Newest Rap Fans: Cranky Old White Galvestonians

The latest fans of rap music? Old white people who hate public housing.

In Galveston, at any rate. The Galveston County Daily News reports that opponents to the plans to rebuild Ike-ravaged public housing units have been e-mailing a 2005 video of the song "Hustlers and Paperchasers," a video that features all kinds of rap-type activity in those housing units.

The chorus: "We're from the land of killers and thugs/ G's and moneymakers/People from Galveston Island are hustlers and paper chasers." Shocking, yes. Plus the video includes black people waving around money!!!

"The video has been making its way into the e-mail in boxes of city officials and residents this week as council members prepared to approve the release of $25 million in federal money to the Galveston Housing Authority to rebuild public housing," the Daily News reports.

The artist who made the video now owns a barber shop and says it's ridiculous that critics are using the song as allegedly showing what goes on in the housing projects.

"The guy in the video, he's just a character," Clint Bell said. "He's not me."
The video now includes a disclaimer saying it is fiction and any other interpretation is "simply ludicrous and absurd!"

(That's on top of the original disclaimer, which warned viewers they were about to see "ballin' [and] wildin' out" and that "the footage may cause jealousy, envy, diarrhea and high blood pressure...HATERS DO NOT PROCEED!!"

A group of pastors and religious leaders have put out a statement against the use of the video.

"We are dismayed that some people have used the Internet to anonymously post racist comments on opinion surveys and to circulate a 'gangsta rap' video in order to depict public housing residents as dangerous criminals who don't deserve to return to Galveston.

All of our faith traditions tell us that God has a special concern for the poor and He calls on us to assure that all people have access to the necessities of life, including decent housing."
Authorities in Galveston are trying to decide whether and how to replace 569 housing units ravaged by Ike.

Some critics don't want them rebuilt at all; others prefer they be scattered rather than built in large complexes. The controversy has been the subject of many heated public hearings.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly