July 29, 2017
It’s impossible to cram three decades’ worth of scene-defining hip-hop into a single night, but the South Park Coalition gave it a hell of a shot at their big anniversary show on Saturday night. Why not? The word “impossible” has never stopped them before. Houston’s original rap clique has blazed funky trails since hip-hop’s introduction to the city, and their approach to every obstacle has remained unchanged
A thick crowd of longtime fans poured into Warehouse Live’s Studio room right around dusk to see all of the Southside OGs back together again. A lot of the people who showed up were friends and family, part of the extensive support networks that have allowed guys like Point Blank, PSK-13, and Murder One to keep doing their thing for so long. It was easy to imagine most of the crowd hanging out together back in high school a million years ago. But not everybody in the room grew up near MacGregor Park. There were comparatively younger fans there, too — white and Latino — who looked happiest of all to be a part of a special night.
“Y’all know I don’t drink no alcohol,” said K-Rino as he sipped from a straw after introducing Nation of Islam minister Abdul Haleem Muhammad — better known to many as Minister Robert Muhammad.
“I want to make that clear, “K-Rino continued, smiling. “That’s plain cranberry juice.”
Dressed in an ISUPK headdress and combat boots, Dope-E was a menacing presence on the mike, and the Black Israelites backing him up never cracked a smile. Egypt-E and DJ Fire took turns scratching the hell out of some records up there, turning in a bone-hard performance that was an instant highlight of the show.
Many, many more acts would follow. Somebody was selling T-shirts with the SPC’s entire roster listed on the back, and it looked like about 100 people. As artists rolled through one after another, it was hard not to distill their sets down to a single memory, like the adorable little girl dancing with a Chucky doll as Chucky the Killa did his thing. PSK-13 shouting out the Ridgemont 4 projects, or Pat and Hawk’s sister Miss Fine as Wine turning up for an appropriately gospel-inflected number.
Klondike even dropped down for an impromptu
Murder One kept things going next, and then, I shit you not, the one and only Freeway Ricky Ross came out
Everyone did. Cl’Che nearly had to be dragged away from the stage after showing off her unbreakable flow and precious pipes in front of folks who hadn’t even looked at their watches by 1 a.m. Like a big chunk of the SPC, co-founding member Ganksta NIP arrived armed with new music, and “Houston, We Back” and “Come Together” proved to be tight songs of encouragement rather removed from his psychopathic classics. Hardcore fans seemed satisfied, nonetheless.
It was past closing time when K-Rino finally hit the stage, dressed in a suit to mark the formal occasion of his legacy’s anniversary. His first song was a characteristically lithe retelling of the SPC story, including the near-mythic battle to end all battles between himself and Ganksta NIP on the corner of Bellfort and MLK back when Jones and
Personal Bias: I was at the
The Crowd: Southsiders and hardcore rap fans.
Overheard in the Crowd: “Do you remember that Insane Clown Posse show where the guy got kicked through the window here?”
Random Notebook Dump: I tried to keep a running tally of the most underrated