When you say the words “Texas rap,” the sound that comes to mind is usually from Houston: the birthplace of Chopped and Screwed and a true mecca for smooth Southern rap production. All credit and love to the Screwed Up Click and Swishahouse, but the legend of Houston has at times overshadowed other parts of the Republic of Texas when it comes to regional Hip Hop scenes. The relationship between Houston and Dallas in many ways parallels the West Coast dichotomy of Los Angeles and the Bay Area. There’s tremendous overlap and shared influence between the two, but particularities to the sound of each city: while Houston and Los Angeles have always been centered around trunk speakers, the Bay Area and Dallas rap scenes are both more about club speakers.

Though Dallas has long been home to cult favorites like Big Tuck and The Outfit, TX, it’s only in recent years with rappers like Yella Beezy and the tragically late Mo3, that the Metroplex’s rich scene has had more of a national presence. BigXThaPlug is the latest voice from Dallas to generate serious buzz beyond the borders of the Lone Star State. That voice is his main appeal, full-bodied and heavy with weathered depth. At times it’s so deep that it’s almost subterranean, as if his voice were naturally chopped and screwed. Armed with a gruff, booming vocal register, his debut album AMAR exudes the kind of rich swagger and effortless charisma embodied by breakout Texas stars like Maxo Kream.

BigX’s delivery is smooth enough to go down easy over almost any kind of sample, from the wailing ‘80s saxophone on “Primetime” to the Erkyah Badu flip on “Badu Flow.” Forceful drums remain constant throughout the album, but the instrumentation on each track varies widely. The foreboding synths and blazing guitar on “Switched Up” lend the song the kind of ornate and luxurious vibe beloved by Rick Ross. On standout single “Texas,” BigX gets down in the dirt with twangy country-rap. Even with more playful sample choices, BigX resists novelty, putting a distinctly Southern twist on every sound he touches; “Rush Hour” fuses an Asian pop flip with Zaytoven-like organ swells. Though BigX’s sensibility isn’t as experimental, the equal parts trippy and soulful production on certain cuts evokes the alternative Southern rap stylings of Isaiah Rashad.

His voice commands attention and leads with a natural authority, but he’s more than capable of sensitivity too, showcasing a romantic side on “Bad Bitches.” But more than anything, BigXThaPlug loves the place he’s from, putting on for Texas through his regional features and Dallas rap style.

Sauce Walka, who BigXThaPlug shouts out as one of his formative influences, shows up for a verse on the choral “Levels.” Tay Money and Erica Banks slide through on “Thick” for a raunchy and club-ready anthem in the vein of BeatKing, complete with bed squeaks and 808 cowbells.

BigXThaPlug grew up at the altar of Texas rap, worshiping the region’s rich rap heritage: As he says on “Texas,” “I thought Pimp C was a god before he went to prison.” But BigX’s music never feels like throwback pastiche or a nostalgic retread of the music that inspired him. AMAR pays homage to the land that raised BigXThaPlug and the legends who shaped him, fusing a classic sound with a modern sensibility.