Houston Arts Alliance Folklife + Traditional Arts Program, along with partners Houston Museum of African-American Culture and Workshop Houston, will produce the first-ever official Houston SLAB Parade & Family Festival on Sunday, October 20, 2013, 1 – 6 p.m.
This family-friendly event will celebrate SLABs, a vehicle art form that originated in the African-American neighborhoods of Houston, Texas.
SLABs are commonly older-modeled American sedans enhanced by various types of body and interior modifications. Since the 1980s, this artistic tradition has grown and spread throughout the U.S. exponentially, due in part to its inextricable relationship to hip-hop culture.
The SLAB parade will feature 50 SLAB vehicles.
MacGregor Park will be the site of a mini-festival kicking off at 1 p.m. with activities at children’s creative stations and community booths by local arts organizations and social agencies. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Festival stage will feature live music, dance and spoken word performances, as well as demonstrations by street artists and car customizers and displays of hip hop fashion. Artists such as rap group Bloc Boyz Click, spoken word artist Se7en and B-Boy dance ensemble Havikoro are scheduled to perform, and street artists SODE, Gonzo247, ZINK520 along with car customizers and others central to this phenomenon will discuss their work.
Meta-Four Houston, a program of Writers in the Schools (WITS), encourages self-expression and literacy among Houston’s youth through creative writing and performance. WITS professional poets work with teens across the city during the school day and after-school, helping youth explore and express their truths through writing and performance workshops. In the spring, youth poets are selected through a series of poetry slams to represent Houston in the annual Brave New Voices International Festival.
HaviKORO is a Houston-based b-boy crew founded by Jeremy HaviKORO that performs year round and internationally. Together for over a decade, the group does community events and major media programs. Jeremy got started breaking under his brother, and from there formed a crew that competes with similar dance ensembles from around the world. The style of dance is hip hop inspired and relies on the syncopated sounds and the freestyle sensibility of the music. Their most recent gig was the Red Bull BC One USA.
The mission of Dance Houston is to increase dance appreciation in the city by respecting and appreciating the diverse cultures and aesthetics that thrive in Houston, and their work reflects this through innovative, multi-cultural programming. Dance Houston creates access for dancers of all styles and learners of all ages. Dance Houston will present Houston's signature hip hop dance styles performed by star dancers from throughout the city. Check them out as they step, krump, and pop to classic favorites and the latest hits.
YUNGSTAR is a renowned figure within the Houston rap scene. He began rapping during his childhood in Southwest Houston. As a teenager, he became a member of the Screwed Up Click, achieving local fame through his verse on the iconic freestyle track, “June 27” in 1996. In 1999, his appearance on the hugely popular single “Wanna Be Baller” earned him nationwide acclaim. That same year, his debut album Throwed Yung Playa was released on Straight Profit Records and featured the hit single “Knockin’ Pictures Off the Wall.” Since then, Yung Star has continued to be active within the Houston rap scene releasing several albums, making frequent guest appearances, and consistently performing.
THE BLOCK BOYZ CLICK is a Houston-based hip hop group consisting of rappers AL, Adrian, Big Be, Lil Kano, Feva and Gospa Man. While recording for the Cloverland-based Cloverland/Blackhouse Records, the group members represent all sides of Houston. Since the release of their popular single “Officially Ridin’ Swangas,” the group has become ambassadors for SLAB, appearing in the Houston Chronicle and KTRK news discussing the culture. In 2012, the Bloc Boyz Click took their talents to film, appearing in the Marcus Henry film Nicki: A Hip Hop Love Story. The Bloc Boyz Click are much more than artists, they are social activists who use their power as artists to uplift children and families across Houston.
Growing up listening to old school Hip Hop, SODE witnessed the beginnings of the “chopped and screwed” style of music created in Houston and immediately fell in love with its unique sound. SODE has continued promoting the legacy and the aesthetics of DJ Screw by adding to Houston’s Street flavor. He has been making art for over 13 years and recently exhibited at the Station Museum.
Born in the Second Ward of Southeast Houston, HOSTAL started writing with paint in the streets as a protégée of SODE. He continues to hone his skills by giving the hip hop aesthetic a place in Houston’s visual culture.
Born and raised in New Jersey, ZINK 520 started painting WildStyle grafitti in 1982 on the East Coast. He brought his art to Houston 1997. As a proponent of “X-Men worldwide,” his efforts continue to be inspired by the rawness and immediacy of New York and the hip hop sound.
Starting at just 13 years of age, GONZO247 has been creating spray paint-based artwork since the mid-80’s and is a central figure in the Houston Street Art scene.
Having refined his technique after thirty years of painting with aerosol, airbrush, creating murals and paintings the ONE LEE is a sought after atreet artist who has been commissioned by countless A-list celebrities, musicians, and art enthusiasts worldwide. His love for art was informed by Hip Hop in the 80's and he has continued to develop into his unique style. He calls Dubai his second home.
Houston SLAB Parade + Family Festival are made possible in part by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.