Quick question: Who is the rapper pictured above (twice)? If you don't know, that's no surprise. Dallas' hip-hop scene has become a kind of tragically secret society, a group of talented artists too often performing for each other and the same select fans, popping up in odd venues around town with hardly a blip on the radar. But why? While Houston rap has every A&R suit armed with a hefty contract and a bottle of cough syrup, Dallas rap has gone curiously unnoticed. The reason is multi-tiered, more befitting a feature story than this column: Hip-hop and rap radio, while dominating the ratings, rarely (if ever) feature local artists; promotion often isn't strong enough, or organized enough, to get media coverage or bodies in the clubs; there is no designated hip-hop venue; with their pirated samples, mix tapes necessarily have to stay under the radar; we could keep going. But don't think Dallas hip-hop/rap isn't well-known because it isn't good. It is good. If you didn't know... More >>>