A Glimpse Into the History of Waco & Hip-Hop

We were invited to the studio of a real historian and cultivator of the Waco rap & hip-hop scene, the one and only, Pirscription. He has been pushing the scene in the Waco area for the better part of 15 years. His stacks of glossy old event flyers/posters, CD’s of old (and current) Waco artists, and non stop name dropping of the talents that are still in the Waco area was just further validation of why we knew we needed to chat with him.

Casually poised in his studio computer chair, Pirscription took us on a journey to the past and a prediction of the future of the scene. We may have forced it out of him, but he also included a gratuitous album mention of his first album he self produced when he was just a young ‘Scrip.

 
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Pirscription:
We've been here for a while, this is my momma's house right here actually. My momma still lives here. She's down for the cause, you know what I mean?

KWL:
So you've built this little [sound booth here]?

Pirscription:
When I was growing up, this was my bedroom and this was two closets and we ripped one closet out and that right there was a solid wall. That's part of the attic, and I made that.

KWL:
Just punched into it?

Pirscription:
I used to have drums over there. One time, I had my turntables over there. I had my bed over there one point in time, you know what I mean? It just depends on what year of life it was.

KWL:
So let's talk a little bit of history here. What are your ties to the Waco hip-hop scene? When did you get started?

Pirscription:
Waco hip-hop.

KWL:
Let's take a deep dive.

Pirscription:
Me? I put on my first CD when I was still in high school actually or when I was in the process of dropping out of high school, right around that time. I did it all myself in the house. At that point in time old school computers, Gateway Computers, you know what I mean? That era.

I think my first CD, half of it was on a computer mic and half of it was on like a Shure stage mic.
I did that and there was a place in Waco. It’s still there, called Dub-L Tape. It's on Franklin.

Pirscription:
That's where I got my first CD pressed. I pressed a hundred CD's from there man, and from there we just kept it going.

KWL:
Kept pushing it.

Pirscription:
Yep. Kept on going. I probably pressed that CD in 2005.

KWL:
And you went to high school in West?

Pirscription:
I went to high school in West.

KWL:
What was that like?

Pirscription:
West eh... You know small towns.

KWL:
Nice little town.

Pirscription:
Man it goes down. It's had its ups and downs. I remember when Breaking Bad came out. I remember watching Breaking Bad and thinking like, man this shit's been going on out here forever, you know what I mean? So, like at times, it’s been a little crazy out here but in general, it’s been chill man. It used to be way worse.

KWL:
That's good to hear.

Pirscription:
That helps us out a little bit.

KWL:
So, you seem to be genuinely connected to a lot of hip-hop people in Waco. What's going on in Waco right now?

Pirscription:
Right now? There's a lot of talent. There's always a lot of talent in Waco bro. Tons of talent. Talent has never not been here. Talent is never an issue. Right now? There's lot of people pushing, I feel like there's not a community. The community is lacking. There's not a lot in the area for hip-hop. It’s a hard area for hip-hop.

KWL:
So there's not enough spaces for landing spots for acts?

Pirscription:
Yeah there's not really any. Like if you were to come to Waco and say, "Hey, what's the spot we go to hear some underground hip-hop?" There would be no spot, you know, so that's our downfall right now. But in general, there's a lot of talent, a lot of new people pushing people that's been around here for a long time, still pushing. We got some of the best videographers come from here, photographers. I know at a point in time, everybody from out of town come over here and get all the stuff done real cheap prices here. We’re not in the area to be charging a lot, you know what I mean? Waco's a difficult place man. But there's a lot of talent here for sure, bro. Tons of talent. Never lacking.

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KWL:
Let's talk about “Wacocaine”.

Pirscription:
Wacocaine! I was tryna find my DVD but I see you got the cassette man. I gotta put that on my Insta.

KWL:
If I ever get the chance to meet Mr. Hustler E I'm gonna get him to sign that bad boy.

Pirscription:
I could set that up for you bro. I think he's on a little vacation right now, but as soon as he's back again, that's never an issue to set up man.

KWL:
Amazing.

Pirscription:
Hustler E's called Central Texas Godfather, so I always say Hustler E’s my godfather cause I am Central Texas.

KWL:
We haven't had a chance to watch it, because the VHS player's on the fritz.

Pirscription:
I can get you the DVD, bro, it's not an issue. The dude that makes these, that owns it, his name's Freddy. I can get it to you. They actually have newer versions, bro, that have different covers and stuff. I just love the classic cover.

KWL:
So this is the classic cover?

Pirscription:
This cover right here bro is a Pen & Pixel cover. If you've never heard of Pen & Pixel, look them up. Are you familiar with Noisey? Noisey got a whole thing on them and everything. Pen & Pixel did all the main covers you've seen in the south like “Master P” CD covers, and all that stuff back in the day. They made the same cover, bro, like the same exact people. The moves he was making, you know what I'm saying? He was up there, doing things. The same graphic design bro.

KWL:
That is incredible.

Pirscription:
You gotta watch it. It's real bro, it really shows you a lot of where Waco gets its culture from. Waco's kind of a rough place, you know what I mean?

