Thurogood Wordsmith
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Thurogood Wordsmith

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
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As far as I’m concerned, the highlights of “Mission Control: Volume One” are Uzoy’s catchy-as-hell “Twilight Zone”, “Sick (remix)” with Mic Skills, Mikeflo, and Hero & Rad, “Wack Rappers” by the brilliant Thurogood Wordsmith, and Mic Skills’ “Criminal” but that being said there are not really any bad tracks on here.

“Mission Control: Volume One” is a compilation, put together under the creative vision of local hip-hop artist Mic Skills and presented by mikecalvertscion.com. The project is devoted to showcasing up and coming, local, Houston hip-hop and R&B artists along with some special guests like Karina Nistal, PKT, Hafaza, Shina Rae, and Hero & Rad. Even though there’s a good variety of stylings on the disc all of the artists pursue a newer, fresher, sound that is distinctly different than the hip hop culture of Houston’s DJ Screw days. Inside the jacket of the album the liner notes even talk about how the newer Houston rap scene is reaching out past chopping and screwing and candy paint and trying new things. As far as I’m concerned, the highlights of “Mission Control: Volume One” are Uzoy’s catchy-as-hell “Twilight Zone”, “Sick (remix)” with Mic Skills, Mikeflo, and Hero & Rad, “Wack Rappers” by the brilliant Thurogood Wordsmith, and Mic Skills’ “Criminal” but that being said there are not really any bad tracks on here. I feel like the tracks on Mission Control are a lot more accessible to the general public than earlier Houston rap and will reach more people than ever. - Free Press Houston


Get to know Houston's own Thurogood Wordsmith

Q. Tell us about yourself.
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I am Thurogood Wordsmith. I am the illegitimate son of George Carlin. Even though he may never admit this, I assure you that it's true. I grew up here in Houston listening to all types of music. My first experience with hip-hop was RUN-DMC. My older brother was a skateboarder who was into the scene in the early '80s when I was a young buck. The walls in his bedroom were covered in RUN-DMC, 3rd Bass and Public Enemy posters and any free space was covered in graffiti. As I developed my own taste of music, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and Tupac were huge influences on me. I was also heavily influenced by a lot of Houston rap, in particular the Geto Boys and ESG. The reason I rap is because I can. If I could sing, that's what I'd be doing right now. But when it's said and done, I'm a wordsmith.

Q. What genre is your music?

My genre is old-school hip-hop with a new-school vibe. I take on the principles of old-school rap, such as lyrical content, fashion, attitude, and all that. You know, the way people were in the '80s. I like that. It wasn't about guns and violence or the size of your rims. And it sure as hell wasn't about getting a record deal because that was just unheard of before Def Jam. It was all about "who can top this." That is my mentality. However, I mix in new-school elements such as rhyme schemes, production and metaphors that are relative to the day we are living in.

Q. Where can people typically see you perform in Houston?

From Kingwood to Rosenberg and everything in between. I have been doing a monthly gig at the Shady Tavern on Saturdays, which is always a good time in The Heights. The best way to find out where I am performing is going to www.myspace.com/thurogood.

Q. What music do you have available for sale and where?

I'm working on my debut album right now, but you can purchase my songs directly off of my myspace page.

Q. Who are you excited to see at SXSW?

Last year I saw Lily Allen at Waterloo Records and, no lie, it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. I had never heard of her until that day so hopefully I will stumble upon lots of new talent while roaming the beautiful streets of Austin. I am looking forward to seeing a lot of underground acts, too. Lower Life Form is a dope group from Houston that I am making a point to see. Franco B. from Austin, Fat Tony & D-Rail from Houston, and then of course the national acts like Dizzie Rascal, Bun B, Talib Kweli, Devin the Dude, Ice Cube and hundreds more. - Houston Chronicle


Isn’t it nice to see the city come together for a little work? One of the go-to producers inside of The Niceguys camp lends Thuro an absolute gem. When he’s not acting like Bobby Jones on the links, Thuro’s busy serving real life reality rap for the good people. The Appetizer is coming soon. - Day and a Dream


I have been jamming Thurogood’s new EP for almost 2 months now and everytime I see him I ask him when his going to let me post some of his music. Well I am happy to inform you that we now have some music and boy and I excited. Dont miss out on this one… - Jeremiah Gonzales


The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to introducingliston@gmail.com.

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?This Week's Rapper: Thurogood Wordsmith

This Week's Subject(s): Casting Scarface with Houston Rappers

At the tail end of last week's Guide To Which Houston Rappers You Should And Should Not Fight, there was a little blurb that said to email us if you were a rapper and were left off of the list but wanted to be included.

