Elroy Boogie, a member of popular Houston DJ collective the Kracker Nuttz who had been battling cancer for the past few months, passed away August 18, according to a statement on Kracker Nuttz co-founder DJ BabyJae's Facebook page.
"I am truly at a loss for words," BabyJae said. "A genuine soul taken too soon. We are all lucky to have had you in our lives. I will sincerely miss you my friend, my brother. Until we see each other again."
Elroy, whose given name was Roy Samano, was only 27 years old. The following profile originally appeared in February as part of our Rocks Off 100 series.
Elroy Boogie, of the Almighty Kracker Nuttz, is also a principal of popular Boondocks night Top Notch and NanaChill, the party/collective he runs with Dayta. The Philippines native says he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996 and Houston a year later, and as a DJ, has been "killing the game since 2007."
Why Do You Stay in Houston?
"Friends and family," he says. "I've put in a lot of work in this city we call The 'H.' I love this place."
Describe Your DJ Style
"I'm gonna make you dance, I'm gonna make you move, I'm gonna make you sing," Elroy gushes. And (wait for it...) "I'm gonna make you boogie!"
Good War Story
"The first time I did the H-Town Sneaker Summit, I wasn't actually even booked for that gig," Elroy opens his story. "But I had my setup in the car. DJ Cipher [OG Krackernuttz] was the DJ in the main room for the event, and it was seven hours long.
"I knew for sure he wasn't going to DJ all seven hours, so I started setting up and nobody said anything. Cipher went on and just basically murdered his set," he continues. "But then, after DJ-ing for at least three hours, he looked at me and gave me the go-ahead. Now I'm the H-Town Sneaker Summit official DJ and have been for four years now."
Music Scene Pet Peeve
"I hate it when new artists or DJs don't put in work," he says. "They expect to get all the gigs but don't pay the dues."
Rappers and death-metal musicians we have known, sorta.
JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Here's a thing that could happen: Maybe you are in a restaurant ordering dinner when suddenly there's a flurry of activity among the waitstaff and a buzz among the patrons. You just came in for a bowl of pho...and so did Jay Z. (Guess who's getting his meal first.)
In all our oohing and aahing over music celebrities, we sometimes forget they are also human and occasionally may wish to step out for dinner or a drink or to shop or to attend church or to do some other thing that is part of real life.
When this happens, everyone breaks out a cameraphone because that is a thing now, having a phone that's not connected to a wall by a wire but that also fits in your pocket and takes photographs, too.
Recently I got to wondering how often this happens to people I know. So I reached out to my small circle of friends on Facebook and Twitter to ask about their chance encounters with famous musicians.
My survey was highly unscientific, but it yielded both a very obvious and unexpected result. It would seem that hip-hop artists are the most approachable and willing to hang out with us regular folks.
This indeed turned out to be the case, at least among my friends and family. Pretty much everyone who responded had a story about some rapper they kicked it with — except for an awesome story my friend Jacob shared about a Swedish death-metal band.
"I hung out and smoked cigarettes with the guys from Twiztid when they played the Engine Room back in 2005," he recalls.
I found this a bit weird. Jacob has very diverse music tastes, but I never pegged him as someone who would be at a Twiztid show, much less chain-smoking Camels with the band.
"We talked horror movies, I got autographs and then had to head home," he says.
Geoff is another friend, also with a broad musical palate. He has met some legends like Black Flag founding member Chuck Dukowski and MDC's Dave Dictor, both of whom were fantastic, down-to-earth people, Geoff says. And so were the A$AP Mob members he met last year.
"I met two of the guys from that group that A$AP Rocky started at the last Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin," he says. "I was watching Kreayshawn to kill some time, and Ty Beats and another member of A$AP asked if I had more of what I was smoking, 'cause it smelled good."
Sometimes meeting famous music folks is good for the bottom line. Last fall, a bunch of us met at Flying Saucer downtown to conduct our fantasy football draft. One of our friends, Rolando, is a photographer and artist. He designed a popular T-shirt for Houston Texans fans, and we all had to sit around drinking $8 beers while we waited for him to deliver one of those shirts to Bun B on draft night.
We didn't mind. Aside from meeting one of the all-time greats, he was making paper, and we all respect that.
"The year before, he tweeted he had to have that shirt, and once he did that, I had a line of folks waiting for the shirt, but we never got to meet up," Rolando says. "Then I ran into him at Boondocks, we talked for a bit and he told me on the next batch he would come to me and get one.
"Once I had a new batch ready, I text-messaged him, and he came down and got one and tweeted it out," he continues, "and I had a line of folks again.
"He even tweeted out the hats I made, and the DJ from Paris, France, Brodinski, ordered one," Rolando says. "He had to have it because Bun B tweeted it out. The guy paid more in shipping than the actual hat to get it."
