Sauce Walka Needs to Be The Voice of Houston Whether We Like It or Not
It was around this time last summer when Drake’s Houston Appreciation Weekend wasn’t receiving the same type of love it did when the commemorative event first landed in Hustletown. The first year it was filled with much promise and the city held a celebratory attitude, whether it was from the celebrity basketball game with hometown stars Kirko Bangz, Dez Bryant, Vanilla Trill, and more to the performance at Warehouse Live, which included a stage set modeled after the Screwed Up Records Shop and featured legends such as Bun B, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Lil’ Flip performing alongside Drake. The aura of Houston was in the air and it was an event to look forward to each summer. While the first year went well, the second failed to reach the prior standard as it didn’t feature any emerging artists on the schedule and one man called this out: The one and only Sauce Walka.
While others were clearing their schedules to be involved with the party activities with “The Kid,” Walka was the first one to put everyone on blast publicly on what Drake is really doing to the city of Houston rather than for it. He took his feelings to social media and expressed how Drake was a “culture vulture,” saying: “He’s using us, you all have to pay attention to the details. He comes down here to use our culture for lyrical content and ain’t giving shit back but a family fun day and some money for hoes to trick on at the club. This guy is making music with artists from everywhere but Houston, but he says he reps H-Town.” After this video and more surfaced on Instagram, the slew of supporters, such as BeatKing, believed in Walka’s message and ultimately showed the infrastructure of what Aubrey Graham had in place for Splashtown.
This example just shows how much pull Walka has when it comes to protecting the identity and tradition that comes with being a rapper from Houston. It’s not just about the grills, the candy painted slabs, the southern drawl, but it’s a responsibility of guarding our identity and genuinely being a representation of it. This happened at the perfect time since as of 2005, there’s been a number of Texas artists who reached levels of stardom but never used the platform to speak and address issues. Walka stands against that and the fact that he’s an advocate for what he believes in is prevalent in his music and his life outside of the studio.
Knowing that Walka has the voice, he’s also shown that he’s willing to take a bullet for his city. He’s very boastful, to say the least, but it all comes in good stride. I remember interviewing him for VIBE Magazine last summer and one of the things that stuck out the most was the sense of pride he had in the city. One of his most memorable quotes:
Being from Houston, people outside of the city never know the real deal about Houston. People still think we ride horses and wear snakeskin boots. They think we just got a Galleria, but we been having that since the ‘80s, which is probably before some of these other major cities ever made one. During the Drake situation, we just wanted people to know that we weren’t saying that Houston is trash, but we were saying that artists from the city weren’t fully representing Houston on a major scale up until the Sauce Movement. It hasn’t been artists from this area that caught this much attention since the Mike Jones, Paul Wall, and Slim Thuger. We just tell it like it is. We’re the way that Houston needs to be seen, and that’s on Sauce.
When speaking to Walka, he garners a sense of importance. He knows how to control a room and makes effective use of the words he uses every time he opens his mouth, in a way that’s similar to Pimp C. Since Pimp C’s death, we’ve had Bun B serve as a spokesman for the city, but it’s not delivered with the same rawness as Pimp. Walka is certainly a product of Pimp, using any press he receives — whether it’s the Drake to being featured on TMZ to being mentioned in the upcoming Love and Hip Hop Houston show — to sway audiences to his liking. He has the same effective methods that Pimp C had with quotable lines like: “We down here having thangs / Cost of living good down here in Texas / I been driving Cadillac since I was 15 years old / Get ya mind on ya shit, know what I’m tal’m’bout?” This is only one example, but it’s the sense of personality that will win people over when it comes to Walka and that’s how his legacy can be recognized as time goes on.
The disadvantage of lacking a strong voice is that anyone can have something to say when it comes to the culture of the city. The voice needs to act as a shield when artists or individuals slander the foundation that many in the city have worked so hard to build. To find that shield, there needs to be someone who has the spirit to do whatever to protect that territory and knowing the responsibility that comes along with it. Sauce Walka has earned his stripes, deserves the respect, and easily has the voice to carry the city on his back. He’s the guy that will have the city’s best interest at heart and ultimately pave the way for Texans to take pride in what they have and what they have the potential to be.
As the leader of the holy sauce continues to ride his wave, he could also part the river and show Houston the way when it comes to pride, appreciation, and protection of our culture and our roots. It’s not just a way to defend our legacy, it’s also a preservation of who can further it and Walka is the prime candidate.