donnie houston

A debut single, multiple days and nights promoting the culture. It’s hard not to like Donnie Houston these days.

It’s Tuesday night and Donnie Houston is spinning.

The location doesn’t necessarily matter though the importance need be met with acknowledgement. For every Tuesday night, Houston has been at Alley Kat for reverse happy hour. He’ll dine on some food, spin some records and keep people stretching their days well beyond the clock. In a few days, Donnie will have dropped his debut single. It will feature Propain, Slim Thug & Marqus Clae. 

First, a note about “H.E.R.,” the single in which Donnie officially swipes Kanye West’s bear and makes it his own. In terms of Donnie + “insert rapper here” collaborations, there’s a hierarchy. First is Donnie and Propain, due to longevity and consistency. Next is Donnie and Slim Thug, due mainly to Hogg Life: American King and “Swing Down” from Welcome To Houston. Third is Donnie and Dante Higgins, if only for the fire that is marrying Stevie Wonder and Southlawn for “Southlawn Plaza”. Two of those three collaborations exist on “H.E.R.”.

On Wednesday nights, it’s not about making people happy for drinks and fellowship. Donnie’s stewardness on Wednesday’s with his NDUSTRY night platform is showcasing. It isn’t The Shelter in Detroit or even the now defunct Kickback Sundays. It’s Donnie grabbing USB drives and letting rappers show and prove. Male, female, dope or not. It takes his world back to days in the garage on the Southwest, watching people freestyle back and forth in the canon of Texas rappers.

Secondly about “H.E.R.,” Donnie Houston’s debut single – Marqus Clae sounds scarily familiar to J. Cole. His storytelling about falling in love with Houston rap is pretty nifty, right down to playing it for his mother. We need more stories about mom’s discovering Paul Wall records and wondering why he wanted to be fly as a pelican.

Saturday’s, Donnie is back to creating happiness. Surrounded by the sun, an open deck full of patrons and the occasional bag of crawfish, BAC In The Day circulates on he and Jett I. Mastyr’s whim. Houston day parties are about as common as infrequent weather patterns and Game 2 letdowns. Donnie finds happiness watching people react. He lives for that validation.

Thirdly, about “H.E.R.,” that single from the former DJ Don? It speaks straight to the Soul Brother within him. There’s not a sample he won’t ignore when creating something new is the end game. A song about falling in love with hip-hop, particularly Houston hip-hop is on brand. The perspectives from one legend (Slim), one current firebreather (Pro) and one new face (Clae) only strengthen the case.

Donnie Houston doesn’t sleep often. He just creates. And as a DJ, a producer and ultimately a man – it’s the best feeling in the world.  

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