During the summer Texas monthly hired some of the state’s most passionate critics, fans and journalists of Texas hip-hop to to create what the magazine called “The 20 Essential Texas Rap Songs.”

The Editorial Package contains articles, essays and blurbs on the origins and evolution of hip-hop in the Lone Star State, dating back to the early 1980s. I strongly encourage all fans of the “tunes” rap country ‘from our state to read the writings of Kiana Fitzgerald, Paula Mejía, Matt Sonzala, Donnie Houston, Sama’an Ashrawi, Brandon Caldwell, Lance Scott Walker, Jessi Pereira and Cat Cardenas. (I have the honor of knowing some of the contributors on a personal and professional level, and their love for Texas is unmatched.)

However, the list focuses primarily on Houston, the state’s official Texas hip-hop ambassador to the greater United States. It makes sense. There is no other equivalent to J. Prince. There is no other group like (Port Arthur’s) UGK. DJ Screw and Swishahouse created and perfected a new sound and Beyonce and Megan Thee Stallion have carried Houston with them to the present day. The list of Houston’s contributions to hip-hop is endless. Fortunately, journalist Lance Scott Walker wrote a book about it for University of Texas Press, which you need to order and read. It saves me space in this introduction for the music below these words.

This playlist is a love letter to Dallas, especially to the city’s hip-hop musicians who have never received flowers. (And I still haven’t, frankly.) It’s neither categorized nor exhaustive, and certainly not clickbait. This playlist is compiled by the kids of Dallas – the kids who witnessed the rise and fall of Dallas hip-hop into mainstream pop culture, the kids who stood up for Dallas to their friends, co-workers and more. family from out of state (and Houston). members whose knowledge of Dallas hip-hop ranged from Vanilla Ice to Post Malone and a bit more. It’s by the kids who believe Dallas has a place at the hip-hop table in the state. And these are the songs that prove it.

Whether you’re a fresh out of California transplant or a multigenerational Dallasite, the list serves as a reminder of Triple D’s hip-hop past, present and future. Hope you find a new song or artist. . Listen to them during the holidays. Please feel free to email me with your thoughts and views on the playlist (and if we need to make another one). See you in paradise. – Taylor crumpton

“Rollin on Them Thangs” by Pimpsta (1994)

Pimpsta’s debut single made its Southern Air debut courtesy of radio legend DJ Greg Street. Its sound fits perfectly with the early ’90s hip-hop underground that was launched in regional hotspots like Houston and Memphis. The single describes an afternoon at Bachman Lake Park, where old-fashioned Cadillacs, low riders and Regals cruised. Video for the single, shot in the park, captured Dallas’ 90s automotive culture while paying homage to a cultural hub for the city’s black and Latin communities. In the years that followed, the sound of Pimpsta would influence Mr. Pookie and Mr. Lucci. – Jessi pereira

“Texas” by M. Pookie and M. Lucci (2003)

Mr. Pookie ran in 1999 with The Rippla, which gained regional notoriety thanks to cult classics like “Crook for Life” and “Smoke One”. Four years later, he and his protégé, Mr. Lucci, would release My life, with “Texas” as the album’s featured single. In it, the two claim Lone Star State status as a leading player in the country’s underground drug economy. “Texas” is filled with references to what you’d expect – the Alamo, the JFK assassination – but the strength of the song lies in the chemistry between the duo that defined the sound of hip-hop from Dallas to the end of the 20e century. – JP

Big Tuck’s “Southside Da Realist” (2004)

There are few sounds more definitely Dallas than what you will hear in “Southside Da Realist”. The unofficial Triple D anthem features a thousand-part harmony of an unseen army of cicadas, a four-key melody sampled “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” ​​and, of course, the song’s namesake, which is also the song’s namesake. one of the most iconic hip-hop hooks in the south. The track begins with just over half a second of silence before Cedric Lee Juan Tuck says the name of the song, but that brief silence is all you’ll get when you hear this in the club. The people of Dallas join in unison for a synchronized shout of the city’s anthem every time it is played. It’s the song that launched Dallas into mainstream pop culture in a way that hasn’t happened since Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” and the city will never forget it. – Rodney blu

“Tussle” by Big Tuck and Tum Tum (2004)

In an era responsible for the biggest fighting anthems in hip-hop nightclubs, “Tussle” stands out for how informative and illustrative his lyrics are. Willieboy’s adventurous and racing instrumentation slams square in the center of “wrong”In the opening line of the song, a foreshadowing of how you will soon be encouraged to behave. What follows can best be described as incitement to riot, with every line of Big Tuck’s opening verse dripping with malicious intent. Tuck and Tum Tum exchange verses in a way that seeks to reinforce the bar violence that came before him. This is one of the largest and most realistic recordings of willful – and enthusiastic hostility! – places to go out in the 2000s. – RB

