2017 houston rap forecast

Pictured from left: Kyle Hubbard, Lil Rarri, DeLorean & Doeman

2017 promises plenty of albums and projects from Houston. Here’s a brief forecast of the ones we’re looking forward to.

In lieu of 2017 becoming one of the more fascinating years for Houston rap, the bar has pretty much been set. The past five years have crowned albums from Propain to BeatKing & Gangsta Boo. Le$ has remained consistent, same for DeLorean and Doeman too. Lyric Michelle may have moved to Los Angeles but she’ll always call the city home. Kyle Hubbard returned from Arkansas and even he can still find his way back. Roosh Williams is in Los Angeles, pursuing a law degree. Tow Down is out of prison, reading raps and preaching Christianity.

Rob Jay, he of T.H.E.M. swears he’s retired but he still manages to creep up with projects (see last year’s Hip Hop Hacker). Guilla, Mark Drew, Fullmetal and the assorted like all itching to jump back in the booth. Dustin-Prestige is preparing a new album called DOPE that deserves attention. KDOGG will rap with the viciousness of a razor blade because that’s how he enjoys precision. In fact, KDOGG has already jumped on 2017 with four brand new freestyles¬†ahead of his Long Live King Trulo solo album.

D-Risha is going to dig into more ’80s references for album titles and come out masterfully with Escape From Houston, Texas. Hell, K-RINO may drop another 7-album piece of work for all of us to digest. O.N.E will love working with bars and rapping something serious. Dante Higgins has been preparing an album for months that’ll probably knock you on your ass. Rob Gullatte spent 2016 rooting for Show Louis while feigning retirement. Rob Gullatte isn’t retired, a phone full of raps, a project in Gullactic Vision and a hunger in his belly prove that. hasHBrown‘s Decorative Pillows is his version of Dr. Dre’s 2001, that should give you all you need to know about it.

“The bar has been set.”

Paul Wall is going to go back to work in a matter of weeks. OneHunnidt & Bigg Fatts have already let the world in on a bit of their Smokey & Craig tape via “Kamikaze”. But they also have their own solo works coming in The Book of Ratchet and 7 Years respectively. Kay Jay is already taking the year in stride and preparing to release his most important work with Seize The Moment. Autobiographical and filled with self-motivation, it’s the former convict’s piece of happiness to give to the world.

Last year gave ears to relative newcomers like Nique & Papa G. Venerable rap revivalists like Undergravity are going to make their Scott St. circa 1998 music and refute anybody who tell them to do otherwise. Q Guyton will have something up his sleeve, same for Doughbeezy and his clan of Headwreckas.

But what about the rest of the city? What if Ugly God capitalizes on his wave simply by doing him? What if WhyJae sticks to being Lil Rarri and will occasionally give out bars for fun? Is Wes Blanco going to shake things up with his American Psycho debut album? The same goes for Tedy Andreas. Can you expect any member of The Sauce Factory from Rizzoo Rizzoo to Sosamann to Sauce Walka to stop doing them? No, that one is a bit far fetched. Walka just went to the woods for his “Big Amount” video, Sauce Bushido if you will.

Can acts like StackzTooTrill escape a box that the world may throw them in? Will Rocky BanksTrust In Banko be the first major release of 2017 as I predicted it would be? What about producer-rapper hybrids like Dylan Cohl & George Young? Can Genesis Blu shock the world after her surprising win at the 2016 Houston Press Music Awards for Best Rapper? Will Maxo Kream continue to be the menacing double-time speedster we know (and plenty love)? It’s all possible, it’s all obtainable.

The 2017 Houston Rap forecast doesn’t dictate that all of these things will happen. But some of these things will come true. Houston rap has no need to prove itself to itself. Those days are long gone and over. Rappers rapping for the sake of other rappers is as passe as paying for performance slots and thinking it’ll lead you somewhere. The medium is somehow still growing and non-traditional media outlets are nipping at the heels of others. It’s no longer necessary to kiss up to radio for them to find you. Radio will latch on after its widely known that you’re moving somewhere.

I’ve heard the whispers of getting connected like Dallas is, a shocking statement from any Houstonian. Yet there have been so many complaints, Facebook posts, rants, and ill serving ideas that permeated through social media and more that the energy is all lost. Houston is Houston, a melting pot of all different walks, sides, creeds and ideologies. The legends will release projects out of sheer habit and giving people something to hear while riding wherever. The new jacks will do their best to side-step microwave rap and some will fall for its trappings and pitfalls.

The forecast for Houston rap in 2017? Bright as hell. Producers, event planners and more. It feels like the same but there’s a renewed interest all across the board. People will become famous. People will get checks and be paid handsomely for their crafts. Houston will win and we’ll be adding new names to the list come 2018. Time to start working.