Back in the late 90s, Houston had its own little mixture of anthems and regional hits. Before radio was cleared to play nothing but national hits, the only sounds you mainly heard during my youth were tracks from Houston artists and some from Cash Money & No Limit.

Yes, I’m from the days of sneaking into middle school parties while in elementary school and the main two songs a DJ played to get a party absolutely out of line would either be “Back That Ass Up” Juvenile or “Tops Drop” by Fat Pat. Honorable mention goes of course to Montell Jordan’s “Let’s Ride” with Master P & Silkk the Shocker (who could never really stay on beat if he tried). But there was always one track that may have not caused mass hysteria, caused a serious amount of head nodding and swaying from listeners.

Port Arthur was always UGK dominated, especially after “Big Pimpin” blew up on the national scene and Bernard & Chad were basically folk legends in their own state. DJ DMD came from the same realm and even though he didn’t blow up and be recognized in the same vein that UGK did, he had two hits that ate up Texas radio from PA to El Paso. “25/8” coined the smooth hustlers anthem to a tee with dedications to mothers and some easy sampling of Keith “Non Sangin’ Ass” Sweat’s “Make It Last Forever”. But “25 Lighters”?

Had all the classic examples of a hit. Easy sample? Al B. Sure’s “Nite & Day”. Prominent Texas rappers? Lil’ Keke & Fat Pat. Easy chorus to remember? Two lines, & they didn’t ever switch up.

The timelessness of this song can be charted to the fact that the last verse, done by Patrick Hawkins (who sadly was killed and never got to see how big his hit “Tops Drop” became). Many a current Houston hip-hop staple has sampled this verse to death, most notably on “Swang” by Trae & “Pop My Trunk” by Wine-O. So, even if you’re from Texas and this is a great Friday for you relax or you’re from anywhere else in the country – relax and realize, you got’s to get paid.

DOWNLOAD: DJ DMD – 25 Lighters (featuring Lil’ Keke & Fat Pat)