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HAWK Digital Collection Now Live

Digitization, Houston Hip Hop
HAWK on the mic at Texas Southern University

HAWK on the mic at Texas Southern University

The breadth and depth of resources in the the Houston Hip Hop collections continue to grow with today’s announcement that the HAWK Photographs and Memorabilia are now available for patrons’ virtual perusal at the University of Houston Digital Library.

HAWK, or John Edward Hawkins, was born and raised in Houston and, along with his older brother Patrick Lamark Hawkins (Fat Pat), was an integral component of the Screwed Up Click (a group of Houston area rappers centered around the pioneering production work of DJ Screw).  HAWK, Fat Pat, DJ Screw, and their friend Kay-K would go on to create the collaboration Dead End Alliance (D.E.A.).  Before Fat Pat could realize the success of his debut album Ghetto Dreams, he was shot to death in 1998 at the age of 27 and the album was released posthumously.

HAWK's brother, Fat Pat, pictured in a "Ghetto Dreams" promotional photograph

HAWK’s brother, Fat Pat, pictured in a “Ghetto Dreams” promotional photograph

HAWK’s solo debut, Under H.A.W.K.’s Wings, was released by Dead End in 2000, followed by his sophomore release HAWK.  However, after marrying longtime girlfriend Meshah Henderson in April 2006, John Edward Hawkins’ life was also tragically cut short when he was shot to death on May 1, 2006 at the age of 36.  Endangered Species, released following his death, would help continue the musical legacy of the S.U.C., D.E.A., and the Hawkins brothers.

page from HAWK's notebook

page from HAWK’s notebook

Here at the University of Houston Special Collections we are proud to preserve that legacy and make the HAWK Papers available for study to scholars interested in Houston hip hop.  The addition of these materials to the Digital Library, combined with the previous DJ Screw Photographs and Memorabilia and Pen & Pixel highlights, has us excited about the increased online access to a burgeoning field of research.  Among the highlights in this new Digital Library collection are publicity photographs, candid snapshots, as well as a personal favorite of mine, a notebook belonging to HAWK replete with his lyrics handwritten in gold ink on black pages.

Please enjoy these new items available for study in the Digital Library and come see us when you are ready to study all of these, and more, in the Special Collections Reading Room.

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