Screw Washington Avenue clubs and their selective admittance. We'd rather hit up downtown and get felt up for guns or knives and listen to some hard-core hip-hop.
11:15 p.m., Saturday:
We met up with V-Zilla at Toc-Bar because his studio, or as he puts it, "the dungeon," is nestled underneath the club. He's in some kind of managerial position there and gets us a couple of shots before having some real talk.
We chase it down with some beer and the next thing you know, we're buzzing ... hard... and everyone is being nice to us. Our name, followed by "of the Houston Press
," is being shouted over the mike and we hear some sporadic cheering and we realize that contributing to the Houston Press
has some serious perks... for the ego at least.
Focus, Rolando, you're here to do some serious reporting. So we stumble down to the club's cold basement with Zilla and he plays us tracks from his catalog from the last five years or so and he lets us hear some other artists who aren't even on the underground radar and we start to suspect that the best rappers in Houston may be artists no one's ever heard of.
He tells us how the industry has slept on him (and we agree). Then we start getting mad like Chris Farley in Black Sheep
when he is smoking with the Jamaican guys: "So anyway, what you're saying, I'm the man, whitey, and you guys are the victims of a tyrannical, racist, oppressive society. Man, that sucks! I'm gonna talk to some people, straighten this out, man. It's a bunch of bullcrap!"
|That Is Arch the Dawg up there... yes, we know it's blurry.|
On our way back up to the bar, pissed off, and we get pleasantly distracted by the bartender offering us another beer. Carolyn Rodriguez messages us that she's on our way and Coast does so at the same time that he's soon on his way up to the stage. So that false confidence that you can accomplish the impossible when you're buzzing kicks in and we think, "Yeah, we'll hit up Jet and we'll just figure out a way to be two places at the same time. Yeah, we're good."
We get to Jet Lounge and Mike Menendez, who heads up a hot party and concert seriescalled "Real Talk,"
meets us at the door and tells us "Hey, thanks for coming. I'm glad you came," and after an initial feeling of confusion, it hits me that he sent us an email weeks earlier inviting me to this very concert that we never responded to it for whatever reason so we act like we know what we're doing there when it was really by strange coincidence. Sorry Mike, but you did throw a hell of a party.
We lose track of time.
A group from Galena Park we saw almost five years ago at a Southwest-side bar takes the stage. They're called E.O.D. We don't recognize one of the guys because he seems heavier, but in a good way, like he's grown up. Then we see ourselves in the mirror and realize we've gained weight and not in a good way, like we're aging.
The other half is a dude called Arch the Dawg and he does his whole set in Spanish. We remember that Arch is from Monterrey, Mexico and we realize we might have to eat our words from last Wednesday's blog that Mexican or Latin-American rappers won't resonate with the streets as much as a Spanish rapper from the streets of Houston. He does his thing and we want to know more and we will, eventually.