“Mister. Hit That” by T-Real Lee and Prince Rick (2009)

“Mr.. Hit That” is a tribute to the song’s namesake, Kedrick “Mr. Hit Dat Hoe” Wilson. Wilson is one of the most prominent dancers of the Boogie era of the mid-2010s, the creator of many dance moves that defined those years. Her nickname is not a reference to physical violence, but a symbol of idiosyncratic Dallas street slang: “hoe” represents a person, place, or thing, not necessarily a woman. Treal Lee and Prince Rick pay tribute to the author. The song is a catchy, eye-catching single that rocked clubs and house parties across the state. “Sir. Hit That” pays homage to the cultural pioneers of Boogie and continues to inspire a new generation to prove that no one can hit it like they can. – JP

“Oak Cliff (That’s My Hood)” by Young Nino, Hotboy Star (2009)

The track opens with menacing chords and a shark-in-water synth motif that sounds familiar if you’ve heard other incendiary tracks like “Knuck If You Buck” and “Head Bussa”. Like the aforementioned whooping cough hymns, “Oak Cliff” comes along with a shitty speech. In front of the crescendo instruments, the rhythm is silent except for the cries: Oak Cliff, this is my hood, the rallying cry for North Texans through the mid to late years. To this day, some only know Dallas because of this song and its onslaught of threats and bravado, the relentless and recurring reminder of where these rappers live. “Oak Cliff” has carved a place for itself in the cultural lexicon alongside some of the greatest needlessly hostile recordings of the decade. It was impossible to do anything other than participate. – RB

“I can’t go down” by A.Dd + (2011)

From 2007 to 2012, independent blogs chronicled the music industry’s most prominent artists. The blogging era inspired rappers outside of industrial hubs like Los Angeles and New York, who suddenly found cover in their hometown. Locally, there was no one like A.Dd +, the dynamic duo of Slim Gravy and Paris Pershun. They represented Dallas in the age of Tumblr curation, where the right co-signer could land you on iPods and iPhones across the country. “Can’t Come Down”, the duo’s single that mixes genres, with an excerpt from “Toxic” by Franco-Israeli singer Yael Naim and produced by BrainGaing X’Zavier, dominated blogs upon its release. Their popularity on the internet led to a tour with Talib Kweli and elevated the local duo to beloved blogging-era legends that Dallas could proudly call their own. – JP

“Pimp” by Yung Nation (2012)

At the end of Boogie’s pop culture reign of the early to mid-2010s, “Pimp” propelled the sound of stacked synth lines and twangy vocals into another dimension and extended its reach to young millennials. This generation was too young to experience the pinnacle of the club boogie scene, instead experiencing the subgenre through grainy dance videos posted on a mutual page Myspace. In the early days of the viral social media videos, idiosyncratic boogie dancers like Whiteboy Boogie pointed to its expansion to a more suburban consumer. “Pimp” evolved the electronic elements and fundamentals of Dallas Boogie and turned it into an intoxicating song that secured the duo a spot on Drake’s Club Paradise tour. Yung Nation, the Boogie Torchbearers, brought the sound of Dallas into modern virality, a springboard for today’s TikTok dance trends. – JP

Outlaw Mel’s “Ode 2 The Skyline” (2020)

Outlaw Mel is the only permanent voice of The Outfit, TX, a three-part, two-part, part-time shot project owned by now mostly solo artist, Mel. The music of The Outfit, TX conceived the unifying and bombastic culture that rose to prominence in the decade following the millennium and the energy of the Club Blue-turned-Circus era, which was the first taste of nightlife for many DISD students. “Ode 2 The Skyline” takes listeners on a tour of Dallas that isn’t typically shown in Cowboys or Mavericks b-roll. The blonde beehives, bold belt buckles and ten gallon hats that populate our town’s brochures and marketing materials are all missing from Mel’s interpretation of North Texas, replaced with more visible objects and scenes in the United States. south, east and west of racial I-segregation. The outlaw of Mel’s Dallas is made up of old schools, beauty parlors, bazaars (our black southern equivalent of Slauson’s exchange encounter) and the main streets and intersections which are the stomping grounds and cultural centers for the majority of the city’s non-whites. residents. – RB

“Freaknik” by Coach Tev, SighRocSpliff, Devy Stonez and Cush With AC (2020)

This is the sequel. Four of the most famous and anticipated artists of the Dallas hip-hop underground have combined their unique approach to the genre atop a production that’s more to the far left than anything they hold individually, forcing performances elite of each spitter. “Freaknik” is the best example of what the future of Dallas hip-hop looks like. Not just in its instrumentation and verses, but their individual powers combining to challenge and exhort one another to greatness. That and, of course, some rattling bass and an easy-to-remember hook: Dallas hip-hop’s secret sauce. -RB