UPDATED to correct the library name (11:25 a.m.) Swishahouse's influence on Houston hip-hop is infinite and unquantifiable. Today, the label moved a step closer to cementing its legacy by becoming the first hip-hop imprint archived at Rice University's Fondren Library
The pivotal North Houston label, co-founded by Michael "5000" Watts and OG Ron C, has issued platinum albums by Paul Wall and Mike Jones, as well as a slew of mixtapes and singles in its 15-year existence. The collection captures the spirit of Swishahouse with a wide range of memorabilia.
The label has also become a key player in the Houston community, sponsoring annual health screenings and awareness showcases -- a factor Swishahouse CEO G-Dash credits for their latest honor.
"Our contributions to the Texas hip-hop culture and Southern hip-hop is undeniable," Dash says via email. He adds that it's what helped solidify Swishahouse as a top hip-hop label in Texas.
"Our community outreach work with CCM Foundation and the Houston S.E.A.C.'s 'Don't Sleep On It' campaign in raising awareness on the syphilis epidemic that affects so many Houstonians has allowed our movement to be recognized musically, as well as, philanthropically," Dash says.
In the hip-hop tradition of giving props where props is due, he shouts out the mastermind behind this project, Dr. Anthony Pinn, professor of Humanities & Religious Studies at Rice. If Pinn's name rings a bell it's because you probably remember him as Professor Bun B's academic Jedi.
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Some of the materials being archived include: CDs, tapes, flyers, posters, rare photos, awards, etc.
"This was a great honor for us," says G-Dash, "because not only is this providing the origin and achievements of our brand for future generations of scholars, musicians, and artists, but our families, kids, grandkids, and their kids will be able to go a and research, read, and see what we accomplished, not only as an underground label, but as young black entrepreneurs who turned a mixtape hustle in the late '90s into a muti-million dollar business."