nonpareil

Today, Houston based hip-hop collective The Houston Elite MC’s (T.H.E.M.) released their long awaited project “NONPAREIL” to the public; however on Sunday, they celebrated.

All of the members of T.H.E.M., Dustin-Prestige, hasHBrown, Hollywood Floss, John Dew, Kidd the Great, Rob Jay, Thurogood Wordsmith, and KeepItDef, have been active in many facets of the city’s workings for years whether as solo artists or a collective and have spent the last nine months constructing an eclectic and unique project. As the group took over the open air 8th Wonder Brewery, fittingly located in the shadows of Houston’s downtown skyline, it became ever apparent how much support they have garnered over the years. Between the summer-esque Houston heat and humidity as the event started to the 20 degree temperature drop somewhere between the first and fifth beer, nobody seemed phased.

Lady Hiphop hosted and along with T.H.E.M. member hasHBrown, welcomed attendees as DJ SoulOne started the party with some classic hip-hop. Cakedouble tempted attendees with beautifully crafted baked goods and of course, the brewery supplied the beverages. As T.H.E.M. visuals played on the overhead display, supporters mingled and filled up the space, even taking to the food trucks and appreciating some graffiti wall art outside. After an hour or two of vibing and conversing, DJ BigReeks took over the 1’s and 2’s as hasHBrown announced the time had come to unveil NONPAREIL.

The intro to the project, produced by Donnie Houston, instantly sparked a nostalgia of vintage hip-hop and the reason we all fell in love with it. A quick glance around the room found all eyes on the front of the room and plenty of head bobbing. Next, “The Get Down” featuring Jack Freeman and produced by Chris Rockaway, a single previously released along with visuals, played as the eclectic quality of T.H.E.M.’s sound shined for any new listeners to witness and dedicated supporters to revel in. Then it happened-that stank face-who made this track-where you find this at-where can I find more-moment as the hasHBrown produced “Southside Groovin'” blared from the speakers. Somewhere between the perfect club track and something that only feels right being played at ridiculous volumes with the windows down as you ride around 610, everyone in attendance looked around to see if the unique, hard hitting homage to Houston was effecting anyone else the same as it was them, and it was. Kidd The Great even took to the mic and laced the crowd with his smooth vocals on the hook. Another previously released single “Shaolin Blow” played and proved the replay quality of T.H.E.M.’s product.

Nonpareil is very appropriately defined as having no equal; peerless. Possibly the most appealing thing about hip-hop collectives is the rapport they built with the community and there was no denying the general air of support that filled the venue. Attendees stayed, networked and vibed as DJ BigReeks continued to spin records long after the actual album listening ended. All in all, The Elite Houston MC’s and their associates and supporters embody Houston. Between the flawless execution of the event to the quality of “NONPAREIL” on both the lyrical and production sides, we should all be paying attention to T.H.E.M. You can purchase NONPAREIL here and stream below.

Stream: T.H.E.M. – NONPAREIL

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