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The neighborhoods of Fifth Ward, Fourth Ward, Third Ward, and the Southside of Houston, Texas, gave birth to Houston rap, a vibrant music scene that has produced globally recognized artists such as Geto Boys, DJ Screw, Pimp C and Bun B of UGK, Fat Pat, Big Moe, Z-Ro, Lil’ Troy, and Paul Wall. Lance Scott Walker and photographer Peter Beste spent a decade documenting Houston’s scene, interviewing and photographing the people—rappers, DJs, producers, promoters, record label owners—and places that give rap music from the Bayou City its distinctive character. Their collaboration produced the books Houston Rap and Houston Rap Tapes.
This second edition of Houston Rap Tapes amplifies the city’s hip-hop history through new interviews with Scarface, Slim Thug, Lez Moné, B L A C K I E, Lil’ Keke, and Sire Jukebox of the original Ghetto Boys. Walker groups the interviews into sections that track the different eras and movements in Houston rap, with new photographs and album art that reveal the evolution of the scene from the 1970s to today’s hip-hop generation. The interviews range from the specifics of making music to the passions, regrets, memories, and hopes that give it life. While offering a view from some of Houston’s most marginalized areas, these intimate conversations lay out universal struggles and feelings. As Willie D of Geto Boys writes in the foreword, “Houston Rap Tapes flows more like a bunch of fellows who haven’t seen each other for ages, hanging out on the block reminiscing, rather than a calculated literary guide to Houston’s history.”