The success of regional Hip-Hop is only as strong as the sum of its parts. For Houston, Texas the reputation of its rappers slants in favor of pimped out rhymes in the name of the late DJ Screw. For Dustin Prestige, his mission rests not on changing the face of Houston emcees, rather diversifying it.
The early days of Dustin Prestige’s career were spent traveling H-Town’s indie rap circuit, luring fans in with his new breed of punchy, genre-bending rhymes he likes to refer to as “quirky intellectual”. Raised on a healthy diet of Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane and Stone Temple Pilots, Dustin learned early on that music was multi-faceted and honing his skills would involve a variety of influences. “I liked what Rock N’Roll was able to do musically,” he explains. “There’s a different thought process behind it. Whereas with Hip-Hop, you don’t have to really think too much about the musical arrangement of it. You get a track – rap over it, say something that’s honest and introspective, but at the same time have a style to it.”
Starting out as a producer, Dustin and high school friend Jett I. Masstyr began making music together after graduation. The gravitational pull toward writing led Dustin to put down the MPC and focus fully on crafting rhymes. While in college, he penned several rhymes over the years in school…and there were many of them. “I enjoyed college to the ultimate degree,” he jokes. Upon graduation, he reconnected with Jett I. Masstyr who was part of the indie rap renaissance happening in Houston thanks to artists like himself and Hollywood Floss. Dustin dropped The Prestige EP in 2008, comprised mainly of “youthful angst” as he puts it – yet still paying homage to the architects of Houston Hip-Hop that preceded him. A year later he continued that progression with Houston Presto Vol. 1, which showcased Dustin’s rhymes over popular Houston rappers’ beats. He then dropped Houston Presto Vol. 2: The Playoffs, an arguably tighter, more evolved work, with major blogs like Rap Radar receiving the young emcee well.
Yet Dustin was still unsure which direction in music he was traveling. He took the next few years to reflect while still making music recreationally. “Life caught up with me,” he admits. “I went back to school to pursue my PhD and start my own company and all that other kind of stuff and didn’t have the time to get back into the music until I could reach that level where I could let myself breathe.”