Now, the list was more than 70 rappers long, so you can imagine our surprise when our inbox filled up with emails from a seemingly uncountable number of guys and girls who had been left off. Most of them we knew about, or have known about, but left them off because they stink. But one email stood out a little more than the rest. It was Thurogood Wordsmith, who happens to be a thoroughly good wordsmith (Ehh, ehh, you see what we did there?).

A few others will be added in due time, but he absolutely should've been on the original. That was a mistake. As an amends, we hit him up and asked him to answer one question for us for this week's Ask A Rapper.

Ask A Rapper: Devin the Dude is apparently going to have a pretty hefty role in an upcoming movie called Hillbilly Highway. The premise of it makes it sound like Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, except with black people. First impressions: We don't think there's any way that it can be bad. But it brings up another topic that we wanted to talk about.

You don't see too many Houston rappers venture into the acting world. So let's do this. Let's film our own movie. And let's only use rappers to fill the role. And since we're using rappers, that movie would have to be Scarface. We'll throw the parts out to you, you tell us who should play them and why. Ready? Bam.

Note: As always, our notes are underneath in italics.

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?Scarface/Tony Montana: Pimp C

Why: Because he represents a rise to the top and eventual exit from the established yet emerging Houston rap scene. And just like Tony and Manny, Pimp and Bun came from Cuba.....err, Port Arthur with the motivation to rise from the Underground to become Kings of a new trade.

This is exactly who we picked as well, for exactly the same reason.

Manny Ribera: Bun B

Why: He's the likable gangster with rationale and intelligence. Plus, Pimp C is Tony so it's only natural that Bun is Manny.

True. Also, Bun is short for "Bunny," which is pretty close to "Manny."

Frank Lopez: J.Prince

Why: A true O.G. who is well-established on the scene, J. Prince has garnered a reputation for working with politicians and criminals at the same time. These two play both sides of the fence to get ahead.

Nice pick here, but perhaps nicer than even he had intended. Remember in the movie when Frank sets up that assassination attempt on Montana, only it doesn't happen like it was supposed to? One of the longstanding Rap-A-Lot rumors among hip-hop heads is that J-Prince once had Master P scoop up Pimp C, throw him in the trunk of a car and threaten his life. Of course, that has never been substantiated.

Elvira Hancock: Beyonce

Why: Beyonce (minus the coke habit) is Elvira since they are both incredibly sexy women. And they both share an attraction to men with power.

Cool, cool.

Omar Suarez: Scarface

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?Why: Considering his real-life boss is not the type of person that you want to answer to when "anything happens," it should be an easy transition for 'Face to deliver Omar's classic line, "If anything happens...... eee, pobrecito...... my boss is gonna stick your heads up your asses faster than a rabbit gets fucked."

On fire with the picks, but again, there are even more parallels here: Remember in the movie how Omar eventually got offed by Alejandro Sosa's people because he was recognized as having snitched on someone? Remember how 'Face had that same criticism lobbed at him by Lil Troy? Is all of this blowing your mind right now?

Alejandro Sosa: Cup of Lean

Why: Since Tony plays Pimp C, Cup of Lean plays Alejandro Sosa because the antagonist claims the life of the protagonist after a working relationship turns deadly.

Kudos for that one.

Thurogood's debut EP, Thurogood Wordsmith - The Appetizer, will be available for free download next month. His debut LP, Thurogood Wordsmith - Brass Knuckle Sandwich, will follow shortly thereafter. - Houston Press


Single of the Week: "Boomerang," Thurogood Wordsmith

Wire to Wire

The guy that provided this week's Single of the Week is dope. Check him out. Looking forward to his forthcoming mixtape, The Kenny Powers Mixtape: Power Bars, if for no other reason than because it has a cool title. - Houston Press


Discography

"Thurogood Wordsmith" - Single

"Stand Up" - Single

"Boomerang" - Single

"A.M." - Single

The Appetizer - EP

"There's An App 4 That" - Single

"All Cried" - Single

Brass Knuckle Sandwich - set for Dec. 2011 release

Photos

Bio

Thurogood Wordsmith is a refreshing MC out of Houston, TX noted for his intricate wordplay, crystal-clear delivery, energetic live performances, and versatile song writing ability. After building a buzz off of mixtapes in Houston, Thurogood was accepted as a 2-time "Official SXSW Showcasing Artist" (2007 & 2008). His debut EP, The Appetizer was released in November 2010 and his follow up LP, Brass Knuckle Sandwich is set to be released in December 2011. Frequent collaborators are James Kelley of Wire Road Studios, Hash Brown, Jettimastyr, The NICEGUYS, & T.H.E.M. The music which he creates is a gritty representation of the hard work and dedication that it takes to release independent Hip-Hop projects.