Torii MacAdams recalls rappers before Romantic poets.

When I think of Dallas, a city my father left for good at 18, I think of ranch-style homes lining wide avenues; the smell of early summer’s humidity and rain, a result of North Texas’ lightning-filled plains. I think of Big Tex, the Cotton Bowl, and my ruddy-faced uncle (not a blood relation) angrily watching the Texas Rangers. I don’t think of rap, surprising for a city with a rich Black music history. Dallas’ best known rappers have been exports. The D.O.C. went West and prospered until a car accident severed his vocal chords, The Outfit, TX have spent much of the last eight years in Houston to the betterment of their careers, and D-Town Boogie was co-opted by Californians and renamed “Dougie.” Dallas’ moment in the spotlight was brief– Dorrough’s “Ice Cream Paint Job” peaked at 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009. Black Milk relocated to the city a couple years ago, but at the moment A.dD+ are the only native rappers receiving attention outside of Big D. Count Lord Byron as the second.

Jeff compared Lord Byron to Styles P, a surprisingly apt comparison. While Byron’s fellow Texans forever live in the shadow of Houston’s Dead Rapper Rushmore (DJ Screw, Pimp C, Fat Pat, Big Moe), Byron’s Bandcamp bio reads, “In honor of Cam’ron.” On “0 Grams Fat,” Byron slightly lisps over kick drums and snares about making bitches hide drugs in their anal cavity– surely the biggest sign that Byron’s inspired by New York rappers, who seemingly have sole province on butthole narco-trafficking. “0 Grams Fat” doesn’t have the same punchline quotability as former LOX member Styles P, but achieves similar grittiness through composition by field. If you’re yearning for chopped and screwed, listen to someone else. If you’re fiending for something cut and bagged, give Lord Byron a chance.

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