The latest issue of Vibe, which isn't online, has a regional round-up of hip-hop's most happenin' scenes -- and Dallas is included. But it's good news-bad news stuff -- isn't it always when Vanilla Ice crops up in the second freakin' graf of a short, short piece by a guy named Andrew Nosnitsky? (Not related, not related.)
A few notable locals are mentioned, among them Tum Tum and Big Tuck. But, really, no P.P.T.? That's too bad. Some highlights after the jump, then, from the piece, which is headlined: "20 years on, DALLAS is still waiting for its shot." -- Robert Wilonsky
The career of original Dr. Dre protégé The D.O.C. (1989's "It's Funky Enough") is a bit of a sore spot for some Dallas residents - the N. W.A affiliate all but disavowed his true hometown. "I think he had a Dallas jersey on once in one of his videos," says DJ Snake, the producer behind some of the city's prouder old-school acts like Nemesis and Ron C. "Everything else was always L.A."
This has been the legacy of Dallas hip hop. Its biggest stars - The D.O.C., Vanilla Ice - concealed their origins, while many that did claim the city remained anonymous on a national scale. Throughout the '90s, underground rappers like Pimpsta, Kottonmouth, and the Ft. Worth duo One Gud Cide quietly moved units locally. Says current hometown favorite Tum Tum, "They never really did get their shot because nobody ever put no money behind them."
Now the money is there, but the sales have yet to follow.
Recent national debuts from Tum, Big Tuck -- both of the DSR crew -- and the currently incarcerated Twisted Black (of One Gud Cide) have all floundered commercially, despite positive local response. The artists cite the usual complaints common to yet-to-blow regional scenes - disunity, a lack of support from local radio, and most important, the lack of an identifiable sound. "You really can't tell a Dallas artist from any other artist," says up-and-comer Countri Boi, noting that most local rappers take their cues from more established scenes like Houston and Atlanta.