Our fall 2016 playlist features some great music from artists featured in our entertainment section. Take a listen and make sure you follow the artists and download their music. Support the Underground!
Hi! my name is Ajalon Robinson but to my viewers or listeners I go by the name TummyTee. I’m 27 years old. I was born in Colorado Springs Colorado, but raised majority of my life in Killeen, TX.
I got the name ‘Tumtum’ from a family member when I was younger from a movie I used to watch called ‘3 Ninjas’. It was probably because of my size and eating habits lol. Also, my real name is hard for most to pronounce. As I got older and started rapping more and making an impact in my neighborhood with my talent it just really stuck to me.
I just dropped my second mixtape ‘Jumpstory 2’ on datpiff.com. If you haven’t got it get you one now! But I’m in the lab about to wake the city back up with my next tape called ‘GREENCITY’ hosted by V. O. M designer Scotty Lee. Y’all make sure to stay tuned for that one!
Losing my best friend in a car crash was a big one. But losing hearing in my left ear was the worst. In 2012 I was shot in the head an placed ICU for 2 weeks. I lost my hearing and some nerves on my left side. I woke up to lots of love and at that moment it hit me. I felt I had to choose between these streets or rap; I chose rapping! I really just got over it by thanking God for still blessing me to see better days and being able to live to tell this story I have called life on these beats to y’all.
Like a documentary with a dope beat behind it.
Southside by Lil’ Keke
Go for what you believe in and never give up!
Twitter: tum2time SC: tumtee-bigway
Brandon Howell is an extremely talented artist who is quickly making a strong name for himself on the Houston art scene. Originally from Georgia, the artist visited Houston for the first time and loved the city so much that he decided to make it his home. He has been working as an art teacher in Houston for the past 2 years. He made it his mission to work hard at his craft and make a living doing what he loves, creating art. Brandon paints lots of portraits and people’s pets and he mainly works with spray paints and acrylics. He has created a nice buzz for himself by painting portraits of Houston entertainers like the late great Pimp C, Slim Thug, and Paul Wall to name a few.
The 27 year old artist comes from a single parent home, and hopes to use his skills to make a name for himself and make his mother proud. FYI Houston asked Brandon about his 5 year goals and he responded, “I just want to continue to paint and continue to grow as an artist, and as a human being.”
Howell has this advice for young artists and anyone who needs motivation to pursue their dreams: “I would say to young artists…don’t let people tell you what you can and can’t do. I never went to college, I never went to art school, but I make a living painting because i never stopped. Ive been teaching art classes at a studio for 2 years now with 0 art school myself. All this life takes is effort and work. And remember to paint what makes you happy. It may take years, but people will respect and love you for doing great pieces that YOU wanted to paint.”
At the pace Howell is operating, it is no wonder how he has become such a sensation in the art community here. His paintings are very detailed and make a bold statement to its admirers. You should definitely adorn the walls of your home or office with a piece of Brandon Howell’s original artwork.
Dope Images is video production, editing, and photography company based in Houston, TX. The owner, Tristian Turner is an energetic and talented entrepreneur with dreams to help capture the special moments of everyone she can.
The 31 year old New Orleans native has been operating her company for two years. Inspired by her love of capturing photos and video, Tristian created Dope Images in hopes of nurturing her creativity. She explains, “I offer an edgy appeal and approach to photography and cinematography. Although I can produce the extremely polished and commercial edits some people want, I love the raw imagery appeal. To me it helps the audience see the subject for their truth.”
“I love that fact that I save the special moments of people lives and help them preserve those moments for an eternity.”
Turner is able to provide plenty of insight when it comes to running a business. When asked what her biggest challenge has been with starting a business, Tristian responded, “Everything. Lol. For real though it’s very challenging juggling schedules and appointments then I’m currently in school for computer science so I have to fit that in also.” Although the young company has experienced its share of difficulties since its inception, Turner plans to follow through with her dreams until she reaches her goals. She has plans to start a Dope Images franchise in the future. For Turner, Dope Images is more than a company; it’s a way of life. She has turned her passion into her life’s work and will turn her dreams into reality. For some of the best video and photography work in Houston, go to Dope Images.
“I want my work to be my legacy. Want my videos and pictures to impact the world. Want the images I capture to really get the world to think about one another. For us a humans to understand we all are of the same race. The Human race.”
