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OT carves pathway from hardship to music hitmaker

Illustration created by Joanna Mikolajczak


Album Review: Lonestar Luchador  

Virgil Gazca, artistically known as That Mexican OT (Outta Texas), is the most sensational underground rap artist captivating audiences with his inimitable flow and cowboy style. 

The sixth album from the Bay City, Texas rapper “Lonestar Luchador,” released July 28, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and peaked at No. 59 on the Billboard 200.

Listening to the album was a multicultural American experience.

Gazca collaborated with local talent in this project including BigXthaPlug from Pleasant Grove, Texas as well as Houston-based rappers Maxo Kream and Paul Wall. Together they brought a unique blend of musical styles, making “Lonestar Luchador” Gazca’s most dynamic album yet.

Each song in the album differs from the other. Which is why Gazca is the most versatile rapper in the game.

Musical Tool Box

Gazca refuses to be confined to a single musical category. 

He has previously experimented with different musical genres such as cumbia and Spanish folk music with hip-hop elements. In “Lonestar Luchador,” Gazca took a new direction by experimenting with country music, blues and corridos—Mexican regional music. 

In this album, Gazca also creates music that echoes sounds of old school east coast, west coast and third coast rap.

Gazca is no stranger to the third coast rap sub hip-hop genre, chop and screw, a prominent sound in the Texas rap scene since the 90’s. He has made chop and screw music in the past with great success, but the song “OMG” is the only one of that genre in this album. 

“Johnny Dang” is his most popular song in the album. It amassed 25 million views on YouTube. The song currently has a spot at the Billboard Hot 100. 

Gazca said he created different characters in “Lonestar Luchador” and enjoyed making fun songs such as “Barrio” and “Cowboy Killer.”

The song “Barrio” sets itself apart from modern rap tracks by incorporating the distinctive three count rhythm commonly found in corrido songs. Simple, yet powerful acoustic guitar sounds blend seamlessly with the 808 beats, providing the perfect backdrop for his singing and rapping. 

Alternatively, “Cowboy Killer” blends in elements of blues, with a twangy guitar and groove-heavy piano riffs accompanying the rapper’s melismatic delivery at the start of the song.  

With the rapper’s recent move to New York, song “Cowboy in New York”, represents Gazca’s new chapter in his career. Boasting a poetic lyrical hip hop sound, Gazca raps about the painful loss of his mother and his drug usage over the slow tempo. 

It was an honor to hear five commentary skits in “Lonestar Luchador” including up-and-comer comedian, Ralf Barbosa, who opened for Dave Chappell’s Dallas comedy show at American Airlines Center.

Barbosa is a beloved comedian in my neighborhood in Oak Cliff because of his close ties to the rough Dallas region. He works as a barber and hosts countless comedy shows, less than three miles away from my home. 

Gazca and Barbosa collaborated to create a mini cartoon version of the album skit, released on YouTube Aug. 10. 


The 24-year-old rapper has vocalized his upbringing in many recent interviews, discussing his anger issues, premature exposure to explicit content during his childhood, as well as his drug and alcohol use during his teenage years. 

Growing up, Gazca endured challenges with a mother who sold crack cocaine and a father who served some time in prison. He said growing up in that environment affected him mentally on the Flagrant podcast, hosted by comedian Andrew Shultz and Dallas native Akaash Singh.

“I despised myself and hated everything of myself growing up,” Gazca said. “It’s crazy how little [deleted expletive] that you pay attention to when you are a kid [deleted expletive] you up when you are older.”

Gazca said he began to embrace his identity around the same time he dropped his first album, “South Texas Project” in 2020. 

20 Years of Rapping Experience

At four years old, Gazca began rapping with multiple members of his mother’s side of the family. 

Gazca said his father and mother always encouraged him to express himself through music at a very young age. 

Soon after his mother’s death, Gazca wrote his first song at eight years old. 

Gazca said his father believed more in him than he ever believed in himself. On the Flagrant podcast, Gazca shared a story about a time when his dad woke him up on a school day to have him rap battle against an adult man. Winning the rap battle brought Gazca’s dad a lot of joy and pride. 

Gazca said he would like to collaborate in the future with blues guitarist and singer Stevie Ray Vaughan and his favorite rapper Kodak Black. 

Album Review

I enjoyed the 38 minutes listening to “Lonestar Luchador.” It felt new and exciting, yet old and familiar.

I typically dislike listening to hip-hop music from artists who extensively glamorize and rap about sex and drugs. Although Gazca raps about those subjects, he also raps about topics involving hardships, family and heartache. 

Gazca’s refreshing and catchy sound is completely different compared to established hip-hop artists. And I am happy to see a Mexican American artist from Texas make an impact in the American hip-hop scene. 

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Theressa Velazquez, Editor-in-Chief

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