There's a large Christmas tree in the lobby of 24 Greenway Plaza. It seems artificial, adorned with numerous ornaments spanning from crown to base and faux gifts surrounding it. As colorful as it seems, it's not truly festive, not on this frigid November day.
To get into the lobby, first you need to ride an elevator up from a parking garage. Your prime destination is any of the radio stations, in particular the one on the upper floors, the one where 97.9 The Box is located. Today, all of the artists with local ties but without a vetted kind of establishment are receiving packets for the Los Magnificos Custom Car & Bike Show. It's almost like the first day of school where the teacher is giving out seat assignments. The constant question upstairs however is a simple one, "Have you seen the Sauce Twinz?"
Minutes later, the Twinz, Sancho Saucy and Sauce Walka, walk through the doors, quiet and seemingly down for a second. The night before, they partied like they normally do. Days after this, they'll be in a studio with Boosie, inducting him like they had done so many others into the wave of the Sauce.
Their assistant, a stout and cheerful woman lassos in their itinerary for the day and keeps them focused. We have an initial meeting on the ground floor before they head up to the station. By the time they return, complete with fellow Sauce Factory member Sosamann, their energy has shot up, joking, critiquing the art in the lobby and slipping into comfort.
One would fully expect Walka, the darker of the Twinz with tattoos on each side of his face and round-framed glasses to scream out "SAUCE!" at a moment's notice. Instead, he's juggling hypothetical prices of said painting, throwing ridiculous numbers at Sosamann before they ultimately relent. They're stars, and they refused to be intimidated by what life wants to throw at them next.
"I kinda wouldn't say we were surprised because we knew it would happen before it happened," Walka, 24, says while surveying the scenery around him. "We knew this was what it was gonna be when we left the doctor's office and said 'Wah Wah.' Sauce that."
Though they may consider themselves twins, anyone could notice that Saucy and Walka don't favor one another physically. They're more brothers, both slender, inked from head to toe and outlandish whenever a microphone is present. The only real differences lie in their origins (Walka has been known in the Southwest/Missouri City area when he used to be commonly referred to as A. Walk and Saucy is from Dead End) and demeanor.
Often enough, a Sauce Twinz record is spastic, consistent with any form of a modern mix of Atlanta's bass heavy trap sound and Houston charm and individuality. The Twinz are standoffish when they're referred to as rappers, often making statements in interviews and other public forms that they don't want to collaborate with them.
"We walked out the church house one day and felt we had a word to serve," Walka says. "We don't rap, we preach. We have a word to serve and we feel that preaching is the best way to do it. That's why the city is so behind us. There's nothing artificial about us. We don't worry about collaborating with rappers; they need worry about collaborating with us. We just wanna add people to what we've got on. We aren't looking for features or co-signs, but we'll accept them with all the humbleness in the world. Sosamann the best rapper in the world, fuck I need to rap with Future for?"
Saucy is mostly quiet. When asked why he doesn't say much, Walka interjects, "That's my eyes. He don't gotta talk."
"Anything we rap about? Sosa been riding around in Lamborghini drop tops in Houston and shit like that. Saucy been in Miami in hotels with 5-6 chicks on Instagram in the bed. We've been doing this. To go in the studio and do a song, anybody can do that. That's exercise. Anybody can hit the ground and do a couple push ups. We've been living the lifestyle before actually putting in work in our music. It's all-organic. I could make a whole rap song while we're doing this interview," he explains.
"It's instant. We just get in the kitchen and start whippin', start drippin'."
The Sauce Factory factors in a wide number of artists. There's Sosamann, a slightly rotund trap artist who scored big with "Did A Whole Lot" with Walka. There's Rizzo, Rodji Diego and others who tie their affiliations into the Moe Gang sect and countless others. Side acts like 5th Ward JP are also affiliated though don't truly claim allegiance. Unlike most crews such as Doughbeezy's Headwreckas and Kirko Bangz' LMG imprint, there is no de facto leader of either sect. Even though they have a partnership in place with Jas Prince, they're still technically unsigned. "We're not a group, we're a family, over everything. We don't look at each other like bosses, more like Gods on Earth," Walka says.
Sosamann, 25, interjects with a heavy tongue, "People said we need to come together. We ain't like these other people, we're not earthlings. We're aliens to this shit. What we got is natural, it's in us, not on us."
Walka laughs, "When we were wild and young, we used to get into it with one another. Sauce Twinz and Sosamann were part of two different situations. Once we got into the music and started making money together ... I know his background, he knows my background and we brought a lot of young niggas together, a lot of hoods together that didn't get along. The Sauce broke all that shit a part and made people realize, we gotta unite Splashtown, Texas. They know what Texas is ... that's why they running off with our style and our lingo."
"We street niggas, but we vibe." Sosamann says. "We committed to the streets first but we can't chart out our career like a rapper does," Walka adds. "See, a rapper can tell you when he started without having any legal complications that'll prevent him from rapping. You're not representing gang life; you're not doing illegal activity. I'll put it t you like this, you can't be no football player and no real life Piru blood gangbanging and selling dope at the same time. You've got practice, class to go to."
"The time for us to come together was the right time. It happened fast but it happened slow," he continues. "We chose the streets first. A rapper decision is, 'I'm not putting my life in danger'. We're like the Spartans, we're '300'."
Some will point to the summer of 2014 as when the Sauce Factory, and more importantly the Twinz, fully evolved into Houston rap entities. Already having greeted the cusp of stardom with a fun, weirdo street tape in Sauceamania last April, the Twinz, along with 5th Ward JP stood next to an even bigger boss, Slim Thug for his "Errrbody" video shoot from Thug Thursdays 2.
"Slim came to us, we didn't come to Slim," Walka says of the collaboration. "He got a hold on Texas so when he puts his name on something, he really solidifies us. Dallas loves us, Houston loves us but Slim stamped it. His word basically said, 'these young niggas can't be stopped'."
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State-wide, the fervor grew. People started posting on Instagram with Sauce hashtags and poses, most notably one in the style of a praying monk: both hands clasped, one leg bent and the body arched forward in a bow. Social media has been key to fueling the Sauce movement with Walka racking up over 45,000 followers on Instagram alone and constantly retweeting Sauce proclamations on his Twitter account.
Waka Flocka shouts out Walka on Twitter. Prominent city figures such as DJ Mr. Rogers and BeatKing add sauce like nicknames to their own. The recognition however pales in comparison to Drake, the Toronto boy king and adopted Houston son not only shouting out the Sauce Factory on Instagram but all but confirming that the Sauce Twinz will be the first Houston act to see a buoyance of national fame thanks to a remix of Walka's "Legited" track. There are rumors that the Twinz will be heading up to Toronto to possibly ink a deal with OVO Sound though they admit they can't speak about it in full detail.
To date, In Sauce We Trust has gallivanted their movement well beyond local shows and word of mouth. Even though the tape's best overall track, "Black On Black Crime" occurs at the end of the tape, there's high energy, arrogant moments that permeate throughout. Walka's "Legited" has become a newfound radio staple, Sosamann's "Did A Whole Lot" from his Trapped Out mixtape with its thundering bass and high energy is the latest in chest thumping club tracks. All of this, according to Walka is going to plan.
"I feel we give people freedom," he explains. "Even though Houston's has so many politics and is so driven about how a Houstonian is supposed to be one certain way, That's what I feel about the Sauce, people can be themselves. People can get excited. People can represent Houston and be free and be wild and not care what the next person says. Sauce is Freedom."