Tha Kid Rock N Rolla is a young artist representing the southside of Houston, TX. The young artist hasn’t even graduated from high school yet, but he is definitely handling grown man business. Already the entertainer has positioned himself amongst a solid team of individuals and is making quality, ready-for-radio music. He is a member of the Ballout Music Group (BMG) and Only My Brother (OMB) squad (view BMG’s interview here)
One thing that stands out the most about Rock n Rolla is that his flow sounds a lot more mature than his age. He has had to deal with close friends passing due to street violence, so he has had to grow up much faster than his peers. He started rapping because he wants to be an example for his community and friends. He wants to show everyone that you can do anything you put your mind to. He literally started rapping in his closet! From there, he progressed to performing for his friends and at block parties. Now, the young artist is in the studio daily and releasing highly anticipated music.
Rock n Rolla’s music style is very energetic. He likes to make music that makes people have fun. He has been influenced by artists like StunnaBam, Z-Ro, and Lil’ Keke. However, the artist attests that he definitely possesses a style that is all his own.
While the young artist represents his city to the fullest, he actually has a different perspective when he describes the influence his city has had on him. He explains, “It’s a kind of a bad influence because no one’s really trying to work together, and everyone is always competing with each other.” However, Rock n Rolla is still very optimistic about his career. His affiliation with BMG/OMB has him surrounded by people who truly support him and wish him success. With a team like that, and a flow like his, we can see why he believes in his dreams so strongly.
Recently Rock n Rolla has released his latest mixtape Handwork is Appreciated which he is very excited about. The mixtape can be downloaded on spinrilla.com (Download Handwork is Appreciated HERE)
Malcolm Jones is a self-proclaimed ‘country boy’ born and raised in the small town of Sealy, TX. From Sealy he moved to Jacksonville, TX where he was a star football and track athlete. He currently resides in Houston, TX where he is pursuing a career in music. Although the young artist has much love for his hometown, he knew that he needed to expand his horizons in order to become successful with his music. He never felt like his hometown gave him the support that he would need to become successful. He explains, “I’m from a town where music is just not a topic of discussion. Either you play sports or play gangster. So you had two choices; the league or the grave. Those were your only options.”
The young artist was an exceptional athlete, but wanted to find an alternative way to cope with personal issues that plagued his life. Alvee Love began writing music in high school, but he admits that he was apprehensive about displaying his skills to his peers until one of his very close friends named Bradley Miller encouraged him to record his very first track. Shortly after, they released a single entitled You My Baby, You My Boo and a freestyle to Lil’ Wayne’s classic Leather So Soft. From there Alvee Love’s buzz started to grow and his musical journey began.
So the young star has been recording, performing and perfecting his craft for some time now. He has come a long way from his first experiences with music at the country clubs that his dad would take him to. He remembers his first experience, “My first experience with music was with Zodiac/Blues. We had a spot my Dad used to take us before he passed away called BIG MAMMA’S Cafe. Big Mamma used to have one of those big colorful juke boxes and all the elders use to sit in there and dance and two step.” Alvee took his roots with him and includes elements of them in his performances. Although, his very first show at Riddims night club was a disaster. He remembers janky promoters, no-show performers, fighting, and several other unfortunate events. Even then he had the desire to give his listeners a great show, and he performed in spite of the ensuing fiasco. He then progressed to performing at a fashion show for Vivica A. Fox during an NBA All-Star weekend in Houston.
Alvee’s stage performance has developed into one that you definitely have to experience in person. He is very critical about his work, and aims to give listeners his best when on stage. The artist promises an intimate performance that takes you on a love journey. Alvee Love explains, “I am a sapiosexual. I am a man of many emotions. I love being in love”. His stage performance is very indicative of this because the energy and vibes present during his set are unexplainable. All we can say is prepare to feel the love. He says, “I plan hard and strategically put a show together that creates a warm, intimate environment so you can walk down this road of love and see what I see and feel what I feel.”
The talented crooner is motivated by his family, especially his uncle Steve. He explains, “My Uncle never made it big or famous but he is one of the most talented individuals I know. He raps, sings, tells jokes, and is a wonderful father. He taught me everything and motivated me to go as far a God is willing to take you. He used to tell me “Nephew you sacrifice what you have to and get it by any means necessary.”
Going and getting it is exactly what Alvee Love plans to do. His goals for his future are to become a well established artist and entrepreneur, and to build a foundation where he can support his family, friends, and community.
Everything around me expresses how I feel. From the clothes I wear, the lighting at my shows, the dancer’s choreography, and the people I have around me. Everything means something. -Alvee Love
Stay tuned with FYI Houston to be the first to know when Alvee Love releases his much anticipated EP Guilty Pleasures, which features two 8-track sequels.
