Welcome 2 Houston
About the BookLangston Collin Wilkins returns to the city where he grew up to illuminate the complex relationship between place, identity, and music in Houston’s hip hop culture. Interviews with local rap artists, producers, and managers inform an exploration of how artists, audiences, music, and place interact to create a heritage that musicians negotiate in a variety of ways. Street-based musicians, avant-garde underground rappers, and Christian artists offer candid views of the scene while Wilkins delves into related aspects like slab, the area’s hip hop-related car culture. What emerges is a portrait of a dynamic reciprocal process where an artist, having identified with and embodied a social space, reproduces that space in a performance even as the performance reconstructs the social space.
A vivid journey through a southern hip hop bastion, Welcome 2 Houston offers readers an inside look at a unique musical culture.
* Publication of this book was supported in part by a grant from the Judith McCulloh Endowment for American Music.
About the AuthorLangston Collin Wilkins is an assistant professor of folklore and African American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Reviews"A culturally rich topography of Black Houston and its heritage. . . . Wilkins' work stands out for its closeness to the ground, its rootedness in the city's people and places. Welcome 2 Houston goes well beyond the beats and rhymes, and even the cars. It's a lived-in academic portrait of a part of the city often overlooked, a community that, through trials and triumphs, is still tippin'." --Houston Chronicle
“In Welcome 2 Houston, Langston Collin Wilkins examines hip hop’s deep connections to space, place, and heritage by weaving interviews, observations, and his own Houston upbringing into a richly informative and emotionally resonant work about an essential part of Black Americana.”--Eric Harvey, author of Who Got the Camera? A History of Rap and Reality