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.”
Lance Scott Walker is a native of Galveston, Texas and has written for Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Local Houston, Red Bull Music Academy, Thrillist, Vice, Fader, The Wire, Wondering Sound, Free Press Houston, 002 Houston, Texas Music, OutSmart, GOOD, Dazed And Confused, NewType USA, Orlando Weekly, Portland Mercury, San Diego Fahrenheit, San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today, Los Angeles Review of Books, and RollingStone.com. He is the author of Houston Rap (Sinecure, 2013) and Houston Rap Tapes (Sinecure, 2014)—both collaborations with photographer Peter Beste—and Houston Rap Tapes: An Oral History of Bayou City Hip-Hop (University of Texas Press, 2018). Walker is the host of Houston Rap Tapes Radio and the live writers series Evil Hour Evening Reading. He lives in New York.
Jacques Morel is a 29-year-old producer and host based in Brooklyn, New York. He has been working on camera in different capacities for nearly 10 years and started as a News Anchor at Genius in August 2017. Prior to Genius, he was a producer for The Huffington Post's video team covering politics, pop culture and black issues. While there, he also hosted live streams on location at a 5000-person march through the streets of downtown Chicago with Chance the Rapper, floated in a small boat looking for survivors during the 2016 Baton Rouge floods, and helmed a weekly Hip-Hop show called BARS that averaged 80k views per episode. He has interviewed hundreds of people. His roster of interviewees includes Jamie Foxx, Yara Shahidi, Tyrese, Senator Cory Booker, Ne-Yo, Sanaa Lathan, Wiz Khalifa, Matisyahu and more.