Aux Files .003
WhyJae in “Came Up”
As we approach the midpoint of summer, and counting down the days until the highly anticipated Float Fest, another edition of Aux Files is the perfect way to kill time and enjoy some of the freshest music coming out of the city. This being the platform that introduced FPH readers to Wes Blanco, Chemdawg, Genesis Iver, and more, today’s installment highlights the trunk rattling thumps that’re embedded in our 3rd Coast culture to focusing on the sonics that new Houstonians are attempting to use to break the city’s mold. So pull out the correct wires, connect them to their respective input and outputs, and open your ears to what the new age of Space City is bringing to the forefront this summer.
“Came Up” — Tedy Andreas x WhyJae
Arguably two of Houston’s most clever wordsmiths, Tedy Andreas and WhyJae have maximized on a demographic that includes the lyric lovers and the bar-after-bar enthusiasts in Houston, a crowd that’s forgotten in the sauced out elements of Splashtown. Andreas made waves last summer with the release of his project, Mad Illusions, which featured the smash hit “Mercedes,” leading him to sign a deal with the label of ASAP Mob affiliate Joey Fatts, Cutthroat Records. Andreas hooks up with WhyJae, another rising star in the city who has paved his way by releasing critically acclaimed projects, Timeless and 30 Minutes Later Fuck The Internet, and selling out Warehouse Live twice while still being an unsigned artist. Although they aren’t globally known, it’s safe to say these two have accomplished a lot in their careers already and that’s the topic of choice in their song, “Came Up.” The Roger Torabi directed video captures Andreas and WhyJae roaming the streets of Los Angeles and voicing how they’ve earned their stripes over time and how they will remain at the top of the game. Noticing the change from their peers since the elevation in their careers, Andreas and WhyJae keeps things cool and confident, to say the least. They might not be the typical heirs to the throne when it comes to Houston hip hop, but their breaking barriers by delivering something unique to the table.
“Hotboy Gauxst” — Southside Gauxst
When I listen to the first 15 seconds of Master P’s “Make Em Say Ugh,” it’s a high level of disgust that’s displayed on my face, but it’s a good level of disgust. The essence of the Dirty South is at an all time high when the song is played and the same feeling is felt when Southside Gauxst’s record, “Hotboy Gauxst,” comes on as well. The Charlotte-born rapper made his way to the Bayou City just last year, and less than 12 months later, he’s won over an influential Houston crowd with his southern flavor and country vernacular. Turning the clocks back to the mid-90s where Southern rap reigned supreme, Gauxst provides a raw, unadulterated flow that ultimately liberates and forces listeners to pay attention to what he has in his arsenal. Bouncing off the subjects of hustling like Chad Butler to rhyming about going up and down the famous highways of Archdale and Southside Charlotte, Gauxst makes it known that he’s a vital asset to Houston’s growing music scene. Despite not being from the city, Gauxst has made a home for himself here and he’s kicking his feet up and letting it be known that the 3rd Coast influences that came before him won’t ever die.
“Flowers” — Dylan Cohl feat. Susan Carol
Curating and producing his first full-length project Cowboy Jones in the latter part of 2015, Dylan Cohl plans to bring the modern Port Arthur music scene to the forefront with his second installment in the series, Cowboy Jones 1.5. The Port Arthur/Houston artist and producer pours his heart and opens up on the testimony track, “Flowers,” featuring the serenading vibes of Susan Carol. The duo creates a single that focuses on the topic of a relationship that has gone sour and how it has affected Cohl’s maturity and evolution from the situation. The intricacies of the track show off Cohl’s skills as a musician behind the scenes and how the cohesion between his voice and Carol’s are mastered in way to maximize the song’s impact. This being Cohl’s first release from the project, it will be more stuff to come from the prodigy of PA who’s looking to change the infrastructure of a city that’s built by Underground Kings.
“Smash” — Maxo Kream feat. Paul Wall
Before his recent release, when the argument of who’s the best rapper in Houston ensues, Maxo Kream is among of the leading candidates, if he’s not already at the top of the list. Since then, Maxo has locked and solidified his spot as the city’s kingpin when it comes to flows and a prime example is with his song “Smash.” The Paul Wall featured track shows Maxo Kream ability to produce cognitive, structured run-on sentences throughout his whole verse. One of the most quotable lines is “I’m a Robert Earl Davis sippin’ / Finger licking Frenchy’s Chicken / V-Live parking lot pimpin’ / Babeos we trapping women.” This track embodies the beautiful scenery that makes Houston what it is and Maxo compresses that in a matter of 2 minutes. The trend continues in the chorus and when Paul Wall starts his verse. Adding Wall to the song gave flexibility with his vintage Southern drawl and rhyme scheme that’s filled with lines about being “Higher than a drone from Acres Homes to the Astrodome” to being the “Turning Lane Head Turner.” The pair comes together to produce a single that puts the cherry on top of a visual soundtrack that may be crowned as one of this year’s most complete projects.
“Hi and Bye” — Rocky Banks
Although the single may be a couple of months old, there haven’t been many songs that have come out of Houston that can compare to Rocky Banks’ single, “Hi and Bye.” The once-member of both Icey Life and Crown Clique collectives, Banks has fallen into his respective lane that has furthered his sound, as well as having opened his palette artistically. Coming off his project, In Other News I Don’t Do Drugs Anymore, Rocky Banks devotes his efforts to a soulful anthem that emphasizes the point of not including the crowd of many to be in his inner circle. Kendrick Lamar’s influence is found in the record, but Banks makes it apparent that his voice is heard loud and clear. The originality and sense of making this Daud Leon produced record one that gives listeners goosebumps is scary because it only shows what Banks can do. The versatility that’s displayed on this record is only a preview of what he has in store for his project, Trust in Banko, slated to release in the latter part of 2016.