The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We headed over to K-Rino's album release party Sunday night and, lo and behold, Icey Hott from Street Military made a surprise guest appearance.
Even though we had no idea what he looked like (the only picture we'd ever seen of him was from the cover of Don't Give A Damn
, where his face is hidden by shadows), as soon as we heard his name announced by the DJ we sprung up to find him. We asked the DJ to point him out and he literally said, "I don't know where he went. He's wearing a shirt and jeans." Oh, so he's pretty much everyone in here, we thought. Whatev. We eventually found him and chatted him up proper.
This Week's Rapper:
This Week's Subject(s):
What if DJ Screw were alive today?
Ask A Rapper: We're all aware how influential DJ Screw was; we can skip past those platitudes. Let's say Screw could take a peek at what's going with Houston's rap culture today, what do you think he'd say. How would he feel?
Icey Hott: Well, you know. I feel like Screw would be proud of the city like he always was. As a DJ, he wanted to get everyone heard. We got a lotta hot records in the city right now; Screw would've been getting 'em out there.
I feel like Houston should have status like New York does. I feel like the major labels need to storm down here and set up spots so Houston artists can get in front of them. Radio puts 'em in the mix, but that's really as far as it goes. We need bigger, you know. Screw would want that just like everyone else wants that. That's why he was so loved. He was always out there playing our music.
AAR: So, basically, if Screw were here he'd be helping organizing all of everything again? Streamlining operations, we suppose?
IH: Well, yeah. There's a lot of DJs that have been loyal to us too, and that's good. And we play artists from other cities too. But in the process of taking care of the world, the world needs to take care of us. That's what Screw did. Screw took care of us.
Every year that he's gone it's like we lost an opportunity for another Houston artist that should've been big to get there. He would've been handling his business like that now like he always was.
AAR: You were heavy in it around the time Screw was. Tell us about a time you were together with him. Like, what was he like in person? How'd he act around lesser known acts? Things like that. You all worked a bit together, right?
IH: Yeah, he mixed our records and that. Me and Klondike chilled over there while we was working. One time I spent my birthday with him. I was in the parking lot at Cornbread's and it was my birthday and he just came up to me and gave me a hundred dollars. [laughs] That's how he was. He was muddy in them streets, and he gave me a little of that mud [laughs].
We hung out and was talking about doing a mixtape but it was my birthday and I just wanted to chill. We was just enjoying each other's company, you know.
There will never be nobody like Screw. It was an era. What he did was a lifestyle. You see different DJs, I'm a DJ right, and I'll slow stuff down or play slow stuff, but I don't stick on that. Other DJs don't stick on that. That's what Screw did. That's how he created it. When Screw screwed it down, everybody else did it too.
That's why they call it Screw music and not slowed music. He's the reason we have it. He stuck on it. Just like there'll never be another [Tupac] or another Biggie, there'll never be another Screw.
For you historians out there, Icey Hott let it be known that Street Military just might be releasing some unheard material that they recorded back in their heyday. To order individual copies, you can reach him at email@example.com.