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 n*ggas out here winnin’/ Oh, diamond grills? We the reason n*ggas 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.