One thing Houston rappers are proficient in-besides rapping great-is eating well. Many of the more influential artists were/are big and fat: Fat Pat, Big Pokey, Big Moe, Big HAWK, Big Mello, and Big Steve. Even DJ Screw was a husky man.
That's not to say that their weight was ever an issue, Houstonians just love their Southern eats. It's a source of pride. Like Fat Tony once said: "In other countries, you ain't poppin' unless you're a bit chubby. That represents wealth and good living." So, in honor of Thanksgiving, we've made a list of Houston hip-hop songs that reference southern comfort food and the restaurants that have been serving it for decades.
E.S.G. "Ocean of Funk" "Let me enter, 'cause I fill a chick up like a Timmy Chan wing dinner."
Lil Flip ft. Big HAWK "Down Souf" "Down south we eatin' Timmy Chan's and noodles. I just bought an Escalade and a PT Cruiser."
E.S.G. was swangin' and bangin' through the drive-thru at Timmy Chan's back in 1994, when Ocean of Funk came out. So was Lil Flip. The Chinese restaurant is commonly referred to as "Chimmy Chan" and with locations on each side of town, it's not going anywhere. Maybe one day they'll change the robbery-proof payment window in the drive thru. If you've been there, you know what we're talking about.
Z-Ro and Trae "I Really Miss My Dawg" "When we got the munchies, had to eat that Hartz Chicken."
Z-Ro and Trae reminisce on their memories with the late DJ Screw in this song from 2003's Assholes By Nature. We wonder if Screw and company ever ate Hartz's specialty: chicken livers and gizzards.
Lil Flip "Knockin' Pictures Off Da Wall Freestyle" "I roll a Philly, I used to eat at Piccadilly's. Lil Flip took your ho some roses and lilies."
Lil Flip was once the Freestyle King back when people freestyled for fun. If you've never been to Piccadilly, we'll explain it as best we can. It has the same basic layout as Luby's with an equal amount of senior citizens.
Chamillionaire ft. Big K.R.I.T. "Hometown Remix" "Gotta hit that Frenchy's, gotta hit the Boudreaux's, 'cause I gotta stay full, it takes hard work when you workin' these new vogues."
Chamillionaire "Houston Up High" "First I hit the North cause you know I run it, then I hit the South and put some Frenchy's in my stomach."
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K.R.I.T. produced the original version of "Hometown" and we always thought that a Houston hometown hero should remix the beat. Props to Cham for mentioning one of our most beloved Cajun restaurants. And Frenchy's, not surprisingly, gets lots of love from Chamillionaire again in "Houston Up High."
Paul Wall & Bun B "They Don't Know" "Down here we got ghetto grub like Williams Chicken or Timmy Chan's"
This video features quite a few cameos from various Houston rappers and historic dining destinations. Bud's House of Meat, for example.
Fat Tony "Like Hell Yeah" "I was once a chubby brat, chillin' with my mama buying jeans off the husky rack, skipping collard greens and beets for a Kit Kat"
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Everything about this video is decadent.
Mike Jones & Magno "Don't Work U Don't Eat" "If you want a sample, I got seventeen reasons for folks to forget about you like Tevin Campbell."
OK, so that line wasn't food-related, but it was too good not to mention. Mike and Magno discussed the ultimate ethic to live by: if you aren't working, you aren't eating. Also, Magno always kept his lyrics relevant to the theme of the song-his first verse combines food and protecting his life. He needs a comeback.