The Best New Music in Dallas, October 2015: Erykah Badu, Dorrough & More

Six Shooter is a recurring feature where we highlight six new releases by North Texas-based musicians, with some extra ammo to spare.

The North Texas area should be proud of its artists’ output this month. Outside of the iconic Erykah Badu, who’s currently performing her one-human show, Dallas’ most successful rap export Dorrough and former Denton resident Alan Palomo of Neon Indian, the artists on this month’s selection are far from the usual suspects we see when it comes to highlighting the local music scene. Last month we were spoiled with riches from those folks, including the Toadies; A.Dd+; Blue, the Misfit; and Lord Byron. But this month our ever-evolving music scene treated us to sounds from a host of newcomers who put out everything from rap-god-like flows to catchy pop tunes. Hell, take a look at the Top 200 Billboard chart right now. Three North Texas acts are in the top 10, including the No. 1 and 2 spots held by Pentatonix and Demi Lovato, respectively.


Badu charmed the internet with this rework of Drake’s meme-riddled hit “Hotline Bling.” The reworking seems simple and straightforward at first. Instead of opting for Drake’s “cell phone” in the chorus, she switches the style up to, “You used to call me on my cell-u-lar de-vice.” Simple enough, but as the song progresses it’s easy to hear how much fun she’s having with the track, and then comes the star of the remix: the hilarious voicemail skit. It’s no wonder it’s being hailed as better than the original. The production credits also feature Seven Benjamin (the son of Badu and André 3000) and local DJ Zach Witness. 

Dorrough – “Japanese”

Dorrough’s newest track, “Japanese,” is fervent in a way that's unusual for him. Aside from the mildly offensive hook about how his weed has him looking, Dorrough’s making declarations about his status and asserting his presence in the hip-hop populous. It’s not clear who has set the 6’3” artist off, but it’s great to hear some aggressive music from an artist who’s not resting on his laurels.

Pat Ron – “Backpack Boy 2”

Pat Ron’s Twitter handle is @RapGodPatRon. It’s almost cliché at this point for rappers to use such hyperbole to sell themselves but, fortunately for Pat Ron, his “Backpack Boy 2” provides strong evidence to support his claim. On the nearly four-minute-long track, Ron flows on a minimal trap beat and lets his voice take over. It’s impressive how often and how seamlessly he’s able to switch up his rhyming patterns and cadence. Ron’s on a mission with his words and doesn’t shy away from taking general shots at local rappers who think they’ve found fame, questioning their passion.

Mallory Merk x Herrick & Hooley – "Thursday Syrup"

Herrick & Hooley demonstrated earlier this year that they have some serious chops. The jazz and hip-hop inspired band of recent high-school grads are showing some real growth on this collaboration with New York singer Mallory Merk. Merk’s sultry voice does a lot of the work, but Herrick & Hooley create a beautiful down-tempo base for her work to rest on. The song is on the short side at 2:27, and when you’re really feeling it it feels like it goes by even faster, so don’t be surprised if you have the song on repeat for a while.

DJ Imperial D – "DJ Imperial D Presents Brain Gang Misfits: 'The Show'"

This right here is a special gem of Dallas hip-hop history. DJ Imperial D created an anthology and essentially a time-capsule of one of Dallas’ most formidable collectives, Brain Gang, which was made up of Blue, the Misfit; Justus; 88 Killa; Cashmir; Sam Lao; X the Misfit; Ish D; Bobby Sessions; and Imperial D himself. Listening to the mix is a trip down memory lane or a crash course for the uninitiated. If you make it all the way through the mixtape, you’ll be rewarded with one of Blue, the Misfit’s rarest tracks that has all but been scrubbed from the Internet.

Conner Youngblood - The Generation of Lift

Conner Youngblood is off in Nashville, Tennessee, these days, but the Dallas-born artist’s latest release is so good it’s hard for us to not be proud and want to share it. His The Generation of Lift EP is an experimental, trance-inducing collection that ranges in instrumentation from harps to synthesizers to good ol' folk music. The visuals that accompany the release are as beautiful as the EP: They're rich with stunning aerial shots of South Dakota’s badlands, showing Youngblood traversing the landscape on a skateboard, his dog at his side.

Extra Ammo: 

Post Malone — "Too Young"

Neon Indian — "Slumlord Rising"

Brandon Fxrd — Hardaway

Young Jay ft. Kap G, Don Jose and Young OG — “Go Broke”

Jay Luse ft. Coach Tev & B. Anderson — “What You Like”

Luke Herbert — Pulses

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