When you think of rappers out in public, you're less inclined to think of them meeting you on a street corner to buy a T-shirt than maybe seeing them in the club or someplace swanky. That was the case when my nephew, James, and his lovely wife, Brooke, met Coolio. Their simple Las Vegas hotel elevator ride turned into a "gangsta's paradise" when the rapper and his entourage of groupies entered.
Both Brooke and James report that Coolio was an absolute gentleman and very personable.
An August 2003 Jay Z/50 Cent concert left quite an impression on the author, then 15 years old.
When I went to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion last month, escorting two women to see Kid Rock, nostalgia had begun to set in. I work as a chauffeur and have driven plenty of people to concerts over the years; taking kids to see Ke$ha felt like I was committing a sin. On the way to One Direction, the preteen girls in the car fawned over Harry Styles and begged me, "Do you have any hip-hop?"
Preteen girls are the worst at that.
But my first-ever visit to CWMP occurred ten years ago this month. You see, long before Jay Z married Beyoncé, he had to be wed to 50 Cent for about three months. Not in the literal sense, but the two were then co-headlining their own tour, were both bedfellows with Reebok, and they had a mini-Cold War going on stemming from 50's inclusion of Jay on 1999's "How to Rob" and Jay's retort, "I'm about a dollar, what the fuck is 50 Cent?" at Summer Jam later that year. It made for one interesting night.
Not to be left out, it was also the night I lost my concert virginity. And this was 2003, so names like Sean Paul and Fabolous mattered. Elaborate New York-themed backdrops for 50 Cent to assert that he was the king of the city mattered. Busta Rhymes doing his best to outshine everybody positioned ahead of him mattered.
Online, very little exists that constitutes press for the concert, the biggest rap show ever held at the Pavilion at the time. A May 2003 article from the Houston Chronicle gave a small hint of Jay Z's then-nascent relationship with Beyoncé. Everybody who was there, including the 15-year-old me who had became a Jay Z fan for good after 2001's The Blueprint, remembers a mostly flawless live show, including a Beyoncé appearance on "'03 Bonnie & Clyde."
Even then they played like the cutest sort-of couple in existence. Despite Hov's being the headliner, the crowd had to pull itself together after the three-man onslaught that was G-Unit. To date, it's the only time I can think of that Jay seemed overshadowed, outpositioned and outmuscled by somebody, and that guy was 50 Cent.
The second half of my freshman year of high school, all signs pointed toward 50 Cent being a thing. Like, wifebeaters and muscles literally became a thing in high school. Dudes wanted to wear their do rags and let the tail get tucked in and try to punch people. You know how lame it is now to ask a chick "21 Questions"? In 2003, that got you all the women.
Couldn't tell a dude nothing if he asked a girl, "Would you cheat on a test for me?" in that part-New York, part-down South accent 50 had mastered after he got shot.
Let that sink in for a minute: He got better after being shot.
I didn't have a date to the concert, so I went with a childhood friend and his homeboy, who looked like he put out blunts with the ends of his shaggy black hair. I think he's in jail now; who knows?
In other words, no girl was getting my "21 Questions" approach that night. But it was clearly a learning experience, one that a decade later almost seems like a distant world — one where 50 Cent was clearly the most intimidating presence in music.
And a hero to every short man who loved wearing brassiere-like wifebeaters in public.
ASK WILLIE D
THE FRIEND ZONE
A reader is in love with her best friend. What would Willie do?
Dear Willie D:
I'm a 30-year-old woman who is crazy in love with a guy who has been my best friend since I was a freshman in college. But I don't know how to communicate my desires to him. He is wonderful to talk to. Anytime I'm having a rough day, I can always call him, and even if he's busy, he'll make himself available to accommodate me. I'm not dating anyone at the time, but he is; I just don't know how serious it is because he is clandestine in regards to his dating life.
I have seen two girls he's dated, and they are absolutely gorgeous. Although I don't think I'm gorgeous, I have been told quite often that I'm pretty so I feel as though I have a decent chance with him. I really like him; no, I'm in love with him. But I fear that if I reveal my true feelings, even if they're reciprocated, it will eventually destroy our friendship. What should I do?
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Crazy in Love:
Never give up on pursuing a goal before the outcome is decided. Since he's in a relationship, you need to gather intel on how serious it is before you advance. Next time you speak to him, casually ask him how things are going with her. If it's serious, you should give yourself a timetable as to how long you're willing to wait to see how it plays out before you disclose your feelings. If it's not serious, just talk to him as you always do and tell him how you feel.
Relationships don't come with crystal balls. What makes them appealing is excitement and unpredictability. It would be horrible if you guys forged an intimate relationship, broke up and ended up hating each other like many couples do. But that's not the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing that can happen in life is an opportunity unpursued because of fear.
Ask Willie D appears Thursday mornings on Rocks Off.