With summertime in full swing, BeatKing is continuing to give the streets exactly what they need with his latest project: She Won’t Leave Houston.
To give people a better understanding of what the project is all about, BeatKing spoke on the subject during a sit-down with The Shade Room’s Staff Writer, Nick Fenley. On top of She Won’t Leave Houston, BeatKing also dished on his “formula,” the work that female rappers are puttin’ in, the creative process behind his well-known statement tees, and more!
BeatKing Breaks Down The Meaning Behind She Won’t Leave Houston
Early on in TSR’s sit-down with BeatKing, he shed further light on the significance of the album title.
He briefly acknowledges the matter in the album’s first track, “Don’t Get Caught Up Out Here,” by referencing how some women who relocate to Houston “get caught up with the fast money” and fall into “trapping.”
However, BeatKing told TSR that the album title isn’t wholly focused on this take and also sheds light on how one’s success often lies with who they choose to “link up with” in H-Town.
“A lot of women come to the city and they get with the right promo squads or the right company, and they do boss up. They do start getting money; they get more money than they had in the city they were at before. So it’s all about your mentality — who you link up with.”
He went on to say that, “for the most” part, the album highlights how individuals can “link up with the wrong people” — though it also calls attention to the city’s poppin’ nightlife.
“You can link up with the wrong people in any city, but for the most part, the project She Won’t Leave Houston touches on that. But it also touches on highlighting we’re the number one party city in the country right now. Like, our clubs are insane.”
As a result, the title acknowledges both sides of the coin — how Houston is a “flossy city” that people “don’t wanna leave” while also having a “dark side,” as The Bayou City “isn’t for the weak.”
The Artist Discusses His “Formula” Before Giving Female Rappers Their Flowers
Diving into the tracks, “Outside” has swiftly become a whole anthem for listeners. With the lyrics being all about hyping up the girls and encouraging them to live their best lives while gettin’ some money, it’s an all-around bop that gets listeners in the mood to party.
Regarding the energy behind this track, BeatKing says it’s all a part of the “formula” that he’s curated over the years.
“For the most part, it’s just my formula. I make sure the hook is ratchet as f**k so the women can like it. But then when the verse comes on, that’s for the guys.”
Speaking of having his music appeal to both men and women, BeatKing noted that many female rappers’ music is “one-sided,” as “guys, for the most part, don’t want to hear a whole bunch of ‘eat my p***y!'”
So, BeatKing employs his approach to ensure that all listeners can get what they want. Notably, he pointed out that his voice also stands out within the genre, as it doesn’t “sound friendly like most twerk music.”
“My voice [and] music sound a little more serious. So I make sure the verses are for the guys and the hooks are for the women. And that’s just been my formula.”
With his “formula” being implemented in the overall project, BeatKing says it instantly “puts you in the summertime vibe of Houston, Texas.”
“It’s just exactly what Houston, Texas, sounds like. In the clubs, in the party vibin’. My album is the soundtrack to Houston right now.”
As the album’s five features consist of four female rappers, BeatKing brought out Sukihana, Queendom Come, K Carbon, and Day Day Sustaaa to help curate these summertime vibes.
With BeatKing bringing on an array of female rappers, he seems to be all about the energy they bring to the table—and he confirmed this by telling TSR, “I love all the female rap music out right now.”
“I love it all, and I’m glad that women, really now, they can pop they s**t like the n***as. They gettin’ money out here too, and at the end of the day, that s**t hard.”
BeatKing Pays Tribute To DJ Screw & Houston Culture
Later in the album, the high-energy beats and club-like vibes switch up when listeners arrive at the thirteenth track, “Turn You On.”
The bop samples “PERSIAN RUGS” by PARTYNEXTDOOR, and BeatKing employed the chopped-and-screwed approach as a “homage to DJ Screw.”
Regarding this decision, he simply stated, “That’s just Houston culture.”
He also remarked that, although performing slower songs isn’t quite as lit as his more upbeat tracks, he knew that he had to incorporate one — so he did it his way!
“My girl was like, ‘You need a slow one.’ … I was like, ‘Okay. Well, if Imma do it, Imma do it my way. Let me go ahead and screw and chop this b***h up.'”
On Being Independent & His Statement Tees
Moving forward, She Won’t Leave Houston ends with a 10-minute outro where BeatKing keeps it real with listeners and dives into his experience signing to a major label, Columbia Records, before returning to being independent.
While he acknowledged enjoying the money that comes with major labels, he spoke on how the overall music-dropping process is much slower.
However, BeatKing told TSR that he completely understands the reasons behind the lag with major labels, as there are “a lot of things that go into dropping music.”
“They are f**king slow, but they’re slow for a reason. It’s a lot of things that have to come into play when you release a song or album through a major. With a major label, they want to get the biggest bang for their buck. … If Beyoncé drops, f**k your song — she’s going to the top. If Drake drops, f**k your song — he’s going to the top. It’s a lot of things that go into dropping music.”
Ultimately, BeatKing decided to go back to being independent — but not without establishing meaningful connections and meeting “a lot of real people.”
“Make sure the building loves you because they’ll work for you and fight for you. Even when you’re gone, they’ll still help you. Just meet everybody.”
As far as what advice he has for up-and-coming independent artists, BeatKing says they have to ultimately “make a choice” and look out for themselves by “do[ing] what’s best” for their situation.
“At the end of the day, you just got to make a choice. Do you want to be famous, or do you want to get this money? Everybody’s gonna say both, and if you want both, then at the end of the day, you just have to do what’s best for you.”
After giving the rundown on being an independent artist, BeatKing also spoke on some memorable components of his aesthetic: his so-called “braided bayang,” along with the lil’ slogans he features on his plain black T-shirts.
Regarding the creative process behind the shirts, BeatKing says he jots down ideas while he’s out doin’ his thang.
“I’ll be on the road doing shows and stuff, and I just think of something funny. I’ll be like, ‘Ooo, that would be funny on a shirt!'”
After noting that his personalized tees are his “way of speaking,” he acknowledged, “You know exactly what I’m on without me having to say a word.”
He also provided some history on how the idea came about, noting that it started as a way to affordably rock different outfits in the club.
“The whole shirt thing came about back in 2009-ish. That’s when I was trying to get in the game [and] would go to clubs a lot trying to push my music to all the DJs. And if you go to a club for about three weeks to a month, you’re gonna run out of clothes. It is what it is. If you wear something different, you’re gonna run out of clothes. So I was like, ‘Well, let me start wearing my own shirts. It saves money, and I’ll never run out of clothes!'”
While BeatKing is now in a very different place than he was in 2009, he acknowledges, “The shirts thing just never stopped.”