Which Houston Mayor Would Make the Best Rapper?
Yesterday, the Rap Round Table at our sister blog Rocks Off pondered the interesting question "Which Houston rapper would make the best mayor?"
You can go there for the discussion. Here, we will ponder which Houston mayor would make the best rapper. We have five nominees.
5. Diamond Jim McConn Smooth talker, loved the lifestyle, pretty inventive on his feet (when it came to explaining away what seemed to everyone to be ethical lapses in his administration.) Drawback: White Irish-Catholic dude who went to Notre Dame. As anyone Irish-hater who's seen the egregious Freekbass video knows, that's a bad combination.
4. Louie Welch You think gunfire at Texas Southern University events started with Trae Day? Forget it -- Louie Welch was the OG on this one. He sent in a horde of cops who shot up TSU after a sniper killed a cop back in the `60s. And could the man freestyle!! Put him in front of a microphone he doesn't know is live, ask him in the `80s how to solve the AIDS crisis, and before you know it he's coming out with "Shoot the queers." We assume it was only the dumbstruck faces of his aides that kept him from continuing with what would have no doubt been epic rhymes.
3. Horace Rice Unfortunately, history has left us no reliable recordings of Horace Rice's rapping, but one thing is sure -- he knew the life. Dude carved out a piece of town (about where Allen Parkway Village is/was) for the sole purpose of whorehouses, gambling dens and drinking places. That is a hardcore mayor. The Reservation," as it was known, often featured Jelly Roll Morton, who was described by our John Nova Lomax this way:
[T]he twentysomething Morton dabbled as a pimp, gambler, pool shark and actor in comedies. He was, in the parlance of the time, "a sport," a sharp-dressed cat who dug the finer things in life....The sophisticated, handsome Creole sported a silk suit on his spare frame and had diamonds embedded in his teeth, and he was a smooth talker whose very nickname -- Jelly Roll, or Mister Jelly Lord -- referred to the copious female lubrication he claimed his suavity induced
For that, we owe Mayor Horace Rice.
2. Lee P. Brown Qualification: Only black man to be elected mayor of Houston. This is his single qualification. Other than that, Brown displayed no skills in appearing on a stage, unless mumbling platitudes and putting audiences to sleep is a skill. But to be clear: He was blacker than any other Houston mayor.
1. Annise Parker This video proves it beyond a doubt. If not the incredibly rhythmic dancing (for a middle-aged white woman who embraces all the rhythm inherent in that status), then for that shiny outfit. Although it might be more Earth, Wind and Fire than anything else.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.