Bayou City

Juiced Rides: A Summertime Lowrider Playlist

Ocean of Funk is this lowrider car's name.
Ocean of Funk is this lowrider car's name. Photo by Carlos Orellana
Lowriders are a staple of Houston’s auto culture. Sure, the 84s poking out are what everyone seems to talk about, but lowriders are historic business, always getting respect.

 From Houston to L.A . and beyond, of course, lowriders are worldwide these days. “In their finest format, they have morphed into museum-quality works of art, appearing in shows around the world from Paris’ Louvre to Washington’s Smithsonian,” says a write-up in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

click to enlarge JUICED LOWRIDER CLUB
Juiced Lowrider Club
Here in H-town, lowrider clubs are all over, at special meet-ups or car shows in parking lots around the city. In the summertime, despite the heat, the streets become prime cruising ground for cars.

For Carlos Orellana, who rides under the name OG Sniper, a typical ride might start out on the Northside at Don Luis’s Mexican restaurant and follow a caravan along Irvington Blvd. into Downtown. He’s the president of Juiced Lowrider Club’s chapter in Conroe and has been lowriding since 1995.

“Lowriding is in my family,” the 36-year-old explains. “My mother and my older brother moved from Honduras to North Houston in the '80s and my brother and I used to walk to school, and we would see the lowriders and mini-trucks,” Orellana says.

“Ever since then I've wanted to have one and now I do. My brother has one, he's had many. We have bikes, we model cars, our kids are involved and enjoy it.”

Orellana has been slapping spokes on car wheels since he was barely old enough to drive. “Mom couldn't afford bikes for me and my brother,” he says, so they skipped two wheels and went straight to four.

Over time Orellana has hit switches while riding to all sorts of tunes. Musically, some lowriders might go for the iconic classics — say, something typical like "Cisco Kid" by War. But that’s not how Orellana gets down.

“'Cisco Kid,' yeah, that’s a good one, but I lowride to rap, real gangsta lowrider rap,” Orellana admits. His tastes veer toward the type of music heavy during the OG Funk era. He actually calls his blue Cadillac lowrider “Ocean of Funk,” a name that comes from Screwed Up Click member ESG’s album.

If you’re a lowrider, you have to name your car. You’ll look foolish if you don’t.

Music selection might be as important as keeping your ride clean, and Orellana has honed his taste perfectly. Just take a look at his Top 10 songs to lowride to.

"Foe Life," Mack 10

"East Side Rendezvous," Kid Frost

"Boyz-N-the-Hood," Eazy-E

"On Them Thangs," Mack 10

"100 Spokes," Above the Law

"Let me Ride," Dr. Dre

"Come and Take a Ride," Mad CJ Mac

"Let's Go Dippin'," King Tee

"Real Muthaphuckkin G's," Eazy-E

"Block of Rock (For Years)," South Park Mexican

JuiceD Lowrider Club will host their annual car show on October 14 at Herrera’s, 15934 East Freeway, Channelview. Tickets start at $25.

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Camilo Hannibal Smith started writing for the Houston Press in 2014. A former copy editor, he was inspired to focus on writing about pop culture and entertainment after a colleague wrote a story about Paul Wall's grills. His work has been published in the Los Angeles Times and the Source magazine.