Welcome back to D FrontRow’s weekly music column.
Remember why this exists: We’re highlighting artists in Dallas-Fort Worth who are often overlooked or under-appreciated by national media. If the locals don’t support our stars, who will? (Did I miss anything? Email me or leave a comment.)
And an eye out next week for something special about the future of this music column. This week comes first, though. Let’s get to it.
“Food Stamp Baby” (feat. Trapboy Freddy & Uno Loso)
#OakCliffBidness. That’s the review. OG Bobby Billions, Trapboy Freddy, Uno Loso, and Tye Harris exchange stories about their lived experiences in Oak Cliff on “Food Stamp Baby.”
Harris opens the heartfelt track with “What you know about those Lone Star cards?” For those like myself with memories attached to the red, white, and blue-themed plastic card, the line can serve as a reminder of one’s triumph, personal growth, or stigma and shame associated with being food insecure. Harris’ narration’s leads into the song’s chorus: “I’m a food stamp baby / I’mma eat regardless.”
The rappers enter on top of a soulful piano foundation, built with Harris’ vocals and musical arrangement. They’re paying homage to their working mothers. Standout lines like ”We was raised off that food stamps” re-center the economic conditions from which hip-hop was birthed.
When you hear the guttural hunger in a rapper’s tone, it’s because they have to survive before they can win. The track is a reminder of their plight as well as those of their mothers and the communities that sustained them into stardom—starting with food stamp cards.
“Heated Seats” (feat. Coach Tev)
Hip-hop loves the summertime. The warm weather season is a frequent muse for those aspiring to emulate Diddy’s Bad Boy and Rick Ross’ Maybach Music days in Miami. And about Miami: it’s southern, but still provides an international escape accented by beautiful women in bikinis who surround musicians on yacht parties. There are frozen drinks and all-white linens. That’s how Devy Stonez hangs in the playground Diddy and Ross created. But he makes sure to bring it back to the Dirty South.
“This that truck banger I got heated seats in the Cadillac” reminds me of summer nights in cut-off shorts, daiquiri in one hand and styrofoam cup in the other. Those after-parties, the nights where the club let out but I don’t wanna go home, so let’s grab food and eat in a parking lot. Let this song be the soundtrack for the endless southern nights of tricked-out cars, fried foods, and all the southern delicacies of hot youthfulness.
Send your sneaky link this one.
Outside (Better Days)
Trigger Warning: Blood, Gun Violence.
Released on March 19, the visual to the late MO3 & OG Bobby Billion’s recently captured the No. 1 spot on YouTube’s Top 100 songs list. The “film” interweaves a narrative of gun violence and prayers alongside clips of MO3’s funeral service and snippets from the deceased rapper’s life. Each piece is a reminder of his legacy. In hip-hop, no one truly ever dies. Posthumous releases continue to serve as inspiration for those who continue after them. The video reminds us of hip hop’s impact to extend a rapper’s life beyond death.
Editor’s Pick: Dal Gala
Buy a ticket to find your new favorite local artist and streetwear brand. A lil birdie told me tickets are selling out, so you might want to cop it, lest you get FOMO. If this isn’t your scene, feel free to grab an after hours drink at a local DJ’s set. Here’s our list of weekly DJ nights across Dallas. See you next week.