The origins of Houston hip-hop date back way further than we can remember. MC Wickett Crickett was a hometown hero for Houston, being a MC and promoter, with close ties to the South Park Coalition. While he passed in 2015 to lung cancer, his life and legacy lives on here in Houston.
Many aren’t initially familiar with Crickett because he didn’t reach the same levels of success as a few of his rapper counterparts. Wickett was famous because he set the standard for hip-hop promotions and helped other Houston rappers career’s flourish. He was quite the icon in his day, and wore many hats as a member of the hip-hop community- radio personality, pioneer of live music emcee’ing, concert promoter, historian and humanitarian. You can’t talk about the roots of Houston hip-hop culture without mentioning MC Wickett Crickett.
He got artists on the radio as part of Houston’s first hip hop radio show, Kidz Jamm. He appeared at concerts, sporting events, on television and featured on other rappers’ records.
His real name, Darrell Veal, was born here in Houston. When he moved to New York, he gained his stage name. When he moved back to Houston, in the 70’s, he began a strong relationship with the music scene that lasted for decades. He brought the streets of New York with him into Wheatley High School, where future Geto Boy Willie Dennis “Willie D” would attend in the years following.
He played a role in promoting Houston’s style of music, and also gave artists a platform by hosting open mic nights around the city. He even gave DJ Screw his first job. He worked with everybody, but Wickett Crickett also built his own network, with his own people and places, and his own vibe as a host.
Crickett tagged team plenty of clubs around the city, most notably The Fresh Connection in Fifth Ward. The club no longer exists because the life span of clubs in Houston is no longer than three years.
Crickett superseded the expectation of today’s promoters-his connections throughout the city helped bring Houston rappers careers to be what they are today. He had influence- before there was a such thing as “social media.”