In the age of streaming and social media, very few industry norms have survived music’s evolution. However, not all traditions die hard, evidenced by the prolonged prominence of Houston as a staple in hip-hop musically and culturally. Sprouting from the city’s roots is Dree Rivers, an artist who uses the history of Houston as a way to project its future.
More on the Don Tolliver end of the spectrum than Megan Thee Stallion, Rivers’s melodic delivery of unfiltered honesty has become a defining characteristic of his slowed anthems. The formula is the same for his newest release, “88STATIC,” a letter inspired by a toxic relationship and an attempt to say everything that couldn’t be said during the relationship. On a 2000’s-inspired instrumental and a sultry opening sample, Rivers’ pen bleeds passionate feelings of regret and jealousy. Recorded in collaboration with G.BABY, “88STATIC” is true to its origins to no fault at all.
“88STATIC” comes on the heels of Rivers finding himself on the Spotify playlist “Ripple Effect: Texas,” a deserving placement that implies his position as one of the artists whose voice is emblematic of one of rap’s most influential regions. His ties to Houston are embedded in his relationship with The Chopstars, a group that keeps the legacy of DJ Screw and Houston’s intoxicating past alive today. Several of Rivers’ songs have been awarded a ChopNotSlop Remix by DJ Candlestick, an ode to the chopped and screwed phenomenon that you can still hear coming out of speakers today.
In a city with established alumni at the top of music’s hierarchy, Rivers continues to further align his name with the sound people have loved for decades with his own modern, stylized renditions.