“Don’t be afraid to be what you want to be or do what you want to do. Don’t allow anyone to rob you of your dream no matter how far fetched it may seem. Putting god 1st along with hard work, dedication, and patience, anything is achievable.” -Alvee Love
NOW PLAYING: YIKES by Burial Boyz
FYI Houston was first blessed with the Memphis, TN group Burial Boyz undeniable energy at our 4th Annual Summer Showcase & Launch back in July 2016. The duo exhibited extreme confidence in traveling to Houston, TX to perform for a group of people who have never heard of them before. Not only did they get on the stage, they blazed it! Their energy was so amazing that it didn’t matter that we didn’t know them beforehand. Their performance ensured that we would pay attention from now on.
The duo originally started performing together in 2013, but they had not quite solidified themselves as an official group. The group is comprised of Jacorri ‘Fly Guy Don C’ Washington and Kameron ‘Blazin’ Watson. They are influenced heavily by the music scene in Memphis as well as the overall hip-hop culture. They attribute their energetic performance style to the ‘crunk’ scene that originated in their hometown. Blazin states, “We come from the city where being ‘crunk’ originated. We wanted to recreate that Three Six Mafia vibe but with the Burial Boyz signature sound.”
So the duo went on a quest to define their sound in a genre where it is difficult to stand out. In the early days, the group would cover the tracks of the hottest songs in rotation and name them ‘burials’. As the duo gained popularity through their music and began to be spotted in the city their fans would call them the Burial Boyz, and the name stuck with them.
Once the Burial Boyz made the name official, they began working on their stage presence. They understand how important it is to not only create a great song, but to bring that song to life via live performance. So, at a Burial Boyz show expect one thing: energy. Fly Guy Don C explains, “Our style is energetic and creative. We always want to bring the audiences something that separates us from other artists and it always has to be lit! Expect crowd engagement, lots of moving, jumping, and last but not least, sauce. Can’t forget about the sauce lol. We aim to make every listen an experience to satisfy the ear.”
The Burial Boyz possess a passionate sound and are determined to leave their stamp on the game in a major way. They work hard and know that consistency is the key to success. Fly Guy Don C says, “Literally everyday I’m either shooting an idea to Blazin or vice versa.”
The two claim to have found themselves in the rhythm a long time ago and have been influenced by artists like Three Six Mafia, UGK, Lil Wayne, Fabulous, and Kanye West. Their favorite thing about performing is the feedback they receive after their set. “All the love is life changing”, says Blazin. As of right now, the Burial Boyz have recently dropped their mixtape Urgency and expect their album Graveyard Shift to be completed shortly after. They also released the visual for their song Run it Up and have more on the way.
When it comes down to it, Blazin and Fly Guy Don C want to not only impact their peers and fans, but also generations to come. They want to exhibit to their followers that with hard work and dedication all dreams can come true. “You have to want it and work for it. Remember you can’t cheat the grind!”
We definitely haven’t heard the last of the Burial Boyz. Stay tuned with FYI Houston for more from the Memphis duo.
“Don’t be afraid to be the outcast. Embrace who you are, people respect that.” -Burial Boyz
Official DeadStock is a shoe company that was created especially for the sneaker heads. Owner, James Jones is a sneaker head himself and started ODS because he wanted to provide a way for his fellow comrades to enjoy exclusive shoes at the best price. James tells us, “I have loved shoes since elementary school and always wanted to work in a shoe store. We will always have the best resell price in town. I love shoes and genuinely want to see others who love shoes be able to get them at a great price.”
James tells us the incredible story of how he turned his passion into his business. While he always knew that he wanted to work in a shoe store, he didn’t imagine that he would start out owning his own. He explains, “One summer I had to pay for a summer class out of pocket with no help from financial aid. I didn’t know how I was going to come up with the money to pay for class, but I knew I didn’t want to ask my parents for the money. I was sitting on my bed when I realized how many shoes I had sitting around in my room, and at that moment I decided to sell some of my shoes to come up with the money to pay for the class. Once I paid for the class and saw how fast I was able to get the money I decided to do it more often and that’s when OfficialDeadstock was born.”
While the company has been very successful since its inception, James admits that he has had his share of challenges as a business owner. He talks about some of the challenges of running a business and how he has had to learn some hard lessons along the way. “The most challenging thing about starting my business was having my store broken into 2 months after I opened. I didn’t have any insurance and had to pay for everything out of pocket. I have insurance now. Entrepreneurship Is a struggle. But when the money comes it’s well worth it.” The young boss has this advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Save your income tax refund and invest it in getting your business started.”
ODS also features exclusive apparel that allows you to rep your city to the fullest. The new fall line of Mo. City t-shirts recently released in late September. The collection features camo, olive green, maroon, and OG black. In the future, ODS has plans to serve the Houston area in a larger fashion by adding more stores throughout the city. Also, be on the lookout for ODS collaborations with designers to bring sneaker heads special editions shoes exclusively at Official Dead Stock.