In terms of Dallas hip hop, 2014 was ruled by Blue, the Misfit, A.Dd+, the, Outfit, TX, Buffalo Black and Sam Lao. We talked about them incessantly and deservedly so. They made great music and performed their asses off. Hell, the Outfit, TX made their way to Art Basel in Miami and Blue, the Misfit graced our cover for the Dallas Observer Music Awards.
However, the scene here is robust with talent and there are a few people who are certain to make some noise in 2015. Of course, -topic will release a solid project. Picnictyme has a solo record on the way that will be straight fire, worth 17 flame emojis even, and we're all salivating to see what comes of Love, JT's time in Los Angeles with Dr. Dre. But, outside of those glaringly obvious acts to be excited for, here are some acts that can bully their way into becoming Dallas rap elite this year.
You may be familiar with Bobby Sessions from the era in which Brain Gang formed like Voltron and put on highly energetic shows in the Dallas area with all of their divergent styles and personalities. Sessions was the backpack rapper of the crew: he'd literally be rapping with on stage with a backpack. Now that Sessions has gone solo, he's been diligently at work on a new project, which is being built with some help from -topic. 2015 looks like it could be a great year for Sessions' stream-of-consciousness and socially aware raps. He'll be hungry with the goal in mind of solidifying himself as one of the city's top wordsmiths, which should prove to be as difficult as picking hay out of a haystack.
Devy Stonez was originally in a group called BLVCKTAG, which had the pleasure of opening for the likes of Big Sean, Chief Keef and Migos. The newly solo artist only has a few solo songs out, but they're all quality. "Talkin 'Bout" is a spacey cut that's amassing a trove of plays on Soundcloud and "Kick It," is a lovey dovey song with a two-step-ready beat. Stonez' strongest suit lies in his charisma and swagger, which emanates like smoke from a fire. Stonez is in the IRAS collective, which includes Terrance Spectacle, Brandon Ford and K. Vation, all of whom are skilled in their own right and look to become a powerhouse tribe in 2015.
That Kid Cam
That Kid Cam's focus comes from the rabid nature of rappers who are braggadocios and combative in nature. The ones that know they're the best when it comes to rapping, bar for bar and line for line. He's confident in his skill and has relishes the opportunity to prove himself. He did hold his own on a track with -topic on his EP, 2nd First Impression , which was produced entirely by J. Rhodes, whose production credits include Lecrae, the Game, Slim Thug, Talib Kweli, Ab-Soul and Black Thought. With the release of 2nd First Impression behind us, it'll be interesting to see what That Kid Cam has whipping up in the kitchen looking forward.
Nostalgia is a wistful longing for the past. Hip hop in general has a soft spot for the 1990s. This is the era in which soulful, jazzy production and boom-bap drums reigned supreme. The '90s were also the era in which rappers really began to come into their own in terms of lyricism. Bee Feral is a blast from the past whose slick bars and saccharine beats make any rap nostalgist wist no more. Last year, he released his debut project, an EP called eMCee Squares, which plays as a valiant effort and satisfying introduction.
In the very distant past of 2013, a blogger at Central Track did what any masochistic music lover has done multiple times: trawled through Band Camp in search of something fresh, new, and good. There was a write up and a spot on the Index Fest bill that followed. The hype felt organic. Since then, Byron's been a little quiet, performing here and there. The incredibly talented rapper scored a write-up in the low key rap soothsayer blog Passion of the Weiss, which is a major co-sign. Be on the lookout for what this sharp-tongued, MF Doom-meets-Styles P-esque rapper has to offer in the future.
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