By Stacey Lavender
From hip-hop music’s earliest days, Houston has contributed greatly to the genre’s development. In the 1990s Houston icon DJ Screw gave us “chopped and screwed,” arguably the city’s most notable contribution, but Houston can claim many others. A handful of Houston-area rappers, like Geto Boys, Bun B and Pimp C of UGK, and Paul Wall, have risen to national prominence, but the overarching contributions of Houston to the rap scene often remain overlooked. To preserve and highlight Houston’s rich hip hop legacy, the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections began collecting primary source materials on the genre in 2010 when curator Julie Grob established Houston Hip Hop as a collecting area.
The newest accession, acquired in the spring of 2015, is the Peter Beste and Lance Scott Walker Houston Rap Collection, which contains materials gathered and produced during the creation of Beste and Walker’s book Houston Rap. This large and varied collection documents the rise of Houston hip hop and the people and communities behind the music, making it an exciting addition to the Houston Hip Hop Collections. These materials will connect with and complement the existing UH hip hop collections in unique ways, providing greater insight into Houston hip hop than they could on their own or in another repository.
Watch the Vice Documentary Screwed in Houston about the history and culture of hip-hop in Houston: