Mourning Big H.A.W.K.'s Should've-Been Birthday

Big H.A.W.K. should've been 42-years-old today.

He should've been getting ready to release his newest album, Birds of Pray, the title a play on his name and his unwavering belief in Christ, the music a staunch spine of Houstonisms that Drake would've lovingly sampled in a few years secretly hoping nobody noticed.

He should've been playing big brother to all the new rappers in town, answering their questions and showing up to their events just because, maybe even popping up for guest verses on a few tracks that he deemed worthy.

He should've been explaining to everyone how it was okay for people to rap however they wanted to rap, that a person wasn't running away from or disrespecting Houston's gorgeous rap culture because a thesis statement didn't involve any of the primary localized tenets, and that a person wasn't being uncreative or clichéd if it did.

He should've been figuring out a way to get The Box to play Trae's music, probably crafting some brilliant behind-the-doors argument that made absolute perfect sense to everyone fortunate enough to hear it. When asked about it later in interviews, he'd no doubt have responded with something unfettered and appropriate and cool, something like, "I said what needed to be said."

He should've been super excited about the University of Houston honoring DJ Screw's legacy the way that it is.

He should've been there shaking his head when they closed Screwed Up Tapes and Records, but measured enough to understand that maybe it didn't anymore represent all that it once did.

He should've been on Twitter, with maybe 7,000 followers, absorbing all sorts of clever "Chillin' Wit' My Broad" mentions on Valentine's Day and "Heart of a Hustler" mentions every other day of the year.

He should've been teaching somebody something every single day.

He would've been the Big H.A.W.K. that he was when he was around, a monumental local legend with an enviable amount of clout and an unfathomable amount of insight.

But he would've been 42-years-old today.

Instead of being 6-and-a-half-years passed.

Fuck you, world.

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