Dallas Hip-Hop Rules, Leon Bridges Sails Smoothly and Lower Dens Does Hall & Oates.
For several years now, the Dallas hip-hop scene has been rich with talent, even if it's often underappreciated outside of city limits. This, of course, is a fact not lost those throwing massive local hip-hop showcases and parties and putting out records and continuing to support one another.
A turning point occurred back in 2013, though, when Complex named Dallas-Fort Worth on the most underrated hip-hop scenes in America. After years of local writers and hip-hop heads hyping the fact that the 2010s were a golden era for Dallas hip-hop, it was one of the first real acknowledgments from elsewhere that something pretty special is going on here.
The momentum's pretty steadily continued to grow since then, too. These days, it's not uncommon to see hip-hop artists sharing bills with all manner of punk and pop bands. And thanks, in part, to a recent week-long collaborative branding effort by several local entities, #DallasWeek helped Dallas' hip-hop scene take that next step towards prominence.
In the latest flash of national spotlight, Noisey makes no bones about saying that Dallas' hip-hop scene “rules.” And with an exclamation point and everything!
Who's underrated now, huh? And, um, what happens next?
We'll see, I suppose, as there's always a tomorrow. Even in the least likely of circumstances. Case in point: Come August, the music of Spector 45 will live again, if only for one night. The band's drummer, and last surviving member of the band's final lineup, Anthony Delabano has reached out to the handful of former bassists and several other musicians that rolled through the group at one point or another and will now form .45 — a cover band, of sorts, that will resurrect the band's catalog for a special one-off show at Three Links.
Further out on the horizon, Third String Productions announced this week its annual winter festival, Unsilent Night, will once again make its return this December 27, this time going down at The Bomb Factory because of course it is. The spot's quickly becoming the go-to indoor venue for indoor Dallas festivals. No acts have yet been confirmed, but that's to your benefit, as blind pre-sale tickets are currently on sale here for just $24.75.
A couple more quick nuggets before moving on to this week's new releases include a placement for Tiger Darrow in a new Famous Footwear commercial, and a name change for Blackstone Rangers. As for the latter, the band says tomorrow's gig in Austin will be the final show under its current moniker: “Pale DÄ«an is our new name,” says the band via Facebook. “We have a full-length record, Narrow Birth, on the way, and we believe Pale DÄ«an better reflects the sounds and emotions of that record.”
Moving on, Leon Bridges continued to roll full steam ahead towards his album release with a new music video released this morning. The full color — gasp! — clip for the week-old single “Smooth Sailin'” affords the onetime aspiring choreographer one of his first shots at showing off some of his classic dance moves. Check it out.
Another popular clip making the rounds of late is Lower Dens' cover of Hall & Oates' “Maneater” that the band recorded as part of a recent SiriusXMU session.
Out Denton way, Tony Ferarro and Daniel Markham's collaborative Smoke Paint project finally made its way online, where the full-length is now available to stream in its entirety. In a bit of a throwback move, the pair's music has only been available via physical copies up to this point. Here it is, now, in its full 1's and 0's glory.
Sticking in little d, one of that city's best young acts released a new EP earlier today. Taking the opposite approach of Smoke Paint, Dripping Wet's new …In Mokkori High is currently available only via BandCamp with possible cassette copies to come in the weeks ahead. Here's that one.
Another up-and-comer, local producer Medasin, meanwhile, released something of a low-key banger called, well, “Make a Banger.” Speaking of local hip-hop's comeuppance, more young emcees need to hit this guy up ASAP. Get a taste below.
And finally, on that same tip, another emcee to keep an eye out for is Chromatik, who just released a rather polished new EP featuring production from Zach Witness, Da-P, Beat Joven, Kal Banx and a guest spot from Crit Morris. Needless to say, it's quite solid. Stream/download it below.
Cover photo by Kathy Tran. Got a tip for White Noise? Email us!