DeLorean returns with a 10-track heater for the weekend.

I originally predicted that the first major Houston rap release of 2017 would occur in February. The only problem is, I got the artist wrong. DeLorean, the Missouri City rapper with an energy similar to Sagat powering up for a Tiger Uppercut decided that the first day of February should belong to him. Take Me Back is a 10-track, no frills rap tape that puts DeLorean in that beloved realm of one rapper / one producer creation.

PugTunes notoriously weaves through these bleak, jazzy instrumentals and asks his subjects to take people places. The pressed through horns and head nod of “Heaven From Da Bottom” matches DeLo with Show Louis; each man arguing for freedom without having to take jailhouse chances. Show has navigated PugTunes tracks before, almost to the point of being fluent in hardship and inspiration. DeLo pieces together his drive and hustle via a Jay Z lyric (“put me anywhere on God’s green Earth, I’ll triple my worth”) with determination and flair.

“You gon’ be better than men…”

Take Me Back builds off of old ’90s hallmarks such as “Jumanji”, “Tecmo Bowl” and “Friday” to build DeLorean’s new world. Even the sweet swing of Mary Jane Girls’ “All Night Long” turns into a moment where DeLo praises a woman and putting him back on track (“Shook Up”). Here, he’s still looking at Jack Freeman as an ace hook master (“1… 2…”) but there’s a weariness to him. Impatience has never been his strongest suit, the nights of celebration are absolutely gone here. Yet DeLorean has always been the kind of rapper who will quickly eschew those nights for the days where his hands got calloused and eyes got heavy. “Flowers” with Bleeda toys around a guitar and drum melody, walking in step with faith when death is around the corner.

Take Me Back according to DeLorean is something taking him back to the essence. Low lights, sleepless states of mind in the studio. Even if his daughter is getting older and worried about grades, DeLorean’s thinking Hood Politics. “I’m not good with memes or them internet pictures,” he blares on the “Intro”. When he speaks, it comes out in spurts, laughs and sincerity. “What is you frontin’ for? We used to sleep by the oven door…” Doesn’t matter how far Delo has gone, he’ll never want to go back. Except to the raw energy that put him on the map.