Lords of H-Town
Houston's influential hip-hop scene gets its close-up in fascinating new book
After spending the better part of a decade documenting the everyday lives of the artists, community leaders, producers and family members that make up Houston's influential hip-hop community, photographer Peter Beste and author Lance Scott Walker are finally seeing their new book,Houston Rap, hit the shelves.
If Beste's previous book project is any indication — he shot the excellent True Norwegian Black Metal, wherein Carpathian Forest's Nattefrost was captured smearing himself with his own excrement just moments after he smoked heroin, among other indelible images — we can be assured that his photographs will show the legends of the Dirty South in all their guts and glory.
We can be assured that Beste's photographs will show the legends of the Dirty South in all their guts and glory.
Alongside the likes of performers Bun B, Big Mike, Willie D, Lil' Troy and Paul Wall, as well as late legends including DJ Screw, Pimp C and Big Hawk, Houston Rap profiles the influential community that artists were immersed in and gives the scene its proper place in the American pop-culture canon.
The authors accomplish this in no small part with the inclusion of a timeline that covers the history of Houston rap music from the beginning of the 20th century. Many of Beste's images of the contemporary Houston scene, which have not been exhibited or published before, are included as well.
As the photographer recently told The Source, "We made an effort to present a larger picture rather than just focus on typical rap/hip-hop topics. We purposely reached out to those who are aware of how these communities have been historically overlooked and even directly targeted by ‘the powers that be’ in an effort to keep them subservient and unable to fight back.”