bobby sessions dallas

Bobby Sessions, The Outfit, TX, Mo3, G.U.N, T.Y.E & more. Dallas’ rap has never felt better. Or been more ready to blow the hell up.

It is generally understood that there is a process that one must endure in order to reach it’s full potential. Dependent on the individual, that process will vary in terms of circumstances and details. Nevertheless, all things must go through a process of development to achieve growth, in any capacity. In terms of music, specifically in rap music, the same concept can be said about an artist looking to cash in on his or her dreams of becoming the next big thing.

In rap music, there has always been a strong presence of pride when it comes down to repping what neighborhood, area, city, town or state you’re from. An artist’s place of origin is damn near synonymous with the music and style attached to said artist. Since hip-hop music’s beginning, we’ve seen time and time again how big of a impact a rapper’s hometown can play in his or her career. A rapper’s hometown can, and often does, set precedence for the context in which people will generally perceive them.

In cities all over America, local music scenes for years have developed certain cultural associations, which may vary depending on whatever part of the country you’re in. And over the years, certain cities have been in the forefront of rap music, putting it’s culture on display for the world to see and, often times, eventually exploit. Outside of providing context, a rapper’s hometown can play a major role in his or her ability to be heard.

Bobby Sessions feat. Sam Lao, “First World Problems”

Let’s face it, it is a common belief, neither true or false, that a rapper must get to one of hip-hop’s “hub-cities” to, in rapper terms, “get on”. And it is no secret that certain cities that have had a strong presence throughout rap music’s history (i.e. NYC, LA, Atlanta, etc.), are the places to which many aspiring rappers relocate to with hopes of taking their careers to the next level. There are many components that go into this way of thinking, a lot of them being right there in the city that artist is from. There’s a reason why certain cities have young artists emerging on the national music scene everyday, while other cities struggle to get only a few, if any at all, through the threshold of notoriety. The reasons will vary from city to city, and depending on whatever person in that city you ask.

Mel of The Outfit TX, “Phone Line”

However, there are quite a few timespans in rap music in which a “non-hub-city” has had a shot, whether brief or withstanding, at being at hip-hop’s forefront, specifically in the South. Southern hip-hop’s influence on the hip-hop genre, and culture itself, is absolutely no secret. Places such as New Orleans and Houston, to Memphis and Miami, among many others, have contributed a wide assortment of cultural ingredients that go into the gumbo pot of hip-hop. From music, to style, lingo, drugs, general cultural commentary, you name it. And each rap scene has its own “process” in which it must go through before coming to that forefront. Which, to me, begs the question: What does it take for a city to “get on”?

As a 26 year-old native and resident of Dallas, I’ve witnessed first hand the process of which it’s rap scene has developed under. While I’ll admit that the scene’s process may not be as glorious as some of the cities mentioned above, it’s process is special. It’s particular; rich in highs and lows. It’s filled with moments of clarity and moments of confusion. It consists of periods of unity and periods of conflict.

There’s plenty spurts of excitement and disappointment in its story. But as of the past 5 to 6 years, the Dallas hip-hop scene has taken on a new energy. An energy that seems to have turned a scene that at a period of time had as much confusion as a dyslexia convention(no offense to my dyslexic brethren), into one of the nation’s next most interesting, and talented, breeding grounds for the next wave of young up and coming artists. Apparently, Dallas’ process was necessary.

Buffalo Black, “Delicieux”

It is a common belief, or maybe an overlooked fact, that Dallas’ place in hip-hop is only of recent development. Though Dallas’ current scene is young, it has had a presence in hip-hop for decades, dating back as early as the early to mid 80s. Dallas’ hip-hop history is another discussion to be had on another day. Let’s just say a writer for one of the most prolific rap groups in history, and many others, is right out of Dallas, Texas. Yeah nigga, D.O.C. is ours, but that’s neither here nor there.

Dallas saw it’s first direct taste of rap music success in late 90’s and early 2000’s with regionally acclaimed hip-hop acts like Mr. Pookie, Mr. Lucci, and the legendary collective known as DSR. Toward the mid 2000s, Dallas/Ft. Worth started to see even more success with independent street oriented artist like Twisted Black, Young Nino, Hot Boy Star, Gator Mayne and Quint Foxx. Towards the end of the 2000s, Dallas’ rap scene developed into what had become infamously known as the “Boogie Movement”, with acts like Lil Will, KBZO, the Party Boyz, GS Squad, B-Hamp TopOff and Yung Nation, formerly known as Thug Boss Nation, leading the way. Arguably the most notable artist of this wave, Dorrough, scored multiple billboard hits and eventually went on to a rap career that is still relevant to this day.

Mr. Pookie, “Crook For Life”

After that, came the confusion. And then soon after that, came what seemed like a cultural and creative rebirth. Alternative rap acts such as The Sore Losers, A.Dd+, Tunk, The Last Mohicans and the collective known as Brain Gang brought about a new-found energy to the Dallas rap scene. A energy that also seemed to cause an obviously split in direction of the scene.

Fast forwarding to recent years, there have been dozens of new generational rappers from Dallas to make a name for themselves outside of the DFW metroplex. Whether regional, national or worldwide, Dallas is slowly, but definitely surely, becoming a force to be reckoned with. With homegrown artists such as Dirty Water Music Groups’ Lil Ronny MothaF, Tree Ward and Fat Pimp, to local and regional indepedent sucesses such as The Outfit, TX, Trap Boy Freddy, Yella Beezy, and C. Struggs, to local internet sensations like Fxxxxy, Pat Ron and Louidiene, it’s no wonder why record labels, major and independent, are starting to take notice of all the musical and cultural beauty Dallas has had to offer for years now.

A couple of years ago, Dallas area native Post Malone seemingly came out of nowhere his viral hit, White Iverson, which eventually landed him a major label deal and launched him into a young and promising career. The same went for Dr. Dre’s Aftermath signee, Justus, known here in Dallas as J.T., after working on Dre’s most recent album, Compton. Just recently, there have been locally curated acts such as Sam Lao, 88 Killa, and most recently, Atlantic records newest signee rapper Mo3, to find themselves at the door of opportunity in the form of major and independent record label support.

88 Killa, “The Code”

Other buzzing DFW acts such as Go Yayo, T-Wayne, Spud Boom, G.U.N., and Young Street have found themselves at the doorstep of rap stardom opportunity as well. Even local favorites such as BuffaloBlack, Raw Elements, TYE Harris, Devy Stonez, Fat Boogie, Tony Staxxx, Saint Clair and many others are clearly gaining momentum and well on their way to bright and promising paths as it relates to a career in recording rap music. If Dallas two things and two things only, it’s talent and potential.

So, how does a city’s rap scene with so much talent, potential and buzz (and who happens to be a top ranking market for music consumption), finally take a worthwhile step onto the national music scene as a powerful entity? Or rather, what’s stopping it from doing so? The answer, depends on any individual Dallas resident tuned into its local rap happenings that you present the question to.

What is for certain? Dallas has a much brighter future than its past as it relates to rap music and the industry. They say there’s a process to achieving greatness, glory and success. And in the words of Collins Management Group’s FXXXXY, “Know the good things, know the good things take some time”. Dallas, it’s only a matter of time.

James Mays III is a 26 year-old Dallas native, and is a beer and street-taco enthusiast. He serves as a delivery truck driver by day and a rapper known as, Curtis Mayz, on nights and weekends. Follow on Twitter, IG and Facebook @CurtisMayz.