Houstonians have had a plethora of ways to go out and discover Houston this month, and there are a few more left before July closes out.

Houston is a city like no other. The place we’d like to think of as one of the points in the Lone Star is known for a very desired culture, a very unique vernacular, a very specific code of ethics, and a very distinct personality that is both separate from the rest of the South, but also very wrapped up in its story. July 2017, as if to double down on the Houston holiday of June 27, was a month filled with events and celebrations to pay homage to the City of Syrup. Watching everyone come out, be friendly (but mind their own business), turn up, and not complain about traffic (because it’s fine if you’re trapped behind a slab) made me proud of my city, and reminded me why I love it so much. If you haven’t gotten out yet, the month is still young! Check out what you missed as well as a few Houston things to make it out to this weekend.

Red Alert: A DJ Dance Party

The first of month didn’t even require you to pick up your check because it was all about “free booze, free beer, and free entry.” Red Alert: A DJ Dance Party required all revelers to wear red, share the event via social media, and invite everyone to get into the party where they would be served free ramen from Ramen Tatsuya (if you got there early enough) and free Deep Eddy vodka drinks. DJs Charles David, Josiah Gabriel, DJ Baby Roo, and Dayta spun the whole night, and there was slam poetry for part of the night, as well as a giant rap battle between Houston artists Devin the Dude, ESG, Fat Tony, Killa Kyleon, Doughbeezy, Genesis Blu, Corporate Dough, T2 the Ghetto Hippie, and Kyle Hubbard. So Houston, amirite?

713 Day

Every July 13, Houstonians celebrate “713 Day,” paying homage to the first Houston area code, 713 (yes, that’s why Travis Scott keeps saying it). Houston has a reputation of being one of the more charitable Texas cities, so for 713 Day, the Houston Food Bank hosted an event where they packed out the building for a short volunteer shift followed by a social hour featuring local artists, DJs, slabs, drinks, food trucks and more. Local rapper Maxo Kream and well-known Houston producer and beatmaker Trakksounds also made an appearance for the do-gooders in the crowd to enjoy a mini concert while they socialized.

Maxo Kream performing at the Houston Food Bank for 713 Day (Photo: 713 Magazine)

Maxo Kream performing at the Houston Food Bank for 713 Day (Photo: 713 Magazine)

Lil’ Keke’s Don’t Mess Wit Texas 20th Anniversary

Lil Keke celebrated 20 years of his release of “Don’t Mess Wit Texas” album.

Lil’ Keke celebrated the 20th anniversary of his 1997 album, Don’t Mess Wit Texas album that featured the legendary song, “Southside”. Keke threw a giant block party Sunday July 16 outside the Screwed Up Records and Tapes store featuring a pop up “Screw Shop,” Boombox Taco, tons of other vendors, and the most beautiful slab parade you ever did see. Paul Wall and 97.9 The Box DJs Mad Hatta, J Mac, and Keisha Nicole also showed up to talk about Keke and his legacy in Houston as a philanthropist, public figure, and pioneering hip-hop artist. Lil’ Keke held a private press conference where he talked about his feelings of the new generation of Houston rappers and educated the masses on the origins of freestyle tapes, written albums, and Southern hip-hop culture. We also answers about what’s going on now with the rapper because, in his own words, he wishes he could “stop singing that damn song!” Sorry, Keke, no luck there.

Houston Appreciation Weekend 

Drake in his play clothes at HAW 2017. (Photo: CW 39)

Drake in his play clothes at HAW 2017. (Photo: CW 39)

Drake comes into town once a year to throw Houston Appreciation Weekend, rife with events throughout the weekend. This year the event took place July 20 – 23 and featured a private charity BBQ dinner, the usual parties at Engine Room and Prospect Park, a Ballet pop-up (Drake’s strip club) at Mercy Nightclub where Lil Wayne performed, a giant pool party downtown at Clé, and ending in an afterparty Sunday night at Spire.

Trae Day

Trae tha Truth handed out 75 scholarships in conjunction with Houston Public Library during Trae Day 2017.

Trae tha Truth handed out 75 scholarships in conjunction with Houston Public Library during Trae Day 2017. (Photo: Audible Treats)

Arguably the person who has most proven to be worthy of a “day” in the City of Houston, rapper Trae tha Truth held his annual Trae Day at Discovery Green. This year marked the 10th anniversary of Trae Day, and the whole weekend was packed with family friendly as well as grown and sexy events, most notably Trae’s Tha Truth 3 album release party. Sunday, the 23rd, Trae handed out 75 scholarships in conjunction with Houston Public Library. What a legend.

Tons of Dope-ass Houston Music and Visuals

I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten the pleasure of telling my mother I was “on the way to my friend’s event.” Samo Dinero Productions started off this month at Notsuoh with the Give Back to the City Mixer that quadrupled as a clothes drive, a fashion show with local designers, an art show with local artists painting live, and a concert with artists Mickey Woods, Jr., The Aspiring ME, Izzar Thomas featuring Tim Woods, Erva Carter, and Gen. DJ sets were by Mxrgan Mxrgan and 9th Sage, hosted by DJ Kay Illah. We had the release of Bun B’s song, “Gametime,” Jack Freeman’s official re-release of his “Nobody” video (yes, the Spike Lee one), Trakksound’s visual for “Oh Lord (Remix),” Lyss’s video premiere party, Izzar Thomas’s “Somewhere New” listening party, Dylan Cohl’s (Cowboy Jones’s) “Death Proof EP release and video screening, and DJ Mike C’s first ever mix, “#TNTS Trxppen N Tha South.” With all of that I just typed, I’m still sure I missed something.

Coming soon – Bounce and Turn 

(Coming Friday) Bounce and Turn is a free party hosted by DJ Havin’ Thangs and Big Heavy Kenny that will feature DJ XO spinning live. It will be held at Red Shore Tattoo and will just be a good space to kick it for a couple hours, as we do. Walk-in appointments for tattoos with be available during the party.

Coming soon – Screwston Pool Party

(Coming Saturday) 4THLRGST Design and Marketing will be throwing Houston a giant pool party at Maya Lagoon Saturday. Don’t think you’re gonna get to sit around the pool and parlay, though, because pool wear is a must. There will be specail guest appearances and music by DJ CeeWatts, The Core 94 Radio, and Blackout HTX. Tickets are available at www.screwston.com.

Coming soon – Hispanicize Texas

(Coming Saturday) The inaugural Hispanicize Texas will take place on Saturday, July 29th at Silver Street Studios. Texas has one of the largest markets in the nation for multicultural digital influencers, and the event was created to empower and engage digital creators here. Hispanicize Texas will also feature a full slate of sessions devoted to entrepreneurs and cultural themes that touch the fields of marketing, journalism, and leadership. Register here to attend.