Author shares Houston’s untold hip-hop story
What started out as a thesis for his master’s degree turned into a published book for Maco Faniel.
Known for its contributions to the oil and gas industries, Houston has been overshadowed in the entertainment industry. Faniel’s book, “Hip-Hop in Houston: the Legacy and the Origin,” is about Houston’s untold story.
“Houston always gets overlooked because of its geographic location from the major entertainment centers, New York and (Los Angeles). Houston has inspired so much and I wanted to tell that story,” Faniel said.
Faniel’s book talk and signing on Thursday allowed students to hear the premise of his book.
In the first chapter, Faniel defines hip-hop in its early development, how hip-hop studies came to be and why Houston has been left out. He discusses Houston’s music history in the second chapter, and explains Houston’s support and why Houston became a hip-hop city through radio programs in the third chapter.
The fourth chapter describes how Houstonians integrated hip-hop into their culture and began doing it themselves, and the book ends with an afterword describing events after 1991 by Julie Grob.
Faniel is a native Houstonian and graduated from Texas Southern University with his master’s degree in history.
“At the end of my first semester of my master’s program, I was thinking about what I was going write my thesis about. I was playing around on Facebook and I came across a post from a friend. It was a video chat between Jay-Z and Cornel West at the New York Public Library,” Faniel said.
“Jay-Z was introducing his book, ‘Decoded,’ which provided the context for some of his favorite songs. I began to think about what stories in hip-hop were untold. Then I began to think about how Houston’s story has never been told, and I had an ‘aha’ moment. I wanted to do the history of Houston’s hip-hop.”
Faniel’s book is the combination of the two things he is passionate about, history and hip-hop. He hopes to change the connotations of both with his book.
“I hope that through reading this book, people get a different understanding of the discipline of history. The purpose of history is to give us a sense of identity and to help us gain an understanding of the present moment and human nature,” Faniel said. “I also hope that people will gain a different view of hip-hop and the people that create and participate in the culture. They’re negotiating their spaces and everything that they have to live out their American dream like all of us are.”