Retrospective: Swishahouse

By @TrueGodImmortal 

Texas. Houston to be exact. While there were are big names to come from Texas, a majority of them come from two labels/places: Rap-A-Lot or Swishahouse. For Swishahouse, it began in North Houston with the leadership of Michael Watts, as well as OG Ron C. After a small run through the area with talent contests and budding remix tapes to counteract what the Southside of Houston was doing, Swishahouse began looking to ride the wave of solo artists who could make a difference in the game. One of the artists who was an early roster addition was Slim Thug, who would start doing work with the indie label before noticing the money to be made on his own and creating Boss Hogg Outlawz. Slim would not be the first or only artist to experience some sort of success with Swishahouse, as there have been a good number of artists who worked with the label. Slim was the most prominent figure so far and though he left Swishahouse, he left on good terms, keeping a relationship in tact going forward. Swishahouse would continue doing their remix tapes, putting a spin on many releases that came out, whether locally or mainstream.

The beginning of Swishahouse is rooted in their chopped and screwed contributions with their series of mixtapes throughout the city. Before Da Kappa, Choppin Em Up, Fuck Action and more took the city by storm and made Swishahouse a more popular name in Texas. Swishahouse would release their first album "The Day Hell Broke Loose", and it is revered still to this day as a Texas classic. OG Ron C was a driving force up until this point for Swishahouse but he would at some point decide to walk away and focus on different projects. Nevertheless, Swishahouse would continue on and keep dropping tapes to feed the streets and would soon meet with artists who would change everything for them.

There were many artists within and down with the Swishahouse movement, Lil Mario, J-Dawg, Archie Lee, Coota Bang and even Southpark Mexican would show them love through the early days and such. Whenever you saw "DJ Michael Watts Presents" you knew you were in for a treat. Before long, the talent contests that Swishahouse used to hold would prove vital to them as the future stars Chamillionaire and Paul Wall began to gain more and more traction as artists.

The Color Changin Click would soon become a part of Swishahouse for the most part, as Chamillionaire and Paul Wall took an opportunity to actually promote for the brand to become artists on the label. As Chamillionaire and Paul Wall saw success as the Color Changin Click, Swishahouse began gaining a bigger name for themselves. Chamillionaire and Paul Wall put in much work for Swishahouse around this time, and they had a bond and working relationship beyond contracts and with the release of the album "Get Ya Mind Correct", which sold 150,000 independently, Swishahouse would see some fame and attention off this. However, Chamillionaire would opt to leave the label and cut ties for the most part, dissing an artist familiar with Swishahouse and the movement, Mike Jones on his Mixtape Messiah project and even took shots at Swishahouse in general. It would be a turning point in many ways for the label.

Mike Jones, the artist that Chamillionaire dissed had a buzz growing. He had teamed up with Magno for the 1st Round Draft Picks and would be a part of quite a few Swishahouse projects. Jones would become popular with one of his singles from the sequel to the Swishahouse compilation album  "The Day Hell Broke Loose 2" with the knocking "Still Tippin", which completely took off when it caught the attention of listeners and labels alike. The song would lead to Swishahouse getting a deal with Asylum Records to distribute the artists and their music. Mike Jones would of course have Swishahouse to help and be a part of his album "Who Is Mike Jones", which would go platinum. Off the success of the Mike Jones album, Swishahouse would see a huge surge in popularity. For those in Houston, Swishahouse was already well known and a true part of the culture, but seeing Swishahouse get a ton of attention was definitely dope for the Houston culture. Mike Jones would help start a new wave, though brief, for Texas with more screwed up music coming and people following the curve by adding some chopped and screwed to their own songs. In many ways, Swishahouse carried the torch for the chopped and screwed movement after DJ Screw passed away, and took it to different heights essentially.

Paul Wall, after the breakup between him and Chamillionaire, would go on to release a solo album via Swishahouse and their Atlantic Records/Warner deal titled "The People's Champ" with the trunk rattling single "Sittin Sidewayz" leading the charge and the lane wild open for him, his album debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard and went platinum. It was a huge moment for Texas and Swishahouse in general. Paul would continue to release albums with Swishahouse including the 2007 "Get Money, Stay True" and 2009's "FastLife", both of which experienced moderate success on the charts keeping the name buzzing even after the Texas wave had slowed down a bit.

Another artist who is vital to Swishahouse is the underrated Lil Keke, who has been a part of the game for 2 decades now and still is affiliated with Swishahouse to this day and has put tons of mixtapes and albums. He would be vital in their growth throughout the whole run, even while not signed or affiliated officially, he would always appear on the comp albums or mixtapes even. There are a few other artists who were definitely Swishahouse approved as well and to this day, it seems nothing has changed for Swishahouse. They still put out projects consistently and are seemingly still finding some new talent out here, proving that the Swishahouse brand is here to stay essentially. We couldn't talk about Texas for the DAR Texas week without talking the legendary Swishahouse. Word to DJ Michael Watts. Acknowledge the greatness.



Popular Posts