Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday that isn't a national holiday Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture.
This Week's Panel: Bun B, Z-Ro, Chamillionaire, Lil Flip, E.S.G., Paul Wall, Fat Tony, A.D.D., Matt Sonzala
Not Invited: George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln
This Week's Prompt: One simple, endlessly debatable question: If someone were to build an official Mt. Rushmore of Houston Rap, which four guys get the nod?
High-five to J. Bell, who made a name for himself as a knowledgeable, insightful commenter back during the 25 Most Important Houston Rap Albums of All Time countdown, for coming up with this idea several months ago.
Bun B: J Prince, DJ Screw, Pimp C and Scarface.
Fat Tony: Screw, Fat Pat, UGK. They each innovated musically and stylistically in ways that permeated throughout all of rap music and are still fresh today.
A.D.D.: Big Mello, Scarface, Z-Ro and Big Mello. Big Mello and Scarface were some of the first Houston artists to break in H-Town and people from Houston don't even know. When you mention Bun B, it's automatic that Pimp C is included.
And Z-Ro has held it down for a long-ass time. My homie once told me a very great comparison: Big Mello is like the Big L of Houston. Every rapper knew they were ill, but they both died before the world could really see what they were doing.
Chamillionaire: J. Prince, Bun B, Scarface, Pimp C, DJ Screw.
Rap Round Table: That's five, sir, but we suppose since you've got a Grammy we can add an extra spot for you. #GrammyWinnersMakeTheirOwnRules
Paul Wall: J Prince, UGK, DJ Screw.
RRT: It's kind of neat that, asked completely separate from one another, both Paul and Cham gave nearly the exact same response, right down to the order listed.
Z-Ro: Big Mello, Fat Pat, Big Hawk, Big Moe.
ESG: Screw, Pimp and Bun as one, Scarface, me.
RRT: You're just going to mash Bun and Pimp into one person like no one's going to notice? Cool, cool.
Lil Flip: 1. J. Prince. 2. Scarface. 3. DJ Screw. 4. Lil Flip. Would be the most prolific and iconic figures for Houston rap.
RRT: Squeezed yourself on there, didja? We don't agree with it, but we certainly can respect it, sir.
LF: With my stats - 14 million sold worldwide 10 million ringtones - I don't have to squeeze myself. Facts are facts. You said Houston rap, not just rappers. Who put H-Town on the map? J. Prince formed Rap-A-Lot and then signed Scarface who is a legend and blew up. After Rap-A-Lot came DJ [Screw] and the Screwed Up Click. DJ Screw was the second most influential person of H-Town rap. Then came me. Those are the four.
Now, if it was room for more, there would be more. But me, I can go do a hood show and get 5 Gs, then the next day I can 30 Gs from a frat show or go to Europe and get 50 Gs. A few rappers stay in H-Town but wasn't born there. I'm headed to a frat show now. I'm just glad my appeal reaches all ethnic groups. So I hustle harder, have more power.
RRT: That's pretty danged impressive, sir.
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LF: Thanks. Peep this: I'm on Def Jam Vendetta, the TV show Las Vegas. I'm on [the] Blade: Trinity soundtrack (I did a song with Wu-Tang). I did "Naughty Girl" with Beyonce. I actually enjoy your questions, though. Be safe.
Matt Sonzala: Scarface, Willie D, Bushwick and J. Prince, no disrespect to Bun B.
But if it were up to me, it'd be K-Rino, Willie D, Bun B and Steve Fournier and/or J. Prince. To limit [it] to four is insane. If you wanna go for those who really lead Houston rap, then it's J. Prince, DJ Screw, Michael Watts and Steve Fournier. That being said, no one ever said life is fair. If someone actually built it, they'd make sure to make it a travesty.