Doeman Brings Gangsta Rap Back To Houston
Doeman, Photo: Dyna Music Group
It sounds strange to most people to read that a Houston rapper is bringing back gangsta rap, because for so long that subgenre defined our city’s rap scene. But on his new album, “O.B.E. (Outer Body Experience),” Houston’s Doeman does just that. Not to diminish any rapper in Houston big or small, but it’s the narrative from his heritage that makes things feel fresh and new, where he gives the listener a whole new story from the hood. In a way that I haven’t heard in at least a decade, the rapper goes hard in the paint, speaking straight from the streets while plucking poignant lyrics about growing up Latin in the United States and the dissolutions of everyone who came up from almost nothing. The way in which he spits with a mixture of vigor, hate, and even hints of despair, you immediately champion whatever cause he’s behind while he keeps things real on every track.
Though he kicks things off with the short lived and spacy track, “O,” he doesn’t take long to go deep on the following track, “U.F.W.” The young rapper immediately spits with intensity while he drops dark lyrics like “wanna put a rope around our necks and choke us up.” The polarization of the real world of dirty cops and their use of drugs to manipulate those on the lower spectrum of of the economic scale quickly becomes the narrative that’s hard to ignore. I mean, he follows this with the quick rhymed and heavy bass of “No Limit ‘91,” and though he lightens the mood lyrically, he still keeps it real while his quick flow holds your interest with each passing beat.
The next track drops an old school beat and some sick samples while Doeman gets a little softer in approach on “Waddup Luv?.” Doeman might be attempting to drop a love song, but the track doesn’t dimenish the power of the rapper’s vocal prowess. Two tracks later he’s back at it while spitting atop violent themes of a police state on “American Me.” The barrio vibe of drugs and your selected fam are all over the track where he spits like his life depends on it. This continues a couple of songs later when he drops the larger than life sounding song, “F.W.M.N.” You immediately realize with Doeman’s intensity, that he’s one of the few rappers going who seems to feel every note he drops on a mic. A lifetime of being held down by a society that doesn’t care if you live or die comes through all over the song where he almost greets haters with an attitude that cannot be faked.
Things stay on point with the insanely fast rhymed nature of “The Genocide,” complete with a fresh backing tack and a beat that sticks with you for days after you hear it. Instead of false swagger and an attempt to prop up branding, Doeman stays true to his roots and calls shout outs to his youth and everyone in-between while lamenting the falsehoods in today’s rap world. He calls out to the world on “Hip Hop,” while closing out with the dark sounding and ethereal vibes of “E.” There were two bonus tracks as well on my copy with “Tha Man” and “Son of Jesus;” but I like the finality of how the album sounds with “E” as the closer.
All in all, Doeman proves that you can’t fake who you are, where you’re from, and who you represent. In twelve tracks he takes back hip hop from the pop leanings it’s been swimming in to bring it all back to the streets in the most real way possible. The way that Geto Boys painted fifth ward and the way that Bun B painted Port Arthur, Doeman does the same without lifting from either. He creates vocal brushstrokes that craft an image that even a white kid from the suburbs can see where he’s coming from while giving a narrative that is seldom heard from in today’s hip hop scene. Keep your eyes out for this guy, cause’ when your skills are as legit as this and you’re this real, it’s only a matter of time before you become bigger than the city you rep in your tracks.