Houston Rap: Photographs by Peter Beste

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9781938265051: Houston Rap: Photographs by Peter Beste

The Houston, Texas, neighborhoods of Fifth Ward, Third Ward and South Park have grown to be hallowed ground for modern rap culture, populated with celebrities, entrepreneurs, support networks and a micro-economy of their own. Photographer Peter Beste (photographer of True Norwegian Black Metal) and writer Lance Scott Walker spent nine years documenting the most influential style in twenty-first-century hip hop and the vibrant inner city culture from which it stems. Houston Rap, edited by Johan Kugelberg, profiles noted artists such as Bun B of UGK, Z-Ro, Big Mike, K-Rino, Willie D of the Geto Boys, Lil’ Troy and Paul Wall, alongside reflections on the lives of departed legends such as DJ Screw, Pimp C and Big Hawk. The book also features community leaders, rappers, producers, businessmen and family members, all providing an astonishing and important insight into a great American cultural narrative. In addition to featuring Beste’s previously unseen images of the contemporary Houston rap scene, Houston Rap includes a detailed timeline charting the growth of rap music in Houston from its origins to the present.

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Review:

In their book Houston Rap photographer Peter Beste and writer Lance Scott Walker introduce the world to the heavy bass and slowed-down sounds that perfectly fit the city's sweltering climate. (BBC)

'Houston Rap,' the book, is a handsome collection of photos by Peter Beste and interviews by Lance Scott Walker that capture the city’s hip-hop history in full. (Jon Carananica The New York Times)

Peter Beste is a Houston-born photographer with a love for the early Houston rap sound. Some time after college, he was drawn back to the scene, and reached out to some of the area’s unsung heroes to tell Houston’s story beyond the syrup, cars, and bass. (Jordan Lebeau FRANK 151)

Having spent nine years documenting its culture, photographer Peter Beste will release Houston Rap – a hardcover 272-page book that provides an intimate look into the everyday life of Texas’s most notable hip-hop community. (Roberts Marshalll Hypebeast)

Houston Rap, the second release from Sinecure Books (available Nov. 15th), takes a look at everyday life in the Houston Hip Hop community. It features the stunning photography of Peter Beste who, along with writer Lance Scott Walker immersed themselves into the culture, spending 9 years documenting it. The book contains profiles of Houston notables such as Bun B, UGK, Z-Ro, K-Rino, Big Mike, Lil’ Troy, Paul Wall and Willie D of The Geto Boys as well as legends who have since passed, like DJ Screw, Big Hawk and Pimp C. It strolls through the sacred neighborhoods such as Fifth Ward, Third Ward and South Park, exploring the everyday goings on with rappers, producers, community leaders, family members, and businessmen. This insight into the culture has never been documented like this before. Touching not just Hip Hop stories, but weaving a tale of the special American narrative of this culture and human life itself, Houston Rap explores the real life told through the lyrics of the music itself. (Dj Prestige Flea Market Funk)

A look into the popular and influential Houston rap scene will be hitting shelves worldwide in the very near future. Houston Rap is 8 years of images and interviews collected by photographer Peter Beste and writer Lance Scott Walker all fit in to a 272 page book edited by Johan Kugelberg. With profiles of many of the biggest all the way down to the lesser known entities involved in the Houston rap scene and a foreword provided by the Trill OG himself Bun B this book is a must have. (Antwuan Flanders SOFADELICS)

Peter Beste formerly made an awesome book about the Norwegian black metal scene, but in his newest work, Beste focuses his lens on his syrup-drenched hometown of Houston, TX. Via Noisey: Page-big photos that accompany a breadth of interviews, with Walker talking to effectively everyone from around then (between about 1985 to last year) and getting good info out of them. There’s good stuff from big names like Scarface and Bun B (who wrote the intro) to Chingo Bling and whoever your favorite Houston rapper is to KB Da Kidnappa to what seems like the better half of South Park Coalition. After reading this book, you’ll know how the Geto Boys (née Ghetto) were formed and evolved; about the last days of DJ Screw’s life, about Pimp C’s talents, about Willie D’s mom stabbing a white man in the 1960s, and about ill-fated tours to St. Louis and a thorough explanation of most facets of the after-hours (read: strip club) phenomenon. You’ll learn that DJ Screw’s dad goes by Pappa Screw and that he refers to his deceased son as Screw, and that O.G. Style predated Ghetto Boys as far as rap went in Houston and that Z-Ro has what look like Audioengine A2 speakers with the yellow cones in his room. Talk of life in the Third and Fifth Wards and South Park, Houston neighborhoods and home to a lot of the principals involved, is interspersed throughout, and it sings. (The Daily Swarm)

"This is a book mostly about America. Beste and Walker's subjects and photos speak for themselves, and leafing through HOUSTON RAP is like breaking into a neighborhood and eavesdropping into its conversation...it's almost like Studs Terkel's 'Working' but about people in Houston who may or may not have been rappers and musicians: Their lives are in this book." (Noisey/Vice)

The Houston Rap Book Has Some of the Greatest Rap Photography You'll Ever See. This is an art book, yes, and it’d be a mistake to second-bill the photography here. Beste, of course, has been taking these photos for a while―some of them you may have seen in a VICE photo issue from seven years back. (He also produced the True Norwegian Black Metal video series for Vice, which was based on his book.) Houston Rap seems at first a bit of a stretch as far as subject matter goes, but it’s not that different. The access in both books is incredible, and the context for these images are the best out of any subculture books out there. Are these things all in the frame? Is that baby actually sitting on the counter next to that small plate? (Snake Noisey)

A new book chronicling Houston’s ever-fertile hip-hop scene is on its way via independent publishing house Sinecure Books. Houston Rap features photos by Peter Beste, words from Lance Scott Walker and a foreword from Bun B, who says the forthcoming tome “defines Houston hip-hop.” Its publisher promises Houston Rap “profiles many of the biggest names in the game, including Bun B of UGK, Willie D of the Geto Boys, Lil’ Troy, and Paul Wall of Swishahouse, alongside reflections on legends such as DJ Screw, Pimp C, and Big Hawk.” Two exclusive editions are being sold direct through Sinecure―one housed in a slipcase accompanied by a DJ Screw 7” and a deluxe bundle featuring a DJ Screw double-LP, a DVD, a tote bag, the aforementioned 7”, a bonus publication of oral histories and a signed print by photographer Peter Beste. (East Village Radio)

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