big pokey

Big Pokey’s common classic deserves to be in the pantheon of Houston rap classics.

Big Pokey’s most memorable moments as a rapper arrived between 1996 and 2000, a four year mark of impenetrable dominance for big man rap in Houston. Similar to how we weigh the careers of centers in the NBA, a separate ranking system need be employed for big rappers in Houston.

Fat Pat, round with a lethargic basso profondo vocal range, is chief on this list. Big Moe, capable of church like tenor in discussing both drank and women ranges somewhere near the top. Big Mike was never truly big, he took on the moniker because it felt cool. Slim Thug was just tall, E.S.G fluctuates in weight. However, he is responsible for the first radio hit from the Screwed Up Click. H.A.W.K, the brother of Fat Pat was also large and scored a regional hit with “U Already Know” in 2002 and still carried the flag for big rappers. At current time, Bigg Fatts sits upon the mantle as a largely unappreciated, gifted wordsmith.

Pokey with a lazy tongue and sinister bite ranks on the upper echelon of big man rappers. There’s video of he, Lil Flip and Shasta during Kappa Beach party weekend that has gone viral countless times over. He’s holding a coffee cup firmly and is rapping, rarely blinking and ready to push out punchline after punchline. It was probably the same effect he dropped on “June 27th” where banging Maze became the highlight of his day. Also to note here, Shasta drops the world’s most impromptu chorus for a random car freestyle and serving the beat up to Flip who absolutely destroys it.

“It’s that n*gga Big Po-yo…”

Pokey still has incredible control of his voice and pace, a feat only found in the best of rappers. He was never sloppy and rang up the same talking points as any man would in regards to sex and occasional violence on those who crossed him. “Menage A Tois” was a single off his sophomore album, D Game 2000 only months after he ran the anchor leg on the massive Big Moe posse cut “Maan!” Pokey should have been incredibly big as a rapper and like so many others has been reduced to being a neighborhood superstar and regional name alone. Ironically enough, his biggest moment came in 2005 as the guest on Paul Wall’s “Sittin Sidewayz,” tying together his original stanza from “June 27th” into a memorable second act.

Perhaps maybe that’s why his sweetest and most cherished single isn’t the drowsy “Choppers” with Big Moe or menacing “Who That Talkin’ Down”. Hardest Pit In The Litter‘s signature refrain is “Ballin’ Parlay,” a single that combines two utility men in Big Moe and Mr. 3-2 with two straight-nosed rap heads in Lil Keke and Pokey.

“Whether sunny or grey…”

There is zero shock in realizing that 3-2 finds himself a utility piece on “Ballin’ Parlay.” He was capable of being on any and everything whether it be a record for The Convicts or his bouncy, hyperactive solo stuff. It’s a shame he was tragically murdered last year.

Keke, two years removed from putting “Southside” on his Don’t Mess Wit Texas follow up has a noticeable change in tone. He’s not snapping like a starved artist willing to do whatever as he had on “Pimp The Pen.” He was relaxed, almost comfortable in the sing-song flow of Moe himself. His natural chemistry with Fat Pat had been tragically cut short and the best he had done on their known singles was speak in conversational, slippery tones. On “Parlay,” he’s jumping at the chance to be great if not for politics. “Whether sunny or grey, there’s only one way to shine / I’m a pour up drank, roll up dank, stay on the grind,” he attests.

Pokey, unsurprisingly goes last here as he normally did. Between Keke and 3-2, his voice always was outfitted to drive the point home. Only he would be gifted enough to drop an old Italian board game in a verse and make it stick alongside verbiage of parking lot pimpin’. Being born with one of those voices determined to rap and nothing else made Big Po-yo one of the crown jewels of Screwed Up Click spitters. “See, we ain’t playin, vato, we out parlayin / It’s goin down in H-Town, that’s all a n*gga sayin.”

For more Houston hip-hop on #713Day, check out our #713Day playlist on Apple Music and Spotify.