Slim Thug is exceptionally tall. I am not exceptionally tall. I'm moderately below average height.
The obvious had to be stated first. The complimentary statement behind that is Slim Thug backing into your foot when he's overwhelmed with joy immediately renders you still. You have to smile next to Slim Thug after he inadvertently steps on your foot because he's Slim Thug. If he's in a celebratory mood, so are you. That's how life sort of works around him.
Tuesday night people flocked to a Monroe Houston, a posh new club on Waugh, to watch not only a documentary but indulge in a brand new Slim Thug album. Club attire was proper; coming as you are was proper. Making sure you at least wore one piece of gold jewelry with the face of Christ on it was proper. The main aspect of seeing Slim Thug telling his story on four jagged screens is pretty interesting, even when on paper it shouldn't work.
Then again, a lot of Hogg Life Vol. 1 shouldn't work on paper. The entire project is broken down into four separate albums and a two-part documentary, maybe even more. The film was shot by DJ Young Samm, a Boss Hogg Outlaw affiliate who wheeled and dealed with the undergroup Break Dem Boyz Off before fixating himself to the titles of DJ and videographer. Under his direction, there's plenty of Slim Thug's backstory spills out, not just from Slim himself but family members, friends, close associates from the music industry here and more.
At one point during the early portions of Hogg Life Vol, 1, Slim admits to being involved in plenty of petty crimes, serving jail time for stealing cars among other small crimes. "I wasn't into sports at all," he says in the documentary while flipping through childhood images of him posing in a basketball jersey, organized apparently. "I'd rather be on the block...I wasn't trying to stay after school 'cause there was so much action on the block."
As a film, Hogg Life Vol. 1 captures plenty in the life of Slim Thug before "Still Tippin" made him, Paul Wall and Mike Jones citywide treasures known to an entire nation. There's also the origin of how Slim came into the Swishahouse fold, performing one night at the old All Star and meeting OG Ron C and Michael Watts thanks to Lil Mario. And how after he made plenty of money off his I Represent tape in 1998 -- his first official Swishahouse flow, with Mario and J-Dawg and heard on Swisha '98 -- he eventually split from the House and formed Boss Hogg Outlaws. Other nostalgic bits include shots of the Kappa Beach Party and how Watts and company figured making a mixtape built around Da Kappa was almost too good an idea to pass up.
Of note, there are probably a few Houston rap parents who can be found on someone's old Kappa tapes doing something terrible, but that's neither here nor there.
Story continues on the next page.
Young Slim Thug cared about cars, mostly ones that shined; the same can be said for him today, his black and grey Phantom bending corners with smooth-handling ease. Hogg Life Vol. 1 serves as a time warp, a look into the days of the Houston rap many of its current stars grew up on. It's weird to look back and remember there was a serious Northside/Southside problem, and that it was E.S.G. and Slim Thug who broke bread and started a label together. It's scary yet heartwarming to see.
As an album, the first quarter of Hogg Life centers around tracks created by GL Productions, the tandem behind a few of Slim's recent radio hits. It's upward and downward, but not exactly shape-shifting. A slew of tracks (four, to be exact) from what could have been his and Z-Ro's King and a Boss tape appear on the first portion of Hogg Life as well as guest verses from Chayse, Sosamann, Propain and the Sauce Twinz.
The caveat behind the album? It's the first of four. The second comes with more in-Houston production; the third is solely produced by Big K.R.I.T.; and number four is centralized to random producers at large.
"If we have to release one tape all four quarters, then that's what we'll do," Slim said as onlookers murmured about the sheer wealth of new tracks set to land this year.
Just another Boss moment for a rather happy Boss individual.
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