Kirko Bangz Plants His H-Town Flag On New Mixtape

'A lot of people kinda taking our swag too; I just wanted to bring that back and take that back from them,' Bangz tells Mixtape Daily.

Mixtape Daily Main Pick
Headliner: Kirko Bangz

Representing: Houston

Mixtape: Progression 2: A Young Texas Playa

Real Spit: Kirko Bangz has been progressing quite nicely. Even before his breakout single “Drank in My Cup” began charting on the Billboard Hot 100, the Houston upstart was laying groundwork in H-Town’s mixtape scene. In 2009, he dropped the aptly titled Progression, and now, three years later, he has followed up with its sequel Progression 2: A Young Texas Playa on mixtape site Datpiff.

In this new digital era, where most rap artists occupy the same space on the Internet, it seems that where a rapper hails from has become less important. Still, Bangz clearly is looking to put on for his city.

“People were like, ’Where you from?’ They thought I was from Cali, Atlanta, stuff like that. So really, with the mixtape and my last single ’Drank in My Cup,’ I wanted people to know I was from H-Town,” Kirko told Mixtape Daily. “It’s real H-Town: We have stuff for the girls, of course, we got hip-hop stuff, we got storytelling stuff.”

Progression 2 starts off with “Say Hello,” an introductory freestyle over DJ Khaled and Drake’s “I’m On One.” It’s not surprising that Kirko would jump on a track Drizzy has made famous, considering he has drawn more than a few comparisons to the Toronto rapper, thanks to his penchant for both rapping and singing. While Drake is openly inspired by Houston’s screw culture, Kirko truly embodies his city’s sonic characteristics on “Drank in My Cup.” The slow-rolling, lean-inspired cut repurposes Houston’s signature underground sound for radio; it debuted at #96 on Billboard’s Hot 100 this week.

“A lot of people kinda taking our swag too. I just wanted to bring that back and take that back from them,” Bangz said, never naming who the swagger jackers actually are.

On “Play Me,” KB takes on Drake’s “Trust Issues” and furthers the comparisons. Paul Wall reps for H-Town and shows up on “Knowmtalmbout,” and on “Trill Young N—a,” Kirk stakes his claim in the streets of his hometown.

For the most part Progression 2 keeps a consistent vibe with a number of soul-dripped, screw-inspired anthems. He does switch things up, however, particularly toward the end on the hilarious story-telling joint “Ugly Bitches,” where he recalls all of his less than glamorous sexual conquests.

It’s not flawless, but over the course of 13 tracks, Kirko Bangz shows a pretty solid progression.

Joints to Check For
» “Touch the Sky.” “It was really brought to me, like, it was already on a plate; I just had to put the food on the plate. I wanted a real hip-hop type beat. A lot of people don’t know that I actually can spit a little bit, so I wanted to spit and touch on a lot of things that I thought about. Like a lot of people say a lot of stuff about me, so I touched on those things on that song and kept it real hip-hop.

» “Play Me.” “I feel like a lot of people and girls be trying to play me. I’mma playa, so I had to address that situation, like, ’Don’t try and play me.’ ”

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