Monday, November 17, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
“Texas plates don't hate, showing up in the state…”
I’ve always had a soft spot for this video.
There's the motif of the spinning Houston skyline and a lot of bounding Lincoln town cars (“Running lights shining bright, floating smooth as a kite/ Trunk cracked Fat Pat, breaking all haters hats”). The dancers are all nice-looking and not so rehearsed that they lose their humanity and I imagine the grove that they’re grinding in has a picnic shelter just off-camera.
But lest we float away on the hook ("I just wanna drop it, aaaa-aall night long"), note that the “Pat” in the video’s “family intro” is wearing a tee-shirt that reads: ‘Fat Pat – Rest in Peace.’ This BBQ-fortified linebacker is, in fact, John “Big Hawk” Hawkins, Pat’s older brother.
“Pat—please be careful out there.”
Patrick “Fat Pat” Hawkins was unavailable for the shoot. He'd been murked at the Meadows Southwest Apartments, 10440 South Drive, on February 3rd, 1998. A single bullet in the head removed the 27-year-old from the Third Coast scene, and this mortal coil.
The following days’ Houston Chronicle reported:
“Homicide investigators said Hawkins and three friends went to the complex near the Southwest Freeway and Beltway 8 about 1 p.m. to collect money from a promoter. The friends waited in a car while Hawkins went into an apartment leased to the promoter's girlfriend. They later saw two men running from the unit.”
The Chronicle of the 6th reports a “Kenneth Eric Watson, 24” being sought for questioning. There is no follow-up report of an arrest. With all due respect to the overworked and underpaid Houston PD, one doubts this sits high on their stack of cold case files.
“Fat Pat” Hawkins was an original member of 3rd Ward Houston's ill-starred Screwed Up Click. This alone may have earned Pat some small measure of immortality, but greater heights beckoned. From Pat’s MySpace shrine:
“Due to an overwhelming response by rap fans in the South, slain rap artist 'Fat Pat's' debut album Ghetto Dreams sold over 20,000 copies during the first week of its release in Houston, Texas. This phenomenal album takes listeners on a mystical journey with up beat tempos and captivating tales of everyday life in the South. The originator of what is becoming widely renown [sic] as the 'Screwed Up' sound, Fat Pat's posthumous success is definitely a testimonial to his memory.”
“Tops Drop” was released, on Wreckshop Records (“The 1st Major Independent Record Label”), as Ghetto Dreams’ leadoff single. It reached #5 on the Billboard rap charts, Pat’s highest-ever appearance. The bass line comes from Dallas r & b duo Yarbrough and Peoples’ funky-as-shit 1980 hit “Don’t Stop the Music.” Apparently, it's still on the radio in Houston all the time.
Fat Pat’s remains are interred in Houston’s Paradise South Cemetery, alongside that of brother Big Hawk, killed in 2006.
Goodbye, Fat Pat.
"Because we Third Coast born, that means we Texas raised
My whole click gettin rich, yeah we gotta stay paid"
Monday, November 10, 2008
"You think you know something, don't you?
You think you're the clever little girl who knows something. There's so much you don't know, so much. What do you know, really? You're just an ordinary little girl, living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there's nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled ordinary little sleep, filled with peaceful stupid dreams.
And I brought you nightmares. Or did I? Or was it a silly, inexpert little lie? You live in a dream. You're a sleepwalker, blind. How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know, if you rip off the fronts of houses, you'd find swine?
The world's a hell. What does it matter what happens in it? Wake up, Charlie. Use your wits. Learn something."