Houston rap is a great example of the idiosyncracy that occurs when artists spend decades cultivating a regional audience. While many coastal rappers spent the 90's catering to a national spotlight, H-Town's enduring place in rap consciousness reflects the intensity with which an insular group of friends shared a distinctive delivery, vivid lexicon and taste for sensually gothic production. Recently they've seen double cups and wood wheels appropriated by up-and-comers floating in a codeinic sea of Tumblr-enabled nostalgia; "I Been On (Remix)" suggests the OGs are less than eager to relinquish Styrofoam City to Toronto loverboys and NYC fashion killas. Drawls ferociously languid as ever, Willie D, Bun B, Scarface, Lil Keke, Slim Thug and Z-Ro put on hard for three decades of H-Town mythology. Scarface makes a characteristically evocative case for his legacy:
"I been on, now who you goons gon' get to knock me off
I've been boss, been on slabs, been on paint
Been on fours homey, I've been on drapes,
I've been half-baked, twenty-five years and ain't fell off yet." Did Bun B climb a misty summit and ring an ancient bell in order to summon the South's Elite Four (and Gary) out of semi-retirement? Maybe he just called up his friends, a simple matter in a closeknit community with a collaborative tradition founded on marathon Screwed Up Click freestyles and Swishahouse posse cuts featuring half the city.
TL;DR: Kids, they been on since before you could walk. Sit down, shut up, and take notes.