Ever since I found Rhythm and Poetry on Reddit under the heading of “I’m a Houston rapper who just released his first mix tape”, I knew. As soon as I heard the Henry Rollins sample, I knew. When I heard his choice of beats (Atmosphere being among them), I knew. When I heard some of the most heartfelt lyrics to come from a rapper in a while, I knew.
After last night, the room knew what I’ve known for months. This guy is the real deal.
Around 9:15pm, the unassuming figure of Feral the Earthworm took the stage at our birthday party. Just by looking at him, you’d not expect much. Wearing a skateboarding t-shirt, backpack (which he kept on for all but one song), he took the stage with his very minimal setup: a mic. No DJ. No hype man. Just the mic and his lyrics. That’s all he needed, though.
The acoustics were not on any act’s side last night. The Houston room was set up originally for lectures, not concerts. Most of the acts had trouble performing due to the echo of the cavernous room. Feral later told me he had some trouble, but you wouldn’t know it hearing him perform. Not one word was out of place. He blew through songs like “Mr. Nice Guy,” “Pizza Place Blues,” and “Dead Presidents.” Listening to him and his choice of beats is a trip down hip-hop memory lane, but made better by Feral’s lyrical skills.
We in the Houston room that night saw the future of hip-hop, and he wears a backpack.
By Justin Lyles