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Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Dallas, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Hip Hop Hip Hop




"Around Cowtown: Winston Hits at Lola’s Saloon"

Sunday, I was talking to the Callie Dee, local hip-hop promoter and soccer mom (no, really), and she was telling me about a show she put together for Lola’s Saloon.

The tour she was overseeing recently had fallen apart due to a run of bad luck involving a series of equipment failures in Austin. Fort Worth was to be the last date. One of the artists performing was Winston Hits, a hip-hop act out of Dallas that I’d been wanting to hear. So, I headed to Lola’s, parked behind The Trailer Park and headed inside.

I found Winston and Callie hanging out on the back patio. None of the other artists showed up, so Winston was the only act for the night.

Inside there were maybe a dozen people milling about and there were Joe Easton, running sound, and DJ Snoopi, on the ones and twos. Winston took the stage and despite the sparse crowd, he played to the room like it was a stadium.

“I’ve performed sold out at Trees,” Winston told me out on the patio. “I’ve performed places smaller than here with less people. Really, I just learned to connect with the people who are there, at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s one or 100,000. You gotta treat it the same.

“At the end of the day, I need to give a good performance. Period.”

Although the set was short, the audience was digging it. People were responding, and Easton got to play with the reverb on the board. Most of the lyrics can’t be printed here, but the mix was dialed in so you could make out every word — somewhat a rarity in a hip-hop show.

Winston draws inspiration for his songs from daily life. Like My Pain was inspired by the death of his grandfather.

“I was in a really dark place,” Winston said. “My wife tried to help me out but I just completely shut down and I just wrote this song just to get everything off my chest.

“I rapped it to my wife, and she said, ‘You’ve got to record that.’ I didn’t think anybody would like that. It wasn’t pretty. I don’t know why it hit me so hard, but it did.”

But people did respond to it. The lyrics struck a chord with a lot of people

“When I would do this song, people would come up to me and be like, ‘Yeah, I’ve been feeling that way all the time,’ ” he said.

“It felt good to know that other people felt the same way. That was kind of the turning point that set me off into it. I saw then that I could do what I needed to do and put my spin on my music exactly how I wanted and tell my story for real, and people would pay attention to it.”

When it comes to motivation, Winston has a secret weapon.

Three years ago, his wife gave birth to twins. While initially he thought this meant an end to his musical dreams, the twins have become an inspiration — a drive to succeed, and to show his kids you don’t have to hate what you do to make a living.

“When you hear you're going to have twins, you’re thinking, ‘Man, I gotta work three jobs. I’m never going to sleep; my wife’s going to always hate me because I’m going to be cranky.’ That’s what I assumed,” he said.

“When I held my kids — call it cliche — but it was really eye-opening when they just stared at me. This is what drives me. I know everybody has their motivation, but I kinda got an edge.

“Everybody got kids, but I got two college tuitions to pay at the same time.”

“I want to be able to instill that into my kids — not about music, just anything in general — if you do what you love and you work hard enough at it, it will pay off eventually. You just have to really put the time and effort into it.” - Steve Watkins


Coronas & Tacos EP- May 5, 2016

Like My Pain (Prod. By Cartier Jones) -Brain Invasion (2015)

SmokeBox (Prod. By Dizzee Beats)- Brain Invasion (2015)

Words Unspoken - Mixtape released May 5, 2014



When you listen to the stories of rappers in interviews and in their music, there are
many commonalities in their lifestyles. However, one item is different with Winston in
regards to one aspect of his life -- his father.
The common story, which links many rap artists and their fathers, are filled with broken
hearts and esteemed through hate. For many of the so-called leaders of men, they
abandoned their responsibilities; leaving their sons to face the challenges of manhood
in the hands of their social environment.
Winston's experience with his father can be similar, if seen from a distance, but at close
range, it is contrary to the cliche .
"Winston is my father's middle name. When I was growing up, they called me Lil Win.
So, once he passed and I got older, it only felt right to keep the name."
While many artists view their fathers as a negative muse to push forward in their
careers, Winston uses his father's legacy as a driving force towards success.
"When I lost my father, there are no words to describe what he meant to me."
Ironically, words are what Winston has chosen as a career. He is originally from
Houston, Texas, but now he lives in Dallas. His life and his music has evolved.
"I married the love of my life and she helped me re-jump start my career."
In addition to having children, Winston has more to honor along with his father.
"My music is my life. I put my heart and soul into all my songs and beats. Just a
country boy from Texas tryna make a way for mine and what I believe in."

Band Members