This week, #haveboomboxwilltravel landed at Market Square in Houston, Texas. The homeplace of recent (quite a few years ago, actually) satellite location of Niko Niko’s, a worthy late night slice at Frank’s Pizza, a dog park in the middle of the city, and wonderful public art as featured. Gonzo247 lent his vision to the city with this mural, and is a personal highlight if the city for me.
I selected this Thundercat project with OG Ron C and the Chopstars because it signifies something that Houston personifies; inspired collaboration. The track is “screwed and chopped” in the legendary Houston style, lending a perfect soundtrack for a laid back day. The fact that the vinyl arrives in a hue of purple just seems to fit what has been called “The City of Syrup”, noting the popularity of sipping Codine mixed with Soft drinks like Sprite. (Or shoutout to Exotic Pop for truly unique soda options!, even if you aren’t about that leanin’ lifestyle). While I am a fan of certain mash ups, a really great cover hits me in the feels every time. It is a new play on something already that can stand alone but is made better by a different element. The hard line that tows, however is that sometimes that things don’t go according to plan. The misses made are as evidently counted as the wins. I think post Harvey Houston specifically has been measured on the same scale in our rebuilding, though has evidently more wins than losses.
OG Ron C, co-founder of Swisha House Records, had a hand in the mixing of this track. When I was coming up, I looked up to the team that he and Michael “5000” Watts put together; A group of local MC’s who would freestyle rap to popular beats which were mixed down and slowed to a chopped tempo. I can’t really speak to the business model since I wasn’t that close to the label, but what I saw was the work ethic demonstrated. Aside from the multitude of catchy hooks, witty lines, and new perspectives on the human condition; the S.L.A.B. Culture (Slow, Loud, And Bangin’) taught me about following my passions. It was like there was a new mixtape or release every couple of months.
So, that is how the pairing seems to fit this week, and if I am as lucky as I feel by calling this city my home, all will be fine. In the meantime; stay inspired, stay humble, stay true to the vision, and be passionate about and for those around you.