While hip hop is now the world’s most popular form of musical expression, many are unaware of Houston’s significant contribution to its evolution. For many years Houston flew under the radar-ignored by mainstream press and cultural critics. Although Houston is now celebrated as the home of the chopped and screwed style of rap, Houston was an influential hip hop city prior to this innovation. Houston set the course for southern hip hop and create independent business models that made the world pay attention.
Beginning in the early 1980s, locals participated in hip hop through consuming East Coast rap in expansive nightclubs like Boneshakers and the Rhinestone Wrangler, an innovative college radio station called Kidz Jamm and through purchasing albums at Soundwaves. On street corners and school yards of Houston ghettoes, young people battled each other through freestyle raps for lyrical prowess. It was at the Rhinestone Wrangler that many of these budding rappers earned their stripes through the battle rap contests orchestrated by Steve Fournier. This attracted the attention of not only local entrepreneurs but also out-of-town music companies like Def Jam Records that wanted to know why their music was selling so well in Houston.
By the mid-1980s, Houston was ready to professionalize its hip hop culture. Fournier became an international courier of rap music through his company Rap Pool of America, and he also became a rep for Def Jam Records. In the face of disregard, Houston also produced music by artists and groups like Jazzie Redd, Raheem, Royal Flush, K-Rino and the world-famous Geto Boys, who took the nation by storm. By 1991, Houston had established itself as a place to be reckoned with as the Geto Boys’ “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” topped the charts across the country. Houston had something to say, and the nation was finally listening.
Join Maco L. Faniel as he uses personal interviews, vintage images, dynamic lyrics and fresh research to explore Houston’s hip hop scene. SIGNED COPIES of Hip-Hop in Houston: The Origin and the Legacy are available for PURCHASE here. A signed copy will be sent to the mailing address that you provide.
“A must-read, Hip-Hop in Houston is an important work.” – Huffington Post (Wyatt O’Brian Evans)
The real crazy history of Houston hip hop: City’s rap scene finally gets the respect it deserves” – Culture Map Houston (Tyler Rudick)
In his comprehensive new book Hip Hop in Houston: Origins, scholar Maco Faniel offers a fresh look at the city’s rap scene by documenting its early roots, long before the Geto Boys’ “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” put Space City on the hip hop map in 1991. – Culture Map Houston (Tyler Rudick)
“Faniel does discuss the well-known Swishahouse/DJ Screw legacy for which Houston is famous, but the thrust of the book – and what makes it really different from other hip-hop histories – is on the roots of Houston’s hip-hop culture…” – Brazos Bookstore (Mary)
“[A]s Maco Faniel points out in this informative history of hip-hop’s genesis in the city, ‘Houston is still not regarded as a significant music city.’ The rest of his book is a detailed counterargument to that oversight… The people who interest him are those who paved the way for professionalization, the mostly unsung artists who told stories unique to their time and place. In the face of imposing obstacles, they created something new, Houston’s own brand of hip-hop. It’s also a new story, and one worth telling.” – Texas Music Magazine (Madison)
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|ISBN : 9781609499785176 pp.Over 50 imagesPublished: July 2013||Regal Magazine -Author: Hip-Hop in Houston Instrumental in Popularity of RapHouston Press – New Book explores Houston Hip-Hop’s fertile roots