This collection is comprised of digital versions of 105 photographic prints created by documentary photographer Peter Beste as part of the nine year project that became the book Houston Rap. Hip hop artists depicted include Scarface and Willie D of Geto Boys, Choice, Bun B and Pimp C of UGK, Devin the Dude, Paul Wall, Lil’ Flip, Z-Ro, HAWK, Trae, K-Rino, and many others.
Published in 2013 by Sinecure Press, Houston Rap was the joint creation of Beste and writer Lance Scott Walker. It documented Houston’s hip hop community, particularly rappers, DJs, and others from the Third Ward, Fifth Ward, and South Park neighborhoods. Its subjects are often shown in unguarded moments unlike those typically staged for hip hop videos or publicity photos. It also captures the landscape of Houston’s changing neighborhoods at a particular point in time.
Originally from Houston, Beste is most well-known for photographing subcultures. In 2008, he published the book True Norwegian Black Metal for Vice Books, which focused on Norwegian black metal bands. As he says on his web site, "My work as a documentary photographer covers a range of subcultures which are sometimes viewed as controversial. I have no political axe to grind or agenda to push but rather am interested in photographically documenting unique and visually interesting groups of people… As one who highly values freedom of speech and expression, I seek to portray the various groups documented as they express themselves, without reference to outside opinions or ideologies."
The original materials are available in UH Libraries' Special Collections in the Peter Beste and Lance Scott Walker Houston Rap Collection.