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Mark Drew may be a better producer than rapper, which isn’t a slight. When your rap style is more conversational than blunt, sharp barbs, its easy to fall deep into the production that lies behind it. Drew’s been cutting his teeth for a minute, rotating around a crew of Houston rappers that can rock small sets at the Nightingale and other clubs downtown and beyond but seemingly always get left out of the main conversation. What Mark Drew represents in the eyes of his supporters is fun, a casual, breezy and head-nod ready brand of hip-hop where the only stress he may have is figuring out a way back to the studio.

Last week, Drew released Red Lights At 3AM, a short yet bouncy EP where Gullia, Buckamore and others play co-stars and play around on a bed of tracks of his own creation. They come in rotating snares, blended with Pimp C’s opening refrain from “International Players Anthem” and confessions (“Truth be told, I got a thing for groupie hoes … make me wanna put a stripper pole in the studio” off “Phone Ringing”) in some spaces and block up all space imaginable with Jamaican yells and patois (“MSFTS”). “MSFTS” serves as the EP’s strongest track, where the urgency kicks in for Drew’s raps. It’s placed in a rather ironic spot, right as he feels forgiveness on the six-minute title track and bookend “None Of Your Friends Business” with Buckamore.

Though made by a man born on the Northside, you can tell that Red Lights At 3AM is less confrontational than what may normally emerge from that section of Houston. It’s fun in a lot of areas and it sticks to what Mark Drew wanted it to be, late night musings and chest bumping when it comes to his own ideas and ambitions. That’s what you can take away from Red Lights At 3AM. It’s a smooth ride that jumps into punch ready mode when the moment calls for it, which also means one thing. Mark Drew is from the Northside, and some of that temperament will never leave you.