Houston is a famous city in Texas and the Southern United States, rich in its thriving music scene – especially legendary for the iconic rappers it has produced. The most famous theaters in the country are located here.
Find below what we consider to be the best songs about Houston below.
“Houstonfornication” by Travis Scott
Song Year: 2018
“Houstonfornication” is an obvious reference to Californication. This Travis Scott track was largely considered a contemporary hit, and features on his album, “Astroworld,” as he narrates his experiences with drug use and relationships in Houston.
Travis mentions that he needs a break from all the pressures he finds in his life, hence the title of the track. The song expresses a desire for a break from his current situation, one of celebrity status and a longing for a temporary respite.
It blends the idea of seeking breathing room or mental relief with the notion of vacation, while also referencing the allure of Houston. The song frequently calls back the harmful and reckless activities ‘young’ Travis would engage in.
“Houston” by Dean Martin
Song Year: 1964
The song “Houston” was composed by Lee Hazlewood and was initially performed by San Clark in 1964. Later, Dean Martin re-recorded it, and it became a Billboard hit in 1965. Dean Martin's daughter revealed that striking an empty Coca-Cola bottle with a spoon spawned the track’s original sound.
This song’s lyrics express the feeling of melancholy as the writer describes the tragedies of a Houston native. It is also evident that he wants to return to his love, Houston.
“Heaven, Hell or Houston” by ZZ Top
Song Year: 1981
The prolific American rock group ZZ Top released the song “Heaven, Hell, or Houston” on their 1981 album, El Loco. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard, three band members, wrote the track. The track features distorted vocals, harmonious guitar riffs, bells, and references to the streets of Houston.
“The One Time in Houston” by Wale
Song Year: 2015
In his song, “The One Time in Houston,” Wale proclaims he is in a fight with love and passion in Houston. This hit was released on March 31, 2015, on the Album About Nothing, an obvious nod to Seinfeld. The song sampled New Edition’s “If It Isn’t Love” and the album features frequent incorporation of (sampled) scenes from Seinfeld
The narrator of the track – who we can presume to be Wale, gets apprehensive about women that lure men into love. Wale gets seduced by the strippers and the nightlife of Houston, and despite knowing they don't love him, he finds it impossible to resist.
“Houston Is Hot Tonight” by Iggy Pop
Song Year: 1981
Legendary proto-punk rocker Iggy Pop released “Houston Is Hot Tonight” in June 1981. The song's bouncy speed, jive, and grooving riffs capture the frantic energy of Houston's night and party life. Compared to the other tracks on this list, this is the most aggressive and rock-oriented.
The song's lyrics equate the city's reputation with a destination to party and have a good time. Fans of Iggy Pop, punk, or garage rock will definitely dig this track.
“I Can Almost See Houston From Here” By Bobby Bare
Song Year: 1980
This heartfelt track was released by Bobby Bare, a country music singer, on his album Drunk and Crazy (1980). The lyrics portray a nostalgic feel and lamentation of Bobby Bare, as he decries missing his home in Houston.
Bobby Bare reveals in the song that he moved to Denver for that cliche hope of making it big – chasing his dreams. He was never successful (at least as the protagonist of the song). And yet, he enjoyed great moments with friends and family back in Houston.
The song expresses the deep sadness of missing home and the inherent longing you feel after you move away from your home or birthplace.
“My Block” by Scarface
Song Year: 2002
Scarface, a rapper from Houston, wrote and released “My Block” back in 2002. He grew up in Houston, where he drew his inspiration from the local Houston rap scene and his contemporaries. The song is explicitly dedicated to his small-town Houston Community.
Scarface looks back at his youth in Houston, where they had to work hard and hustle to attain any measurable amount of success.
“Died and Gone to Houston” by Mike Stinson
Song Year: 2000
Mike Stinson probably got tired of people asking him why he moved to Houston. He wrote a comeback song posed to everyone pestering him, which was released in 2000.
His decision to move to Houston was self-described as one of his best decisions. Recounting all his ‘poor choices’ in life, his decision to move to Houston is presented as a saving grace in his life. Houston is viewed as a haven (heaven) and home, where he has been metaphorically taken by the honky tonk angels.
“Bloody Mary Morning” by Willie Nelson
Song Year: 1974
This song was first written in 1970 by good ol’ Willie Nelson and later re-recorded, after changing its context to a man left by his girlfriend. He decides to relocate to Houston to get over her – talking about taking a plane out to Houston to restart his life.
