Screwston, Texas

Phil Jackson Words Ring True for Underground Houston Rap

Context: That's The Fury God doing one of those radio-station freestyles that radio stations like to ask rappers to do. It happened right before he performed at The Box's recent Los Magnificos Custom Car Show, alongside four other underground acts.

Why It's Important: Because it might maybe possibly be indicative of things that might maybe possibly be might maybe possibly coming in the near future: Stories.

"Stories," Explained:

In 2005, Phil Jackson and Penguin Books released a memoir entitled The Last Season: A Team In Search of its Soul. It was a good, mostly insightful book written like a longform running diary structured around what Jackson presumed would be his final season as an NBA coach.

There were cool parts, obvs (the Kobe-bashing, which is what most people talked about when talking about the book in the weeks/months after its release, was particularly compelling). And there were smarmy parts too (again, Phil Jackson wrote it). But maybe the most unintentionally interesting moment came when Jackson discussed facing the Detroit Pistons in that year's NBA Finals.

In recounting Detroit's basketball fan mania -- he tells a neat story about Pistons fans standing on the roof of a neighboring hotel, shouting all night towards the hotel where the Lakers were staying so as to disrupt their sleep -- Jackson explains that while the Pistons had experienced success in the past (two NBA championships at the end of the '80s), these were new fans, who were tired of talking about Bill Laimbeer and Isiah Thomas and Vinny Johnson. They weren't unappreciative, they just wanted to experience their own moments, and have their own stories to tell.

And that was the first thing I thought about when I watched that video of Propain rapping at the radio station.

Houston's very best local undergrounders have built undeniable fan bases, groups and groups of young people that want their own stories to tell about their own heroes. And as they (the rappers) grow more and more well known, they (the fans) clamor for those impending stories/moments/experiences more and more.

It's not selfish (I don't think). And it's not ungrateful (definitely not). It's natural. And it's exciting. And what's more: It's beginning to feel inevitable.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Shea Serrano