left off or anyone you think we should boot off, make use of the comment box and let us hear it. We’ll be here stalking 2014’s rap scene like a crazy ex girlfriend, while fame craving ego maniacs attempt to take over the world. Until we meet again in January 2015 remember “If It Aint Local It Aint Live”!!!