The Rocks Off 200: Noon, Rapper With a Lot on His Mind
Who? The Houston rapper who goes by Noon, or Noonston, has a pretty compelling tale to tell and an easy flow, so we'll just let him take it from the top, as unfiltered as one of his rhymes. Here he is:
Photos by Marco Torres
Who I am is a question I think I just figured out. My whole life has been one big ball of confusion. I'm very proud to say I'm from the Houston Heights -- not the Heights people know today, though, I'm talking back when the street lights didn't work and we moved from duplex to duplex. Confusion started the day I was born. I was switched at birth with my cousin DJ ill-Set, who was also born on the same day in that same hospital.
I grew up this half-white, half-Colombian kid who loved everything about hip-hop. My parents used my grandmother's address to put me in a better school, and that confused me too. At times I felt out of place because I didn't have the things my classmates had. I thought the friends I had in the neighborhood were good enough, and I didn't like that I couldn't go to school with them. Plus I think I had the first case of ADHD and I got into a lot of trouble at a young age.
My father was from that old-fashioned school of discipline. So I spent a lot of time grounded to my room. He was the type that took away anything that plugged into a wall, so all I had was paper and homework. I naturally hated homework, so I started writing raps around the age of eight. I thought if I could write cute raps about how great my parents were, I could get off punishment sooner. So for me it started at a very young age. Its always been escape for me.
Home Base: Noon resides in the Scarsdale part of southeast Houston, where he moved at age 15 and is now the location of his newly-opened Fam-Base Studio. "It was out here where I really got my feet into the ground with hip-hop," he says. "We had freestyle sessions every day at lunch and all the pep rallies. I stayed in the same apartment complex as MC and radio host Kiotti. So we would shut it down, so much so they cancelled pep rallies because we got everyone too excited. We always argued that if we were performing country songs the teachers would join in and sing along."
Other nearby personal landmarks in Noon's story are the original SF 2 store near Almeda Mall (back then, it was just SF) and Pablo Garcia's studio The Music Lab, where Noon says he recorded alongside fellow artists Screwed Up Essay, Lil Spill and Chuckstar.
"I'm proud to say that I am a Music Lab alum," he says. "It's out here that I also linked up with Lunaface Promotions, a company that has looked out for me since the day I met them in 2005. It's 2014 now and I'm honored to have title with the company and perform some of the greatest shows Houston has to offer."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "I stay in Houston because it's magnetic," Noon offers. "I've lived in Arkansas and East Texas, but no matter where I go, I just feel Houston pulling me back. This city is so much of who I am that its even become part of my stage name, Noonston Tx. People ask me what that means and it's simple: me and the city are one. That no matter where I go I carry Houston with me.
"My father fled Colombia to make a better life for us and he chose Houston as his home," he adds. "How can I leave that legacy, especially when I'm here carving out my own. Houston is who I am and I'll probably ask for a small piece of it to go in my coffin when I'm laid to rest."
Story continues on the next page.