DFW Music News

Rakim Al-Jabbaar, Helium Queens, and This Month's Best New Music

Rakim Al-Jabbaar is "Str8 Jackin" on his new single.
Rakim Al-Jabbaar is "Str8 Jackin" on his new single. Roderick Pullum
Now that we have time to think of things other than the presidential election, let us return to what really matters: new music. North Texas artists continue smacking us with hard-slapping greatness. Here are the best new releases.

"Str8 Jackin,"
There are two things in this music video that you will not see every day in Dallas. A two-tone Rolls-Royce and a girl giving a round of applause with something other than her hands. You'll get what we are saying. “Str8 Jackin” is an audio and visual statement from Dallas’ underground rap god and Dallas Observer Music Awards winner Rakim Al-Jabbaar. “It’s my duty to ensure that Dallas is more than respected when they speak of hip-hop in the antiquity of the future,” Al-Jabbaar says. “To do so, I must separate myself from the local chaos and focus on waving the flag for Dallas hip-hop worldwide.”

Helium Queens, Helium Queens

The Halloween release and self-titled full-length EP is as cool and trippy as you would expect from a Helium Queens project. You can easily see their neon outfits and strobe lights flashing while you’re listening to the EP. “Star Gazer” is perfect for when the shrooms kick in. And we are not exactly sure of the lyrics to “Spirits of Ingenii,” but it sounds like alien creatures harmonizing and serenading the stars.

"Houston Radio," New Ellum
This record is made for a country road drive on a warm and sunny day. Specifically, for the roundtrip from Dallas to Houston. Dallas’ freshly formed Americana band New Ellum has released a handful of songs this year. “Houston Radio” is the latest and most up-tempo out of the bunch. There's no album-release date yet, and expect to hear at least one more single form New Ellum before the year is over.

Stoney EP, Devy Stonez
The Stoney EP is a reminder of who Devy Stonez is. Known to talk that player shit, he kept it consistent on this three-piece set. We get dinners with Dallas dimes at Moxie’s and late-night uptown shenanigans. Since the release of his inaugural project Stepping Stonez in 2016, Stonez has shown nothing but progression.

"Snakes in the Grass," Bree & The Fellas
"Snakes in the Grass" is a song that you can two-step and electric slide along with. While you dance, you will hear Bree Parker singing about being fed up with partners that have snake-like tendencies. The 2020 DOMAs nominees released their debut EP together in 2016 and have had a busy 2020 that has put them back in the mix on the Dallas music scene. 

"The Speed of Time," Abby Cole 
Southern Methodist University student and singer Abby Cole shows her versatility as a DYI recording artist on her latest release, “The Speed of Time.” The single's electronic, minimalist sound allows her voice to cut through the beat with ease. Cole is working on a release date for her latest EP, which she wrote, recorded and produced by herself during the pandemic lockdown.

"I Want You Near," Cody Lynn Boyd

Lyrically, Cody Lynn Boyd's new song is pure poetry. Recite “I Want You Near” word for word and see if the partner of your dreams does not fall madly in love with you (or at least give you a chance). In the single, the Mansfield singer-songwriter speaks to a lucky girl with rainbow hair about how much he wants to love her, if she’ll let him.

"Who Dat," Dezi 5 feat. Cure For Paranoia
“Who Dat” is a ratchet and dirty South club record that couldn’t have dropped at a better time. Dallas bars and clubs have yet to fully reopen, but you might hear the track getting airplay in the few North Texas nightlife spots still thriving. Known for their energetic music and captivating stage performances, Dezi 5 and Cure For Paranoia brought the heat with this one.

Bad Guy, Asia Kyre
Dallas’ bad girl of R&B released her debut EP, Bad Guy, in October; a slow and passionate complimentary project about love and its complications, its nine songs have a modern new-age feel to them, but all the core elements of the genre can be heard in every song.
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Malen “Mars” Blackmon has been a contributor to the Observer since 2019. Entrenched in Southern California’s music and culture at an early age, he wrote and recorded music until he realized he wasn’t cut out for the music industry and turned to journalism. He enjoys driving slowly, going to cannabis conventions and thinking he can make sweatpants look good with any outfit.