While many collegiate scholars are only just beginning to recognize the cultural impact Hip Hop has made on American culture, Rice University has taken a major step forward to preserve its own Houston Hip Hop history. Now, MTV reports that Rice University has recently set up an archive celebrating the history of North Houston label Swishahouse.
According to the report, Rice’s Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL) has recently put together an archive of memorabilia detailing the history of the famous H-Town label. The collection features recordings, photographs, posters and more that tell the story of the famous label.
“We are delighted to be able to initiate this effort with the materials brought to us by Swishahouse,”said Anthony Pinn, Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies. “You can’t think about hip-hop without giving attention to the brothers [Swishahouse founders G Dash and Michael ‘5000’ Watts] who’ve made this happen.”
In order to best represent the label, Pinn enlisted former Swishahouse emcees Slim Thug and Paul Wall for their input on the project. Both rappers were honored to be involved in the project and are proud to say that they started their respective careers with Mike “5000” Watts and OG Ron C’s imprint.
“I feel like I am the Swishahouse,” Slim Thug said. “I was there from the beginning and a big part of their success. Even after I left, I been back and forth at Rice working on this for a while and I’m proud that something I’m a part of is making history and being archived at a university like Rice. It’s something my kids can look up and see. So I want to thank them for recognizing us and I’m honored to be a part of this.”
Paul Wall added,“It’s an incredible honor to have such a prestigious school like Rice University show love like this…being a part of the Swishahouse journey is something that is still unbelievable to me. We came from Michael Watts’ childhood home-turned-studio…to having myself, Mike Jones, Chamillionaire, and Slim Thug all go platinum. That shows Michael Watts and OG Ron C’s incredible ear for music to discover and develop four platinum acts.”
This isn’t Professor Pinn’s first foray into the world of Hip Hop. The Rice University professor recently collaborated with Bun B on a course at Rice University titled Religion and Hip Hop Culture in America.