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GRiT Boys, Ghetto Reality in Texas

An evening with Houston's GRiT Boys
By The Handicapped Chef, Carlton Haynes

It's always a good idea to judge people by the way that they look, right? Well, it turns out that once-infallible methodology may be kind of, well, wrong. At first glance, the GRiT Boys appear to be more of the ­stereotype-reinforcing thug rappers who are strangling hip-hop's originality to death, when in fact they are quite the opposite. Smart, well-thought-out and clever lyricists, the GRiT Boys are vanguard rappers looking to rebuild Houston's reputation as a hotbed of innovative artists.

GRiT Boys: Combating weak shit when not enjoying Rice Krispie treats
GRiT Boys, Ghetto Reality in Texas, Houston local musicMake no mistake: Houston has a sound. It always has. It's that slow, aggressive bump and confrontational bang. Now, it appears a new breed of Houston music is bubbling up that's fresh, provocative, real and available on the GBs' brand-new CD, Ghetto Reality in Texas. The Chef recently sat down with Scooby, Poppy, Unique, their producer Todd and the rest of the GB team at the Sound Check Music Complex to get the latest from the streets.

The Chef: You guys have been rapping for about seven years. One of the most interesting parts of rappers is what they do when they aren't living the fantastic life of being famous thugged-out gangster rappers. Like, do gangsters enjoy ice cream and playing ping-pong or whatever?

Todd: Not in that order.

Poppy: Well, I don't know about everyone else, but I like Rice Krispie treats.

The Chef: That's so badass. That should be your next CD cover. Does everyone have daytime jobs?

Unique: We all have daytime jobs.

Todd: It's the reality of the situation. A lot of people watch TV and think the rap game is all sweet. We work hard.

The Chef: So what does everybody do?

Todd: ...Scooby?

Scooby: Shiiiiit.

Unique: [Scooby] is a cable man*, I lay carpet and [Poppy] works at a tennis shop.

(*Scooby later explained that he is not an actual cable man. He works with the cable receiver boxes; he doesn't actually "knock on doors and shit.")

The Chef: A tennis shop? Like, Serena ­Williams-type tennis? Let me get this straight — rappers eat Rice Krispies treats and play tennis?

Poppy: I work in shipping and receiving in a tennis shop. I ain't never fucked with tennis a day in my life.

Scooby: What's crazy is that work reality just set in. At first we was just bullshitting. Broke. Thinking some shit was just gonna come to us. All these niggas is lying sayin' they got all this money. That shit is dumb. I have no problem working. I got bills to pay, feel me.

The Chef: So talk about the sound. It's not your typical Houston stuff. It's more introspective. It's complicated. The structure is still there, but it's a new feel. Slightly East Coast digitized with Houston swag minus the thuggery. Is that something that you made an effort towards?

Scooby: We've just always been dope rappers, regardless.

The Chef: That's the best answer, ever.

Todd: It's a streetwise feel. Someone who knows the dope dealer can sit with the dope dealer but ain't a dope dealer. Someone who knows a pimp can sit with a pimp but ain't a pimp.

Unique: It's just talent. We put thought towards reality. No swangin', no bangin'.

Todd: The mentors, too, they played a part. Hawk, Lil'O. If you ever listened to their material, they were always trying to do a well-rounded album. That rubs off on you.

Scooby: That boy Hawk was our biggest mentor. We was on the road with him. It was a process. The Screwed Up Click movement brought everyone to the light. Hawk took us on everything he was doin'. If he was performing he wanted five mikes, one for each of the GRiT boys, you know what I'm saying? He'd give us a nice chunk from the show, everybody eatin', everybody sippin' drank, everybody smokin' weed. That boy really showed us how to share. How to be real. Hawk did that.

The Chef: So gimme some juice. Who do you all hate? Where's the beef?

Scooby: You know what we really, just, really don't like?

The Chef: What's that?

Scooby: Bitch-ass niggas.

The Chef: Pfft. Who does?

Scooby: Nah, it's like, they wanna...they know you jammin', they know you hard, you know what I'm saying?

The Chef: Umm...not quite you tell me.

Scooby: It's like, they know that you got everything that could make you bigger than them, but they don't wanna fuck with you because you could pass them up. But then they act like you still cool with them. They ain't your friends but you kinda gotta be cool with them 'cause you gotta see them people everyday. It's like your boss, you know what I'm saying? You could be the best worker, but he's gonna mess with you 'cause he don't want you to get past his position.

The Chef: So basically, my boss is a bitch-ass nigga? Got it.

Scooby: Ha. Nah, I'm saying, that's how niggas is.

Todd: I'll go on record and say that I don't like the Houston music scene. It's not sincere.

The Chef: That's what I was curious about. Because from the outside looking in, it seems like it's love all the way around, like one big happy family.

Todd: No. It's not sincere.

Scooby: There's certain...we ain't gotta say no names. There's certain rappers that are real and are cool, but all these other niggas is fake, so it's a relationship you gotta work. It ain't nobody specific, but there's certain niggas, they famous, whatever, you know what I'm sayin'? But they do little girl shit. They holla at you when it's convenient for them, you know, when they want you to do something. But then, when you try to get with them they don't hit you back. That ain't real, dawg. These famous niggas came from the same point you at, but they act like they forgot about that shit.

Todd: I feel like a lot of people go get in their corner and laugh and point fingers, like, "Ha, ha. I knew they weren't gonna do it." You know what I'm saying?

Scooby: Them niggas be doin' weak shit. Like, sayin', "Go get them" or "Don't use them" or "Put them on the radio." They be trying to hull us. They be doin' that to everybody.

Todd: I don't think they're trying to just hull us. For some reason, people in Houston don't get that if we worked all together we would go a lot further. We need to make one big independent label. I help you, you help me. But it's gonna be hard to get to, y'know. But if we could do that, no one could touch Houston.

So there go you people watch out for these boys they are up and coming in the world of hip hop nothing going to hold them down don't forget the name, The GRiT Boys.

I Want to take this time to thank all these guys for spending time with me your boy The Handicapped Chef .

The Handicapped Chef, Carlton Haynes is owner of Triple H Catering and Consulting service/ for more information E-mail us

Views: 59

Comment by mr.shadeed on June 16, 2008 at 9:48am
Good Interview! The Chef never ceases to amaze me, when your first exclusive is LL Cool J, I know the sky is the limit for you! I'm gonna get with you this week sometime in the evening, you know we got a lot of stuff to talk about with the different stuff going on....


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