The Peter Beste “Houston Rap” Photographs collection is now available in the UH Digital Library.
The collection comprises digital versions of 105 photographic prints created by documentary photographer Peter Beste as part of the nine-year project that became the book Houston Rap. Hip hop artists depicted include Scarface and Willie D of Geto Boys, Choice, Bun B and Pimp C of UGK, Devin the Dude, Paul Wall, Lil’ Flip, Z-Ro, HAWK, Trae, K-Rino, and others.
Published in 2013 by Sinecure Press, Houston Rap was the joint creation of Beste and writer Lance Scott Walker. It documented Houston’s hip hop community, particularly rappers, DJs, and others from the Third Ward, Fifth Ward, and South Park neighborhoods. Its subjects are often shown in unguarded moments unlike those typically staged for hip hop videos or publicity photos. It also captures the landscape of Houston’s changing neighborhoods at a particular point in time.
The original materials are available in UH Libraries Special Collections in the Peter Beste and Lance Scott Walker Houston Rap Collection, as part of the Houston Hip Hop Research Collection which documents the unique music and culture of Houston hip hop. Among its riches are approximately 1500 vinyl records owned by DJ Screw, originator of the “chopped and screwed” genre. The personal and business papers of other musical and visual artists are also represented. This collection captures the creativity and drive of the musicians, producers, visual artists, and entrepreneurs who built an independent music scene in this city which has influenced others around the world.