Best Local Label (2013)


Swishahouse was a local institution even long before many of its priceless mementos were cataloged into the Special Collections at Rice University's Fondren Library in October 2012. By helping commercialize the late DJ Screw's slow and low rap style, the label helped the careers of artists like Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, Slim Thug and Mike Jones bloom and became one of the most successful independent record labels in music business history. Steered to this day by cofounders G Dash and Michael "5000" Watts — who showcases the latest Swisha wares on his long-running Sunday night 97.9 The Box show — the label keeps right on cranking out a steady supply of albums from artists such as Southside stalwart Lil Keke da Don and often updated mixtape series like The Day Hell Broke Loose, which gather top rap names both local and national into the fold. For a record label that became both a brand name and an enduring culture unto itself, calling Swishahouse the Motown of the South doesn't seem like much of a stretch. As its motto says, "You don't grind, you don't shine."


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