XXL was in the building to catch two of Houston's biggest names perform for the first time in years. Sit back and reminisce.

Photography By: Lucas Alvarado


Paul Wall

When Paul Wall returned to New York for his first show in five years, he knew exactly what he was doing. Taking the stage around 1 a.m. last night at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg for 10. Deep's holiday party, he immediately brought out Maino, who threw some immediate shade at Trinidad Jame$, referencing their simmering feud. "This is how you come to New York City," he said, putting his arm around Paul. "You don't come to New York City and disrespect us!"

But after that it was all business, and The People's Champ gave the crowd what they came for. Opening with "I'm Throwed," he ran through his myriad of hits from "Drive Slow" off Kanye's Late Registration, his staple "Sittin' Sidewayz," and brought out H-Town legend Bun B for an electric run through Pimp C's "Hold Up." With TV Johnny's pop up shop providing grillz for the die hards, it was clear that Paul Wall wanted to make the most of his time on stage. He didn't disappoint.Dan Rys

Mike Jones

“Who? Mike Jones! Who? Mike Jones! That’ll never die.” The Houston rapper knew that it’s been a long time since he’s performed and realized the only thing that has kept him relevant is his signature chant. Back then in 2005, he was hot and all the ladies loved him, so it’s no surprise he had the audience feeling nostalgic. Running through his timeless hits right away, the Ice Age Entertainer—who wore a black parka with shades—got the crowd alive with “Still Tippin’” and “Back Then.” He explored Texas culture with “My 64” and reminded us of our high school and middle school dances by performing “I’m In Love With A Stripper.” Interestingly enough, Jones had a moment of reflection: “This record show me love and a lot of pain.”

The second half was a timeline through his career. Jones went through “I Need A Dime” and “Drop Gimme 50”—two singles that featured artists that once had the rap game in the palm of their hands. He slowed it down with ballads such as “Next To You,” which didn’t receive the best crowd reaction due to its slower tempo. That was followed by some new music: the fashion anthem “Polo Boots” and the upbeat, yet unimpressive “Ball” that was supposed to soundtrack our summers. As Jones wrapped up his set at 2 a.m., most of the audience was clearing out, mainly because the newer material lost their attention. One thing is for sure: We’ll always remember how to reach him.Eric Diep