Rock vs. Rap: Who Really Ruled H-Town?

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The early to mid-'90s were good times for underground music in Houston. At clubs like the Axiom, the Vatican and Fitzgerald's, an eclectic mix of punk, metal, funk and ska bands like deadhorse, Sprawl and more regularly played packed shows in front of 500+ fans.

Much has changed since, but those of us who were stuck in junior-high detention back then are in luck. A fascinating new documentary called "When We Ruled H-Town," co-directed by J. Schneider from bong-toting rockers Taste of Garlic, takes a nostalgic look back at those heady days in the pre-Napster era when it seemed inevitable that someone, ANYONE from Houston's thriving underground rock scene would blow up big nationally and put the city on the map. That scenario never quite happened, but it wasn't for lack of talent. Check out the film's premiere on Thursday to learn more.

There was much more bubbling up from the underground in Houston in the early '90s than just rock, of course. The Geto Boys were helping to kick off the rise of Dirty South hip-hop, and DJ Screw and the Screwed Up Click were hard at work twisting rap in an incredible new psychedelic direction. Ask anyone about Houston's musical legacy of the past 20 years, and these names are bound to pop up.

There wasn't a lot of overlap between the rock and hip-hop scenes, but that's not to say there was none at all, according to Schneider.


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New Doc The Art Of Rap Spills Hip-Hop's Secrets

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Rap wasn't always like Lil Jon's yelling his famous "What!?" and "Okay!", or repeating your name over and over throughout the song like Houston's own Lil Flip.

Nowadays most see rap as lyrics telling a woman how to position herself or look for a man, rhymes about money and talk of toking up. But the art of rap had to derive from somewhere. There must be a method to the madness.

Co-directed by Ice-T, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, is a feature-length documentary about the runaway sound known as rap music, and an official selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The film will be released in theaters on June 15, including a 12:01 a.m. screening next Friday at the AMC Gulf Pointe 30 (11801 E. S. Sam Houston Pkwy.).


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