Rel The Chosen Throws A Beautiful Release Party
One year ago, a cat named Diamond Dave got at Rocks Off about a fresh new voice in Houston's hip-hop underground, and it was because of that interaction that we wrote a Behind The Lyrics piece on an Alief rapper named Harkore.
Photos courtesy of Jonathan Thomas/Primary Focus Photography
We're still not sure what Diamond Dave's place in the world is but we can tell you he's also the reason we wrote on another fresh voice in Houston's music scene: This time it was Rel The Chosen. It hit us over the weekend, the first and real reason we took notice of Rel was because Diamond Dave introduced us at DJ Premier's show at Numbers last November.
Moral of the story: A Diamond is a hip-hop writer's best friend.
We reconnected with Diamond Dave at Rel The Chosen's Beautiful Music listening party at downtown's Doshi House Studios on Dowling last Thursday. In our write up on Rel's banging mixtape, we joked about the presentation of the CD he gave us being plain. His listening party was nothing of that sort.
An intimate and quaint space with African-American art draping the walls, Doshi House Studios, owned by Deepak Doshi, was dramatically lit up in blue light and filled with a beautiful diversity of good-looking hip-hop lovers of all backgrounds dressed like they were heading to a hip Washington Avenue nightspot. Not what we expected.
Anu Srivastav put Rel's words to canvas.
"We chose the Doshi House because we wanted to set the standard for real hip hop," Rel's publicist Taia Smith told Rocks Off. "Being that the CD is titled Beautiful Music, what a great way to set the vibe, merging the love of the hip-hop culture with live art."
Upon entrance, a lovely local painter, Anu Srivastav, was giving her artistic interpretation of Beautiful Music on canvas. Call it a musical review in paint.
"Anu Srivastav paints the majority of her pieces to music, so it was a great way to get her interpretation of Beautiful Music," Smith said.
DJ GoodGrief spun Beautiful Music on the turntables and the gospel and soulful samples that drove the beats of Rel's mixtape married with the blue light gave the room a heavenly effect, while Rel's head-bopping lyrical delivery gave it the right amount of crunk.