A few years ago, fellow Houston Press writer Rolando Rodriguez and I conspired to create a bilingual underground Houston rap version of those "Pass The Mic" videos that were popular for a very brief period.
In retrospect, it may have been the most niche-est thing of niche-y things: We attempted to group together eight unsigned Latino rappers and eight Black rappers, each of whom was to deliver a 16-bar verse and, after which, through the magic of edits, would pass the microphone off screen to someone else waiting to rap.
I don't imagine there would've been a tremendous amount of people eager to watch it -- the finished version was about nine hours long -- but that didn't make it any less enjoyable to partake in.
I will always be grateful to the videographers that volunteered their time and talent to shoot, the rappers that volunteered their personalities and dynamicism, and the producer, young Christopher Rockaway, for charging a mere pittance to arrange all of the sounds into a uniform track.
I don't remember everything that took place behind the scenes, but I do remember that almost none of it was based in negativity and that's a pretty great thing to be able to write.
Why that's relevant here:
We scheduled to shoot in several different locations, each one featuring a few different rappers, and while out filming the video, Rodriguez learned that one of the rappers wasn't going to make it. (If memory serves, it was the ferocious G.T. Garza.)
Everything for the song had been planned out almost to the second, so that sucked tits hard. While scrambling around waiting, a separate rapper that neither I nor Rodriguez was familiar with came wandering up. His name, we learned, was Kidd The Great, a chubby, gold-toothed, ponytailed chum of local rap scenesters Hollywood FLOSS and hasHBrown, both of whom were participating.
Kidd was working at the time (driving a cab) and noticed us out there filming. He popped over to say hello and introduce himself. I'm not certain whom it was that recommended it, but somebody said, "Hey, Kidd can fill in the empty spot."
It seemed ludicrous, this cabbie-turned-rapper haphazardly participating in this thing that had been planned for weeks, but Kidd assured, "Yeah, I'll do it."
With less than a few minutes of prep time -- he put some headphones in his ear to listen to the beat or his beat or the sound of sharks eating seals or something no one will ever know -- he was ready.
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The cameras were turned on, the music was turned on, and then like magic, POOF, Kidd was turned on. It was remarkable. He did this funky, nearly sing-song verse like he'd been working on it for days. It was beyond impressive.
Afterwards, he thanked everyone for the opportunity, got into his cab and then drove away. He was like a goddamn rap superhero. I never forgot his sound and never stopped asking FLOSS when there was going to be actual music from Kidd.
If there's a better reason to attend for attending his album release party for his first proper project, That's How I Be Liking My Mic!, I certainly can't think of it.
See Kidd The Great at Fitzgerald's tonight for $10. See him online here.