Houston’s First Lady of Hip Hop, Troublesum wants you to know she’s worth the wait in her latest video for “Maybe“. The Teflon Diva held her own as she answered friends and foes over classic, soul-sampled street influenced production that benefitted from remarkable chemistry shared between both Houston natives. As, Dante Higgins her counterpart on this track provided views from the other side.
You gotta feel her on this one…
“Maybe it ain’t my time/ Diamond in the rough/ Maybe I still need to be shined/ Maybe it’s a piece of the puzzle that I’m missin’/or Maybe because I don’t do a lot of a** kissin’/”
Watch Troublesum’s new visual “Maybe” feat Dante Higgins, directed by Stack Moses above.
Dante Higgins voices frustration with the city losing its culture in a new visual, “Screw You.”
Dante Higgins is mad. And if you’re from Houston, he thinks you should be mad, too.
Expressing annoyance with seeing folks not from Houston bite Houston culture, is nothing new. If imitation is flattery, then the H should be proud to have so many people biting its style… but not when its style is becoming more associated with other places than Houston itself. Like many others, Dante Higgins has watched essentially the musical gentrification of Houston by outsiders. And the man who branded himself “Good Forever,” can be silent no longer.
On Monday, Dante Higgins dropped “Screw You,” a music video whose byline bluntly states “WTF Happened To The Houston Culture?” What follows, is a four-minute vent session that’s intense, yet honest.
Recruiting Elliot Guidry – Houston TREND Magazine founder by day and photographer/videographer by night – behind the lens, Higgins posts up in a dark room, shrouded in pitch black as he delivers his heavy message. Like Higgins’ previous release “Black Lives Matter,” “Screw You” isn’t a rap, but it’s also not entirely spoken word. It toes the line between both: Dante gets into a rhythm in places and its refrain (“what happened to you – no, what happened to us?/How these out-of-state rappers do Texas better than us?”) is all but a hook in itself.
As always, amidst Higgins’ more comical lines – “We the reason nggas out here winnin’/ Oh, diamond grills? We the reason nggas out here grinnin’” – lie kernels of truth (“White folk ain’t trying to see it when the po’ folk come around”). As someone part of Houston, Higgins doesn’t just blame the culture, he acknowledges he exists as part of the enablers. The difference is, he’s done being a spectator to the heist. So when Dante poses the question, “Why it ain’t no Houston rappers at the VMAs?” while pointing out that there are double cups aplenty at MTV’s biggest stage, it should make you wonder.
Watch Dante Higgins’s “Screw You” video for yourself up top.
Houston’s self-proclaimed “King PEN” drops new ep the threeIVthree quickstrike EP.
Dante Higgins is just getting started. Good Forever Music’s self-independent Houston emcee focus has been razor-sharp in 2016 and the work speaks for itself. Over the summer, Higgins unveiled his King PEN EP, his first project since his Good Forever album last November. King PEN packed potent messages and searing honesty in its seven tracks, and it could’ve held its own as Higgins’ only release of the year, especially given that the EP stand out cut “Black Lives Matter” was re-released as a single.
But the self-anointed Snotty Nose Bastard wasn’t done blessing his “HigHeadz” just yet.
On Friday, Higgins released yet another EP entitled threeIVthree, on the heels of releasing the titular freestyle at the start of the week. threeIVthree bears only one feature, with M.A.C. of Undergravity joining Dante on “Netflix & Chill”; on the production front, Jett I. Masstyr, Killa Tex, and Higgins’ producer partner in crime Charity E. Vaughn are on the boards for the three-track effort.
On threeIVthree’s opening freestyle, Higgins flexes his lyrical muscle, weaving in and out of Jett I.’s beat with the footwork of a pugilist. On “Netflix & Chill,” Higgins reinvents the concept, warily assessing how he’s seen the famous and the infamous come and go in the blink of an eye and why he’s more focused on self-improvement than spotlight. And outro track “F*k ‘Em” is one radio edit away from being Higgins’ first radio single, a blues-sampling groove on which Dante channels Kobe Bryant and dedicates two small words to his critics and detractors.
In a way, threeIVthree feels like a warm-up. Listeners can’t tell what it’s building up to, but it’s clearly laying the foundation for something… something BIG. Bigger than Houston? Possibly.
Stream Dante Higgins’s threeIVthree project down below by way of Apple Music, and grab the EP now on iTunes. As a bonus, you can watch the official music video for “3 for 3 Freestyle” for yourself down below as well.