The movie was made back when people really weren't making independent movies like that. But the message and everything in the movie, it's solid. It's solid, I've seen it in, I'm wanting to say, something big bro. Not showcasing it, but it made it in New York Times, something big like that, mentioned in a list of movies. It's made a good round. It's a classic.

It's a piece of Waco history, bro. You know the artist I have, Elisa the 15 year old artist? Her dad is in this movie.

KWL:
That's tight. Well let's talk about that. What's the future of Waco hip-hop. What's it look like?

Pirscription:
It’s good. I mean, there's so much potential. Waco's growing, and the direction it's growing I don't know if it's gonna grow in a way that's gonna help hip-hop. But I know that it's growing, and with growth comes more opportunities. Whether it be with them, or just from what happens with them. I feel like Waco's in a good place. I know that probably there will be events around here that have rappers out. It'll be like, somebody'll bring a big headliner to town, big name, bring them, and they'll sell a bunch of slots.

Right now there's not even really a venue for that. But when there is a venue, those kind of shows come around. There's not really something that's all for the hip-hop community right now.

When I threw the hip-hop party recently, it really showed that there's still a community out here bro that wants somewhere to have a home. They want somewhere to go, bro, they just don't have anywhere to actually go.

A lot of them have been making music around here for so long, bro, and never had nowhere to go, so they don't even know. It's foreign to them, bro.

KWL:
That's sad to me.

Pirscription:
It's sad to me too.

KWL:
Because these kids that are trying to make this music, instead of doing shit out on the streets, they're sitting here creating some sort of art form, and anyone that's doing that should have a platform to be exposed.

Pirscription:
I agree, that's what we're doing here right? I thought about having you all meet me at the radio station. They're doing “Texas Tuesday” tonight. I thought about doing the interview up there, but I kind of wanted you all to make it out here.

KWL:
Right now we're trying to show the DIY side of the people that are holding it up. Holding the ember of the past, trying to make sure that some flame gets caught somewhere.

Pirscription:
Yeah man, I wish I had my box of...(shows a box full of stacks of old flyers)

KWL:
Oh wow!

Pirscription:
Say stuff like this. When we do the summer bash mix tape, so we got all these years bro. Like say this one, how many tracks...37 tracks, all local rappers bro. This one was 34 tracks, all local rappers. That's all the summer bash mix tapes right there. And that's just some of the stuff. There's tons of mix tapes bro that we've done around here.

That's just a small showcase of Waco talent. When we were doing that, we were doing the Summer Bash, my homeboy Don Jay—Shout out to Don Jay. When Don Jay was doing the summer bash, and I was doing the mixtape - Waco really had a community of hip-hop then. It really generated. A lot of people don't understand how much something like that generates.

That one show didn't just generate traction that day for that show man, it's like artists molded their releases around that day, they made custom merch for that day, barbers got three times as much business that day, you know what I mean? People had custom outfits made. It generated so much business for locals. It did so much boost to the economy.

I feel like a lot of the people that went or that might have performed, I feel like they might not have really realized how much of an economic difference something like that made. And at the time how much it generated the scene, we really had a scene then.  It was undeniable. The scene was undeniable then. Out-of-towners couldn't deny it. When they came to town, that's what they were talking about. Summer Bash, ya'll got Summer Bash. It was probably one of the better eras of local hip-hop.

KWL:
So that was started in 2011?

Pirscription:
It actually started before that. I didn't do the mix tape the first year. I think I did the mix tape...I don't know if I did the mix tape the second year or the third year. I’d have to get with J.

I want to say I started the mix tape on the third year, cause we did it seven years I think, and then it did another year after that, and then... He still has it, he still owns it and we can still, maybe one day bring back a reunion show J!

KWL:
Shout out J!

Pirscription:
Especially since I started throwing the hip-hop party stuff again, Summer Bash just came up in my conversation almost every day for three weeks straight, for a month straight. Every day somebody else has brought up the summer bash to me. That's how much it still is there. And it's been years! It's been a few years since we had one, and it's still in everybody's mind, they still bring it up.

KWL:
What's your current favorite venue in Waco?

Pirscription:
Favorite venue in Waco? Honestly, for hip-hop, there is no venues in Waco. My favorite hip-hop, my favorite venue right now, is closing down soon, shout out to Old Digs, man. There's no venues for hip-hop right now. There's not. I've held many events on my own, besides the Summer Bash, I used to throw the annual birthday party. We’d bring artists down, headliners, used to throw hip-hop events stuff like that, and always had to rent out [the space].

Around here, to have a hip-hop show, you must have an event center, which is cool. I love event centers. Event centers are awesome, I hope to open an event center one day.

KWL:
A built in logistics team.

Prescription:
Yeah. I love event centers. But around here, when it comes to rap, and it doesn't matter if it's a club, a event center, a bar, man, nobody wants to do rap. I've rented out venues, I've paid $1,400 dollars for a venue before. Everything went smooth, even hired extra security.

We helped clean up, everything smooth. And then they don’t let us do another show there. And have no reason. Just their reason being, "We're not doing rap shows no more." You know what I mean? And yeah, you can't win like that. So, that's something we're working against now, and that's something that hopefully real soon we won't have to worry about going around no more. I've got a couple things on the back burner, and hopefully somebody will bite on something, man.

 
Katherine Selman