Larry g(EE), “Yo Mama” (watch/download) – Larry (pictured) first showed his vocal prowess locally as the lead singer of the soulful Dallas band Odis. But the group’s no more, and the guy’s made the best decision of his career thus far by jumping into soul, for real. It’s obvious he’s found his proper lane with “Yo Mama,” a sassy, choir-assisted romantic threat that serves as the first single to his upcoming EP The Weekend. He’s offering the song as a free download, but after you grab that, check out the video. Fun stuff. Larry will debut the new EP live on Dec. 9 at Prophet Bar.
Various, “DFW Cypher: The Understanding” (watch) – Ahh, the rap cypher. Kinda like a freestyle battle, except in this one, everybody wins. Picture it: A handful of local rappers get together and take turns riding a beat with their best off-the-cuff verses, cheering each other on throughout. For the new edition of “the DFW Cypher,” producer and artist M-Squared gathered some artists I’ve heard of (B-Hamp, Enertia, D. Tall) and a few who are new to me (DeWun Music, Double A). You’ll find that they’re all working with different styles, from Enertia’s turbo-tongued switch-ups to B-Hamp’s slow-burning swagger. Newcomer Ant the MC’s a bit of a revelation. Can’t wait to see more of these things.
Playdough and Heath McNease, “C.R.E.A.M.” (listen/download) – A new mix-tape collaboration with fellow rapper Heath McNease allows Arlington’s Playdough to celebrate one of hip-hop’s iconic acts, the Wu-Tang Clan. On Wed White and Wu, the two MCs spit their oft-spiritual rhymes over classic Wu-Tang tracks. If you don’t know Playdough, you oughta: Speaking of rap battles, he’s known as one of the area’s brightest freestyle stars. His Georgia-based partner on WWW, McNease, also offers smooth delivery and humorous wordplay. Worth a listen or a download, especially if you’re a Wu fan. As for the song we’re featuring, we’re betting you know the original well: “Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M., get the money, dolla dolla bill y’all.” Playdough’s new lyrics turn the tune on its head.
People on Vacation, “She Was the Only One” (listen) – Whether or not you’re into pop-punk, you’ve gotta hand it to Bowling for Soup’s Jaret Reddick. He’s a master of catchy melodies and beautifully blunt lyrics. Combine that with the heart-on-sleeve style of Smile Smile’s Ryan Hamilton, and you hit a pop-music sweet spot. After becoming close friends on a tour a while back, the guys formed a duo they call People on Vacation. They’re releasing the debut EP Carry On at a Saturday show at the Kessler. The streaming song “She Was the Only One” brings to mind the melodic sweetness of early rock ‘n’ roll, but its bridge throws out a countrified curveball.
Missile, “Pray for Me” (watch) – Dallas punk trio Missile embraces the spirit of ’80s MTV with a simple, enjoyable video for its single “Pray for Me.” Directed by Yes Go Productions’ Jason Whitbeck, the clip finds the players’ heads replaced with old-school bedroom TVs. No newfangled digital receivers necessary – the screens display everything from singing heads to footage of the guys goofing around in costume. And when you get beyond the visuals, you’ll find that the song achieves instant rock gratification without taking itself too seriously. Who wants to go with me to the next Missile show?