Last Night: Propain's "Say I Won't" Video Premiere At 300 Bowling
Propain (left) and DJ Don
Photos by Larami Serrano
Propain "Say I Won't" video premiere party 300 Bowling, Katy May 15, 2011
Sunday night, Propain, whose name has to be brought up during any "Which New Houston Sir Is Most Likely Pop Nationally?" conversation, had a video premiere party for his single, "Say I Won't."
The song first appeared on last year's impressive mixtape/album #Departure, but has recently gained traction on regional radio stations. Here's we wrote about him, and that tape, at the end of 2010:
Propain is one of the (if not the) most devastating forces within the New Houston Collective. He's gritty and grimy and astute, three character traits that, paradoxical as it might seem, are hyper-magnified by the fact that he's educated. His #Departure, which very neatly packaged nearly all of his strengths, was one of the very best Houston mixtapes of 2010.
Now that you're all caught up, a strike's worth of notes from the gathering:
1. The premiere was held at 300 Bowling out in Katy because, duh, rappers love bowling. Also, and this isn't known by many, but Propain was actually a super talented bowler when he was growing up. However, one night when he and Bill Murray tried to hustle some local yuksters at a bowling alley, they responded by shoving his hand into a ball-return machine, effectively ripping it from his arm. The more you know...
2. Actually, point No. 1 up there is almost entirely false. It's the beginning of the plot of Kingpin, the best bowling movie Woody Harrelson ever made. They did have the premiere in 300 Bowling's private-party section, which made for a more entertaining night than usual. It's always interesting to see rappers a little out of their element. High-five for that move.
3. Lots of people showed up to support, including rappers Short Dawg, Delo and O.N.E., sports figures Vince Young and Rashard Lewis, the Maestra of the Mohawk (Miss Mykie) and her producer husband (Yung Chill), the affable and talented DJ Don and more.
4. VY bowled the evening's high score (172). Go ahead and add that to the list of things that he's better at it than you; slide it right in between Winning National Championships and Temporarily Going Kinda Crazy.
5. Ken 2 the Fool was there ; dude shows up to everything, it seems). He was wearing a Death of a Salesman T-shirt. That seemed important. Also, he made the evening's best joke: When Propain rolled a ball down and knocked down only one pen, Ken, referencing a song Propain has called "Bipolar II" that features him rapping against an angry version of himself, shouted to him, "Pro! One pin!? You need to get that 'Bipolar' nigga out here to bowl for you." Funny, funny, funny.
6. You know how you make bowling interesting when everyone that's bowling is generally pretty bad at it? Gambling, son. Several of the players were betting $20 per frame on whether or not they could knock down all ten pens within the alotted two shots. We're not certain who lost the most money, but Delo seemed to being doing well for himself. At one point, he tried to moonwalk across several lanes after winning a fistful of twenties.
7. You know how you program the names of the people into the little machine before you start bowling so that it displays them while you bowl? And it usually reads something like, "1. Mike, 2. Carl, 3. Patricia" and occasionally something clever like, "4. Wacky Susan"? Here's the lineup from Lane 7 last night: "Propain, Rock, Black, Short Dawg, Jack, Hardhead, Wing Nut, 4400 TJ and Chance." Is that not the greatest, most interesting Bowling Names lineup ever assembled?
Propain watches himself onscreen.
8. They premiered the video during halftime of the Heat/Bulls playoff game (that was considerate, we thought). It was shot by director Michael Artis, whose name seems to grow more prominent each day. It's a high quality, professional looking video. Cameos are made VY, Slim, Kirko and more. The key shot: Propain rapping on top of a building shouldered to Bun B with the city's skyline behind them both. The subtext was clear: I want the responsibility of being the one that Bun B eventually hands the city over to.
9. The first time the video played, a video Pro had no doubt watched countless times already, he sat at the front of the lanes and watched intently. Nobody bowled while it played. That was respectable.
10. In person, Propain appears to be a humble, sincere, semi-intimidating person. He is cool and thin and marketable. And if he does not become at least a little famous, it will not be because of a lack of effort.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.