“If y'all not jamming let me know because I can always go back home to my kids,” laughed Rob Gullatte as he walked across the stage at Local Seat, a lounge tucked away on the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Old Spanish Trail.
Donning a white robe, the Alief MC paced back and forth as the DJ queued up his next song. The speakers near the stage hummed as the sounds of violin strings and police sirens filled the room. The house lights dimmed and Gullatte was illuminated by the flickering flashlights of camera phones as he performed the intro to his latest release, Corner Store Legend.
Locals Only Presents The Corner Store Legend is a showcase of not just Gullatte, but also Indigo Klan, George Young and The Smush Bros. It is the group’s first offering in displaying local talent on their own terms. It is a goal that is extremely important to Indigo Klan member Anti-Lilly.
“We are doing this for y’all,” said the Houston MC as the audience cheered. “We are doing this to cut through all the bullshit and red tape. We’re providing a space for artists really out here doing it.”
The show not only highlighted local artists but showcased the variety of what underground Houston has to offer. The laid-back production of George Young stood out, juxtaposed against the fiery Rob Gullatte set. The bravado of The Smush Bros played well against the hard-hitting lyricism of the Indigo Klan. Even though the artists provide different soundscapes they all fit together in one seamless show while maintaining their own individuality.
“Like y’all ain't seen the Wu-Tang show,” exclaimed M’s Up Milo as he walked behind his rhyming partner. The MC, dressed simply in jeans and a windbreaker stepped up to riser on the side of the stage, surrounded by clouds of hookah smoke. As the beat for their remake to “Ain’t No Fun” blasted through the speakers the MC brushed his curled hair out from his face and bellowed enthusiastically. “We don’t play nothing but the smush around here!”
Locals Only Presents The Corner Store Legend might be the first offering from a collective willing to triumph local talent, but it is hopefully not the last. The debut show should leave fans of the Houston rap scene looking for more.