Driving by the north Houston SF2 shoe store on Sunday morning someone would assume that a new pair of shoes was on the market. By ten, the line to perform in the first Kickback Sundays showcase included over twenty rappers and continued to grow until the actual sign up began at noon.
Even though everyone was told not to arrive too early due to safety precautions, those familiar with past seasons of the event made their way to the store at the crack of dawn to secure one of the sixteen performance slots.
SF2’s owners, Teresa Waldon and Suzie Rivera also stood outside greeting newcomers. By eleven the longer line had us concerned that a large number of artists wouldn’t get a chance to grace the stage.
“Most of the artists who have gotten their breaks were actually the freestyle artists, so many of these guys want to get on the cyphers,” says Waldon. “Plus just because the artists come and sign up, that doesn’t mean they will be at the event when their name gets called and so someone else will take their spot. The people in line right now will get a chance to perform.”
To be honest, we were doubtful. Why would anyone be lined up at SF2 store early on a Sunday morning and then not show up? It didn’t make sense, but who could argue with someone with a three-year track record for giving local Houston artists amazing opportunities spanning from opening for Big Krit to winning verse features from Lil Keke?
Our two hour wait wasn’t all bad because we witnessed the artist using the sign-up time as a networking opportunity. We overheard guys extending invitations to collaborate on songs and a few rappers in the front of the line discussing the Scotty vs. StatZ rap battle slated to take place that afternoon at Kickback.
More importantly, the artists encouraged each other to stay in line and shared the success stories of Kickback Sunday vets like Doughbeezy who started off like many of them but is now a successful touring act and one of the headlining names in Houston underground. They expressed the value of staying consistent, following up with contacts and investing in yourself and your sound quality.
To our enjoyment, once we turned on the cameras we captured an early morning showcase of lyricism from Kickback hopefuls including Bigg Fatts, Bennie Dub, DaVinci –Forever Young, Kloud, Lar-Ro and Flawless The Don. We can attest to the fact that music makes time fly because soon enough it was twelve-thirty and everyone was on the list and headed home to get ready for the show which took place at Numbers Night Club on Westheimer that evening.
By the time the Kickback Sunday showcase got started we understood why artists were eager to make the roster. The crowd was bigger than the norm for an underground talent exhibition and the room was filled with promoters, media reps and special appearances from proven underground artist including Doughbeezy, Kab Tha Don, White D, Propain and Doublebe even performed alongside KDogg who had the audience chanting his song during his performance set. It was obvious that this event was designed as a true opportunity for entertainers.
Other memorable acts such as Trail Blaze, Dewayne Wavy, Bigg Fatts, Sho Stoppa, Duck, Crome 45 and many more took advantage of their stage opportunity. However, as Teresa predicted, four artists gave up their performance spots because they were not present when their name was called.
Anyone who missed this event is welcome to attend next Sunday as this weekly event is destined to become even bigger this season.