San Antonio Director Taps Houston Rappers For Powderkids

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

San Antonio independent film director Buddy Calvo of Machina Cinema is all about his city. He films movies in his city and uses local city talent to make those movies, but when it comes to his flicks' soundtracks ... let's just say they couldn't be any more Houston.

Such was the case with Calvo's 2010 hit The Powderkids, a film about an academically troubled college student who returns home to find his high-school friends deeply involved in the drug trade. Our own rap underground has its signature all over it.

The films crew reached out to Rocks Off several months before the film was completed, and we sent them a slew of artists to consider. Four made the cut:

Talented businessman and longtime veteran Lucky Luciano; former Jay-Z signee Aztek Escobar; the highly celebrated Preemo; and the fast-rising Mayalino all found their tracks on key scenes in Powderkids, which generated lots of buzz in the San Antonio media and closed the San Antonio Local Film Festival.

"It seemed like hip-hop was the right kind of vibe for the film, even though the cast was little more [Caucasian]," says Calvo. "This soundtrack and story could have worked in Brooklyn with an all-black cast and people might have thought it'd make more sense, but when I was playing it my mind, nothing else seemed to fit.

"I love hip-hop. The main complement besides the technical aspect of the film was that the music was the coolest they've ever heard."

Right now, Calvo doesn't have a hard soundtrack CD to offer fans of the film, but he tells Rocks Off it's an idea that's brewing among the artists, and he plans on reaching out to the soundtrack's contributors to discuss the idea. No need to worry. Rocks Off has Houston's representation.

We sat down with Calvo to discuss his music selection for the film.

Lucky Luciano, feat. Dat Boit T and Bunz, "Rendezvous":

"After a long day of shooting, we'd throw that song on in particular. It's a tough song. It's smart. It's innovative. When it drops and he starts rapping, it's heavy. It's a heavy tune."

Aztek Escobar, "Hey":

"Aztek's [track] was one of the first ones we threw around for the trailer. It's gritty and street and when I closed my eyes I kept seeing the drug dealers driving around and popping that track in. It has just that right kind of drug, hip-hop, street feel."

Mayalino feat. Drojo, "Hustlas of the Same Kind":

"That track up until two weeks before the film dropped was the ending track of the film where the screen goes black. I love that track. It was perfect. It comes off hard. It synced up right for the film. We went with Preemo's because it was more mainstream, but Mayalino's track went along the lines of Aztek's. It's a tough street track. It's a damn good song."

Preemo, "Kites," "The Day Dream" and

"To Pass The Time"


"Preemo's the bomb. I don't have anything else to say." Note: but he does. "By far, the best rapper I've ever heard that's not driving a Bentley. It was really cool and refreshing to hear Preemo's stuff not be anything like [traditional Houston rap]. It's like someone dropped someone into the essence of Kanye West. The problem with Preemo is everybody doesn't know him. The whole world doesn't know him."

That's kind of changing fast.

Email Rolando Rodriguez at rolandorodriguezjr22 at gmail dot com.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.