Last week, Complex issued out a list that tabbed the 50 Greatest Houston Rap Songs. Some were slight head scratchers, others were properly ranked but like a proper scale of anything Houston over the past three decades, a lot of great tracks were left off completely. That’s where our crack team of researchers (okay, Brando but you get the point) went back over time and pull together 10 more essential Houston rap songs to add to. Even better? There’s our Spotify playlist to somewhat follow along with. Let’s begin.


01. Big Moe feat. E.S.G. & Big Pokey – “Maan!”

Easily the most glaring omission from Complex’s list. Backed by enough bullying horns to choke an elephant and drums, “Maan!” lifts Black Rob’s “Whoa!” idea and twists it into a Texas-twang. Big Moe for one of the few moments in his career completely put his sing-song flow to the side and attacked like a man possessed, same for E.S.G. & Big Pokey. Along with “Still Tippin” & “25 Lighters”, it ranks as arguably Houston’s greatest triumvirate rap track in the non-Geto Boys division.


02. Lil Flip – “I Can Do That”

Before “The Way We Ball” and the massive world beater that was “Game Over”, “I Can Do That” was Lil Flip’s signature song. From structure and flow, Flip commanded this thing like flipping a slab down Main street on a Sunday night. And if you take yourself back to 2001 and hear every reference then you would understand why. It’s Flip’s laid back narcissism at its best and delivered with such seriousness that you believed he could have bought a local high school (Worthing) with all of his freestyle earnings.


03. Z-Ro – “I Hate U Bitch”

There’s no real glimpse of transparency with Z-Ro, he is what you see – a figure who bases all of his life interactions on whether or not you have the real ability to piss him off. “I Hate U Bitch” is pretty much the most callous yet radio friendly breakup song you might ever hear from its squelching guitar strings and Z-Ro becoming Rotha Vandross as a tired man who’s completely fed up. Sad sidenote, most of this video was shot while Z-Ro was in jail, the early section of his 00s time spent between a recording studio, the booth and in between.


04. Mista Madd feat. Slim Thug & Yungstar – “Down South”

Before he finally settled into his career as Mad Hatta, the 97.9 jock and mainstay adopted the moniker Mista Madd and recorded a few albums and notable tracks like “Say Whatcha Wanna Say”. There should be a mini-book written on Hatta’s dealings within Houston rap whether it be with Paid In Full Entertainment (the label that released the first Paul Wall & Chamillionaire album and that “other” LP Controversy Sells) or on The Boxx but his top moment as a rapper once more lead to Yungstar & Slim Thug stealing the show on “Down South”. Here is where it seemed like Yungstar’s almost unlimited rhyming potential was seen in its most clear form as he damn near out rapped the beat and begged for more.


05. DJ Screw feat. Big T, Point Blank, Z-Ro, PSK 13 & South Park Mexican – “South Side Groovin”

There are literally hundreds of DJ Screw tracks that could wind up becoming favorites or personal choices but “South Side Groovin” stands as one of the few times Screw’s slow crawl reached into Roger Troutman’s bag of talkbox and synths and worked, the other being on Big Moe’s “Bang Screw” that flipped “Doo Waa Ditty (Blow That Thing)” and never looked back. Z-Ro’s here in his usual Southside mad man role and South Park Mexican shows up spouting off lines name dropping Freddy Fender and Kenny from South Park. Truly great stuff. By the way, did we ever figure out why there weren’t many female rappers on screw tapes?

Sidenote: The easiest transitional move of South Park Mexican’s career came in 2000 when he released “You Know My Name”. It’s elementary in pattern and set up but radio ate it up. Inescapable wasn’t even the word when it dropped, it played ALL THE DAMN TIME. Then the video came out and was pretty creepy, grainy and shot with something you’d see on old VHS. Then the child molestation charges came and the subsequent 45-year jail sentence and now he’s sitting with the title of Houston Rapper Whose Legacy Fell Of A Cliff.


06. Guerilla Maab – “Fondren & Main”

There’s isn’t enough e-material written about Guerilla Maab, the group before Assholes By Nature that starred Trae, Z-Ro & Dougie D. And T.A.Z but he only got to appear on their Rise album in 1999. Maybe because Z-Ro hadn’t fully harnessed his talents for being bleak and menacing ala Scarface and Trae’s gravel like voice hadn’t hit that role just yet. Back then they were just speed rapping demons who loved rolling through “Fondren & Main”, which is arguably one of the more common spots in Missouri City, home of a Hartz Chicken and some seedy ass motels. Well, now it is. 1999? That place was ground zero for a ton of shit. Song wise? It’s Z-Ro pulling ‘Pac like strings with his declaration of being a superstar at 17 just for triple beam work and everybody following Ro’s mid-tempo flow with insane switches between double-time and mid-level.


07. Big Pokey feat. Big Moe – “Choppers”

Fun fact to make yourself sound smarter – there’s technically two versions of “Choppers”. Both feature Big Moe and use the same Moe verse. Moe’s version is lighter and surrounds him with the Wreckshop Family and fun but Big Pokey’s is the far more superior version. Maybe because it drags everything to a crawl and Moe’s verse sounds like a bit of gospel or maybe because when Big Pokey is on he is truly a terrifying bully on the microphone.


08. C-Note feat. Deep Threat & Lil Flip – “Diamonds All-N-Yo Face”

Like Diddy when he had a fascination with sampling any and everything under the sun to make pop records, Houston had a habit of sampling the obvious about two decades ago. The Rude Boys “Written All Over Your Face” became the anthem for C-Note’s flashy bit of braggadocio, “Diamonds All-N-Yo Face”. It could have gone hand in hand with his other popular track “Hold It Down” but “Diamonds” is a bit more memorable.


09. Muhammad 2G – “Don’t You Go Nowhere”

Houston rap always had those one off guys whom either maintained a level of relevancy on a lower level or disappeared off the map completely. Muhammad 2G’s “Don’t You Go Nowhere” falls in that disappeared off the map completely level because there’s little biographical information about the dude yet the song is tough. Like, very coming of age sort of start singing it in the middle of nowhere because it’s awesome tough.


10. Lester Roy, Lil Ron, Big Tiger, Tubby & Blyndcyde – “Drank Up In My Cup Flow”

Behind “June 27th” and ahead of “Mo City Don”, Swishahouse’s “Drank Up In My Cup Flow” ranks as the second definitive Houston freestyle. It’s chopping and movement around a slowed version of Missy Elliott’s “All In My Grill” set the stage for easily one of the more memorable opening lines in Houston rap history. It sort of flows along much like “June 27th” and stands as the Northside Swishahouse’s collective most memorable moment as a group, not just the individual stars that emerged from it.