Although the Houston rap scene has fizzled since they “Draped Up” the entire planet, a select few have taken the reigns to restore order to the city’s grassroots movement. After last year’s test drive, Slim Thug and his dukes of hazzard, The Boss Hogg Outlawz, are Back By Blockular Demand on their second installment of Serve & Collect with enough capers of droppin’ tops and stuntin’ for haters in candy-painted automobiles to signify any sports classic weekend. While the themes are familiar, there’s a noticeable improvement on the soldiers part to make this collection more than just your average posse album.
Produced predominately by H-Town’s all purpose beatsmith Mr. Lee, Back By Blockular Demand’s score is a blatant testament to the mentality of the rappers the Lone Star State generates: cool, calm and crunk. Best represented by smoky compositions like the Lil’ Keke featured “Time” and the soulful “Give Me Some” beefing up the tracklist. Shaping up to work as unit has the BHO buckling down in the booth to construct more polished songs, thus the unveiling of commendable tracks like the focused “Man I’m A G” or the pure radio hit “Keep It Playa.”
With their upgraded skills to boast, the leash has been loosened for the pups to venture out on their own to make the most of their mic time, with mixed results. Slim Thug, the group’s centerpiece, generally sets things off only to play the background for the remainder of the track, but still finds time to shine on the hidden bonus cut “It’s Going Down.” Chris Ward puts some elbow grease over a haunting sound bed on “Keep It 1000,” unapologetically stealing dames in relationships while BHO lifer Killa Kyleon exposes the fakes on “Rap Reality Show.” But the album is still bogged down a few clunkers, namely the redundant “Wet Paint Drippin” and “Cost 2 Be” which is loosely a “No Limit Soldiers” knockoff.
Not for everybody in it’s entirety but containing something for everybody, the Boss Hogg Outlawz steadily capture the allure of the Houston lifestyle from the perspective of proficient rhyme spitters. Chalk one up for Back By Blockular Demand even if it’s appeal peaks when you’re behind the wheel.