The man characterized in the song chooses to move to a Texan city because of its Southern charm and comfort. In 1974, “Bloody Mary Morning” peaked at 17 in Billboard‘s Country Singles.
“Houston #1” by Coldplay
Song Year: 2017
“Houston #1” has a touching history dating back to 2017. Coldplay couldn't perform live in Houston because of the severe damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. The band played this track through a live stream, sending love to the city inhabitants.
The lyrics portray Houston to be unique. The song proclaims harmony as prevailing in the city. The song urges Houstonians to hold on amidst hard times brought on by natural disaster. The band performed the song only once, making it a unique token of remembrance and good will toward Houston – and warranting its feature in our list.
“My Hometown” by Charlie Robison
Song Year: 1998
A country singer and songwriter from Houston, Texas, Charlie Robison, released his song “My Hometown” on October 6, 1998. The song is about Charlie Robison's nostalgia for his birthplace.
The song is a chronology of his life and experiences in several places – notably Houston. It recalls his past experiences, but speaks to his life as a musician moving forward – with little time to stick around. He’s essentially just drifting through. However, he doesn't fall out with his friends and family – as his roots. He ‘promises’ to meet them again if the opportunity arises but also gives the impression that he’s too forward bound now.
“Letter From Houston” By Rod Wave
Song Year: 2020
This track was released in 2020 by the rapper Rod Wave, from the album, Pray 4 Love. The song is about a girl he loves, and pretty sentimental. Despite the track’s melancholy tone and Rod Wave’s hard exterior, the song is deeply romantic – Rod Wave proclaims he’d be willing to give away all his success to be with this woman. Houston clearly evokes these past feelings deep within him.
“Ridin’” by Chamillionaire
Song Year: 2005
“Ridin’” by Chamillionaire was released on his 2005 album, The Sound Of Revenge. Perhaps one of the most iconic songs from the list, the song narrates the Chamillionaire’s experiences with police officers who commonly profile and target young black men.
The narrator describes being pulled over and searched by police – while ridin.’ He mentions his complete disgust with being racially profiled, and treated like a criminal – he just wants to be able to show off his ride through his neighborhood. Despite the extremely serious nature of the song’s content, the song is pretty satirical and playful.
“Houston Solution” by Ronnie Milsap
Song Year: 1989
With his 1989 Houston-focused country smash, pianist and vocalist Ronnie Milsap was on the right track. Although he was raised in North Carolina, this song demonstrates his passion for Houston's unique charm.
In the song “Houston Solution,” Ronnie Milsap talks about how his sadness was alleviated, like a lifted burden, by moving to Houston. He can phone up his friends and drink in Space City. The song is a testimonial to Houston's southern hospitality and emboldened community.
“Welcome 2 Houston” by Slim Thug
Song Year: 2009
The song “Welcome 2 Houston” is from Slim Thug’s album, Boss of All Bosses, released in 2009. He pays tribute to Houston, his hometown, for its vibrant culture and heritage – he portrays the city as a hotbed of hustlers and even gives a nod to the iconic DJ Screw. Slim Thug has previously collaborated with some of Houston's most well-known contemporary rap artists.
“Southside” by Lil' Keke
Song Year: 1997
The Houston rapper, Lil' Keke, released the track “Southside” in 1997. He pays tribute to the Southside of Houston, where he grew up and still resides. The legendary rapper celebrates the community and culture of the Southside.
This track also shows Houstonians' pride and loyalty to their neighborhoods. It depicts the unique community of Houston – specifically within the thriving rap scene (circa late 90s).
“Houston” by Austine Plaine
Song Year: 2015
Austin Plaine's song “Houston,” from his self-titled first album, was released on September 11, 2015. In this bittersweet song, the narrator has left his hometown of Houston for new pastures – initially perceived as greener.
However, in doing so, he leaves his love behind. He misses her, and quickly realizes that life isn't the same without his romantic half – proclaiming his sort of ‘internal’ return to Houston, as both Houston and romance occupy his every thought.
Austine uses various settings and circumstances – often tropes of country music, such as a railroad track, a highway, and an inn, to depict his loneliness and melancholy.
Top Songs About Houston, Final Thoughts
Houston is not only the hometown of some of the best musicians in America, but is often loved by other American musicians. The best songs about Houston listed above illustrate either the lifestyle, cultural roots, or deep admiration for Houston. From Travis Scott to Austine Plaine, many have mentioned it in song.