2021 was a one-year lunar launch for Houston artists: Megan Thee Stallion has won multiple Grammy’s and collaborated with K-Pop sensation BTS; Travis Scott reconnected with Drake for “Fair Trade”, Lizzo put an end to all these “rumors” with Cardi B; Tobe Nwigwe and Maxo Kream effortlessly don for Alief with their final efforts—At the nursery Arrangements and Weight of the world; Slim Thug gave his character of Sugar Daddy Slim a real album; Paul Wall reminded us (and we certainly don’t disagree) that he is a Hall of Fame Hustler; Propain It’s not safe outside brilliantly succeeded in bringing out a rarely seen side of Walka Sauce; Big Pokey made its triumphant return with Sensei; and how could we forget Bun B and Le $ dropping the pandemic theme Far EP on New Years?
The amount of talent coming out of H-Town is at a critical level of acclaim; It’s not just a revival of our mid-2000s hip-hop domination, we’re now transcending pop, country, and all genres in between. If you’ve been stuck in the house making a permanent catastrophic scroll for a year and a half like the rest of us, you probably know the aforementioned stars, then here are our favorite Houston songs by (mostly) artists we don’t. have not yet named.
1. Monaleo, “Shoot Down Yo Block”
20-year-old artist Monaleo rocked the music industry with his viral hit, “Beating Down Yo Block”. The single track pays homage to Screwed Up Click’s Yungstar, using an excerpt from his 2000 hit, “Knocking Pictures Off Da Wall”.
2. Peyton, “Let it flow”
“My soul is a spaceship,” Peyton sings. And while we know they don’t come with mirrors, this particular vessel has looked inside for itself. Bass bangs hard, Peyton’s dreamy voice sails in the clouds, and Brice Blanco’s highly relevant verses wish for affordable therapy. “If I can get out of my mind,” Peyton assures us, “I’ll be fine.
3. Billy F. Gibbons, “Desert High”
ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons takes a poetic approach with his song “Desert High”, offering a mysterious and disturbing theme. Gibbons recites the lyrics with vivid images that help listeners visualize a real desert, reminiscent of Joshua Tree, California.
4. Teezo Touchdown, “I’m just a fan”
If you had told teens in the mid-2000s that rappers would be the ones leading the pop-punk revival of the 2020s, we would have suspended our copies of Punk becomes crunk and thanked the rappers of the future for saving us. Teezo Touchdown is set to become the studded voice in the heads of emo kids around the world when he sings “Don’t mind me I’m just a fan on the wall!” “
5. Reggie with Smino, “Avalanche”
Reggie is one of a new class of artists expanding the definition of what Houston music can sound like. If you’ve been following Reggie’s path, this is the collaboration you’ve been waiting for. “Even when my quilts look like an avalanche,” Reggie sings, sounding like Andre 3000 in church, “Somehow everything in my life seems to be heaven-sent. “
6. Lebra Jolie, “And now”
It’s not since Yung Wun gave the world “Tear It Up” that a rapper has devoured a brass band with such voracity. “My foot hurts, probably because it’s on bitches’ necks / Lebra has now, fuck who’s next,” rapped Lebra Jolie. With such an awesome song and video like this, she might have it now for the foreseeable future.
7. Rodney Crowell, “Something Must Change”
Released in July, Crowell’s “Something Has to Change” was extremely relevant to the times of the ongoing pandemic and social injustices across the country. On the ballad, he sings of gluttony and pain, but hopes for a better tomorrow. Crowell appeals to our humanity in his words, “Where life has a purpose, faith has a voice.”
8. Esteban Gabriel, “Buenas Vibras”
A corrido toast to the friends you met, the same ones you ended up making money with. You don’t have to know much Spanish to know that the song title translates to “Good Vibes” and you don’t need to know Spanish at all to feel those vibrations.
9. KenTheMan, “I’m Perfect”
“North side, us in that bitch,” KenTheMan raps, and when she does, it’s more of a royal decree than just a word. Ken confidently claims his place among the new class of Houston rap heirs.
10. Rich O’Toole, “17 wild horses”
The four-decker drums, the hot summer night guitar riff with a breeze, Tom Petty’s influence is very noticeable and very welcome on the big 2021 single from Texas country veteran Rich O’Toole. “She came like 17 wild horses,” sings O’Toole, “Back against the wind.” It’s one of those songs that you can visualize by listening to over and over and over again.
11. LE $, “How now”
Following the release of his collaboration project, Far, with Bun B, The $ comes out the awesome Stay on the ground EP. “How Bout Now” was a standout piece of the project, where the laid-back emcee gets the last laughs from those who once doubted his talents.
12. Maxo Kream, “Cripstien”
Maxo Kream ends a successful year with the release of his third studio album, Weight of the world. One of his most experimental projects to date, the opening track, “Cripstian” is a vivid narration of his life, following the death of his brother, Money Madu, and the birth of his daughter.
13. Lilly Aviana, “Seasons”
Lily Aviana’s voice is divine, but there is also sin in there, and thank goodness for that. “If the season changes, my love,” sings Aviana, “All I ask is that we can keep in touch.” We don’t think she’s asking for too much.
14. Thomas Csorba, “Crystal eyes”
Thomas Csorba shows the meaning of true love in his song “Crystal Eyes”. The ballad pays homage to his wife, as the couple recently married last year.
15. Divine Body Bingo, “Last time”
God Body Bingo is the North Houston representative. His single “Last Time” is from his first album Out of the books. Using his motto “PRAISE”, he speaks divinely about how he stands out from others and describes the evolution of his manhood.
16. Doeman Dyna, “the brown soul”
The title of this song is not a false advertisement, we have a Mexican guy rapping on a soul sample, and it’s beautiful. “I grew up eating beans and rice / butter tortillas and migas, didn’t I?” / I wish my abuelo could see this life, ”Doeman raps on this triumphant thesis of a song.
17. Siddiq, “Pulp Fiction Freestyle”
Houston Host Siddiq Strengthens South and West Coast Ties Through Collaborative Project The Triangle3. On “Pulp Fiction Freestyle”, Siddiq raps confidently to a beat from King Most, speaking for Acres Homes.
18. Kam Franklin with Kareem, “Baby Please Don’t Go”
Kam Franklin and Kareem have joined forces to create a blues track that draws on country and gospel notes, transporting listeners to the modern metropolitan city we call home, to a simpler time.
19. Uncle Tino, “Orange”
What if Three 6 Mafia and UGK’s megahit “Sippin On Some Syrup” was an R&B slow jam? Well, you would listen to Uncle Tino’s “Orange”. A Tino’s stand-out crazy color album, it’s “Sippin ‘” meets Ginuwine’s “Pony”, and Tino throws in a rap verse for good measure.
20. Alaina Castillo, “Lips”
Alaina Castillo has had a successful career as the Mexican-American singer captured the hearts of thousands on Tik Tok. On her hit single “Lips”, the 21-year-old singer and songwriter passionately sings about a long-distance relationship and the need for physical contact from her significant other.