Ask most people what Dallas hip hop has to offer and they’ll come back at you with images of the stanky legg and ice cream paint jobs. A subset of rap that focuses on trap style beats, dance moves and catchy hooks, but if you dive deep enough you’ll find a thriving conscious hip hop scene with a long history of uplifting minds from the streets of Deep Ellum.

“I definitely see Dallas becoming a very crucial musical, I don’t know, I don’t wanna say it’s gonna be a music capital but it's definitely gonna hold some significant influence once the world catches on to what’s going on here” says Topic as he sits across from me at Drugstore Cowboy, a late night coffee spot in Deep Ellum where he often performs.

Espresso pouring at  Drugstore Cowboy  in Deep Ellum
Espresso pouring at  Drugstore Cowboy  in Deep Ellum

“It’s like oh wow, there’s layers to Dallas, and it’s like as they get deeper into Dallas they’ll start to learn about the culture here. They’ll start to learn about the little pockets of the best stuff”

{"width":459,"height":344,"thumbnail_url":"","version":"1.0","title":"\"NOID\" by -topic","author_name":"so so -topic","provider_url":"","provider_name":"YouTube","thumbnail_width":480,"thumbnail_height":360,"type":"video","html":"\n&#lt;iframe width=\" 459\" height=\"344\" src=\"\" frameborder=\"0\" allowfullscreen=\"allowfullscreen\"&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;\n","author_url":"","url":""}

On your phone? Click here to see the music video for "Noid" by Topic.

In 2011, Topic had his first show opening for Mos Def and Taleb Kweli at the House of Blues. The only problem, he wasn’t the scheduled act. After conning his way through the backstage door he grabbed a mic, hopped on stage and made his debut to the unsuspecting crowd. This stunt launched his career and he’s been spreading his unique language of philosophical hip hop ever since. Finding every opportunity to put himself in front of his idols and claw his way up the hip hop ladder.

“When I started doing hip hop on the scene seriously I had one goal in mind and that was, GET TO ERYKAH BADU! And we did it” he chuckles with a huge smile on his face.

Topic cracks a smile while having a conversation at Drugstore Cowboy  in Deep Ellum
Topic cracks a smile while having a conversation at Drugstore Cowboy  in Deep Ellum

“Once we had done that it started to change and it was just like, I really want my favorite artists to hear my work and be like hmm, I think you’re on to something.”

Topic admits this mindset could be viewed as a little bit outlandish, but in the same breath expresses how common place traveling to Los Angeles to give Flying Lotus a copy of his new CD has become. He says outlandish is what people remember. It’s what sets him apart in a sea of similar artists.

{"provider_url":"","author_name":"HIGH STANDARDz","title":"Bobby Sessions ft. -topic \"Peyton Manning\" (Official Video)","version":"1.0","thumbnail_url":"","width":480,"height":270,"author_url":"","url":"","html":"\n&#lt;iframe width=\" 480\" height=\"270\" src=\"\" frameborder=\"0\" allowfullscreen=\"allowfullscreen\"&#gt;&#lt;/iframe&#gt;\n","thumbnail_height":360,"type":"video","provider_name":"YouTube","thumbnail_width":480}

On your phone? Click here to see the music video for "Peyton Manning" by Bobby Sessions, featuring Topic.

As our conversation drew nearer to it’s end I asked him where he sees himself and his career going in the future.

“It’s, it’s, there’s never like a destination. There’s always just a constant arriving at a new point. There’s never a solid like, this where I’ll be done at. I will say at this moment in life I’m pretty happy, I’m pretty satisfied with where I am, but there’s more to do and I know it. There’s always more to do.”

Topic's anthem is "Be good, and do well"
Topic's anthem is "Be good, and do well"

We’re definitely looking forward to seeing what that next thing is. In the meantime be sure to follow his Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp pages and go on out to a show. You won’t regret it.

Check back with for more in our ongoing conversations series with local artists.

Know someone that needs to be featured? Email me at