In a Dream World, Coast Plays the Guitar and Cares About People 15 Hours Away More Than He Does Those 150 Trillion Light-Years Away

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You remember Northside rapper Coast, right? Of course you do. We did a write up on him a few months back and we have to say his blog received probably some of the most heartfelt comments since we started covering Latino hip-hop artists. In fact, since then so many people have asked us about him, wanting to know more, so we had to get this man in The Hot Seat. What a way to end the week. Rocks Off: So your text to us the other day was the straw that broke the camel's back. You were the 100th person to get at us about the way we spell the abbreviated version of microphone. We'd like to spell "mike" as "mic" but journalistic style guides mandate we spell it like our brother, Mike, not like "mic," which is how the streets are used to seeing it. We'll admit that we're embarrassed a bit by that restriction, but we get to write on hip-hop, so we can't complain much. But, it's still a bit of a sticking point. Why should I take it up with the powers that be? Give me something that'll convince them to spell mike as mic. Coast: Using "Mike" as the reference for microphone is just confusing. What if my name was MC OG Mikey Mike and you were writing an article about my event at Mike's Pavilion? You can't tell me your readers would be able to follow that article. Plus, it creates room for questionable and suggestive phrases that nobody would really want to be associated with. Let's say you're an artist and your name is Lil' Rolando. How strange would it be to read a headline that says, "Mike ripper, Lil' Rolando, tears it up again." [Ed. Note: Can somebody please come up with a new slang term for microphone so we can just start using that?] RO: It would be strange if we ever took up rap and named ourselves Lil Rolando. If we did, you have our permission to shoot us dead. Anyway, you said to me once that music was a 150-person symphony, not the shit on the radio now. If you could play one instrument in a symphony what would it be and do you think you could make a cool hip-hop song with a symphony? C: If I could play any instrument, it would be the guitar. I don't recall ever seeing a guitar in a symphony, so I would have to change my answer to any rhythmic string instrument, but that's just to accommodate your question. I think that I personally could make really good music if I had a symphony that I could utilize whenever I needed them. I wouldn't be the first artist to ever incorporate a symphony in hip-hop though. It's been done before. RO: If you could produce a song and pick any three musicians or artists, who would they be and what kind of song would it be? What genre of music would it fall under? C: That's an easy one. I'd pick John Mayer, Cee-Lo and D' Angelo. I'd like to think it'd be a song about love, but not necessarily a "love" song... more of song that reflects matters of the heart, possibly the love of just being alive. I'm not sure of the genre. I know there's a genre called neo-soul. I haven't heard of a genre called neo-blues, yet, but if it exists, that's where I'd file it. RO: Tell us one CD or album that's in your collection of music that no one would think you'd have. C: Well I have plenty of rap CDs but I hardly listen to those anymore. I listen to R&B pretty regularly. No big deal there. I got the Passion Pit album. That's electronica music. I got a bunch of blues music in my iPod. I think one of the CDs I have that nobody else I know would listen to is the Will.I.Am album. The album is called Songs About Girls. That title alone would scare away 80 percent of my homeboys. The other 20 percent would get scared away due to Will.I.Am's type of pop/hip-hop sound. I don't care too much for his lyrics. I'm just studying the way he arranges his music. The man is extremely creative. His songs almost never have the same sequencing and that's one thing I truly admire. RO: We see you have a lot of cool tattoos. Are there any cool stories or special meanings behind any one of them? C: Not really. Most of my tattoos are just words. I have my Coast logo, my Splatty Heart, the Twin Beredaz logo, and my Epsom Entertainment logo. Really, it's just representation of the things I've accomplished with my creativity in music. Most people get tattoos of music notes. That's too generic in my opinion. I still need to get my NAWF tattoo and I want to get the Thinkin' Out Loud Pt. 1 cover on my arm. Oh, I also have my woman's name on my arm because she's super ultra awesome. RO: We saw on a Discovery Channel show one time an expert describing how small the earth was as compared to the universe it's in. He said that to put it in real perspective, think of the earth as something the size of a CD. Place it on the ground. The entire earth surrounding it is its universe. And that gives you an idea of how small the earth is and a person, for that matter. Do you ever look up at the sky and wonder if you're worth a damn? You have to admit, that makes all the shit we worry about every day pretty insignificant, no? C: I look up in the sky every now and then and think about how far out everything really goes. I think the only time I ever look at the sky and think about the universe and my relation to it is when I'm out on the road on one of them long-ass 15 hour drives where there's nothing else to do but look out the window and think. I know I ain't shit to somebody 150 trillion light-years away, but there's people who are paying to see me 15 earth hours away. I keep moving. RO: If we approached you with two boxes - one with a box full of CDs and one with just one - and we told you that the first box had a lot of OK, average music and the other one had the greatest album of all time, but that's all you could listen for the rest of your life, which box would you pick and why? C: I'd pick the box full of CDs. The best album of all time would get played out sooner or later. The box of average music may not be great but I'm sure there would be plenty things about each song that I could pick out and satisfy the soul with. RO: Humanize this guy Coast, who our intern at our day job won't stop talking about. Seriously, she keeps jocking your music and we might have to slap her because it's all she talks about. Tell us an embarrassing moment in your life that people would get a kick out of. C: I can't think of any really embarrassing moments. I guess if you let one of my friends tell you a story, he'd tell you about the time we skipped school. It was the morning after a really rainy night so the ditches were full and there was mud everywhere. We were walking around the neighborhood and he wanted to take a short-cut that required us to jump over a ditch. He went first and made it. I cleared the jump without a problem. It was the landing that I couldn't get right. My feet hit the mud and I went from a forward jump to an instant right angled slip. My whole body on one side was covered in mud. We went back to his house and his mom just laughed at me for about half an hour and wouldn't let me sit on her couch. RO: Do you think Rocky Balboa would win a rematch against Ivan Drago? Why? C: I have no clue. I've never seen any of the Rocky movies. I know Sylvester Stallone is old as hell though and he probably shouldn't be making any damn Rambo flicks. Do senior citizen actors get workman's comp? RO: God comes down and says "Coast, sorry bro, but I got to take music away from you. It's not in the cards. But you can pick any profession you want in the world and you will be a rich man but you'll never be able to touch a mike again." What do you do and what profession do you pick? C: Easy. I take up an intern job for you and then spend my time jamming out to the artist that God put my musical skills into. Shout out to your intern over there. Make sure to tell whoever she is that I said thanks for listening to my Coasty jams. RO: Her name is Angelica Lopez and she's from the Dirty Berg. She's going to die when she reads this. Rolando Rodriguez is the managing editor of www.redbrownandblue.com. Follow him on MySpace and Twitter.

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