The culture of Texas has been synonymous with a lot of popular culture today, ranging from the obsession with swangas and vogue tires on cars, to the glorification of lean that has gripped a large demographic of 20-something rap fans. The movement of the state, more specifically Houston, was a major story of the mid-aughts, as artists like Pimp C, Bun B, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Mike Jones slowed down the tempo of popular radio—and then, it abruptly stopped. But their influence never died, and it now lives on through artists including Drake, A$AP Rocky, and more.
However, there's a new movement creeping out of the rubble: The young and undeniably hip “sauce” movement has taken the South by storm, replacing the annoying and honestly worn out “swag” and drenching it in “sauce.” Literally anything someone does is considered “sauce”-worthy. You can “sauce” up on an exam, or “sauce” up on your coworkers with a new pair of Jordans. It has given Texas a new personality.
The leaders are the Sauce Twinz—Sancho and Sauce Walka—who, after making a name for themselves with their freestyle over Slim Thug’s “Errbody,” caught the ears of a younger demographic within the city. Former NBA superstar Steve Francis is a big fan, and recently got his chain snatched at one of their shows (the chain has since been retrieved). Their relationship with Jas Prince connected them with Drake, who they say told them he would add a verse on Sauce Walka’s “2 Legited 2 Quited” that hasn’t materialized yet. The Sauce Factory are the new guilty pleasure out of the South, and everyone is begging to get their sauce up to get close to them.
Justin Davis is a writer living in L.A. Follow him @OGJOHNNY5.
You both have said you don’t like to be called "rappers.” Why's that?
Sauce Walka: We not rappers. We gods. I could be a poet, you can call me a preacher, a prophet, but we not rappers
Sancho: Only thing we do is read scriptures. The reason we call ourselves gods is because of the things we do for people. This sauce shit done changed people’s lives. It’s power. We obtained powers through our skills and abilities. We aren’t calling ourselves gods. People are calling us this.
Who were some of your influences growing up?
Sauce Walka: The Screw era of Houston. People hear about it on TV, but a lot of people don’t know the real history or culture. The story hasn’t been told by the people who lived it. We the kids who were growing up at the barbershop seeing Fat Pat in the '90s. The Houston in the mainstream is watered down. Like the syrup epidemic, they rap about it like people aren’t dying over it out here.
How did you come up with the name and style behind the sauce movement?
Sauce Walka: Being from Houston, us being from the Southside. We always been fresh cats. We always dress good and presented ourselves in a fly way. But when we grew older and became men and put the streets to the side and decided to make money it started coming together.
What does someone who isn’t initiated have to do to get their sauce up, so to speak?
Sancho: Shit, you gotta pray. You gotta put your hands together and pray. If you wanna have the sauce, the sauce cost. The only way you can get around the sauce without paying for it, is praying for it. You gotta get into this lifestyle and this freedom.
Sauce Walka: There’s a regular understanding in the regular world, like boyfriends and girlfriends. We have multiple girlfriends with the sauce, and all my girlfriends cool with it.
Why do you think the city has been at a standstill, musically, for a while?
Sauce Walka: The artists that have been in a position of power didn’t go find young talent. You see that done in every city in America, from New York to L.A.—they pass the torch. There are artists that we know had the money and the power to put us in positions. But they never took that opportunity and just recycled each other. And on top of that, these same rappers let other rappers from different cities come to the city and give them a pass. For instance an artist like Future will come to the city, leave, and then start rapping about our culture. Now over a couple of years it looks like stuff like Syrup and Screw come from Atlanta or from Toronto. We had to deal with gatekeepers in the city.
And now you guys have your own collective that opens up the doors for younger artists.
Sauce Walka: That’s the design of the sauce movement: to bring awareness to the world about our music, our style, and everything. Houston plays such a pivotal point in the music industry. We never got our true respect that I feel we should have. Our Jay Z is Fat Pat. If he never died he would be as big as Hov. But that was an opportunity that was snatched from us. The sauce movement is a big breath of fresh of air that they can stand on that’s young and original and real.
Speaking of, a lot of people gravitated to lean without seeing what it does to their health.
Sauce Walka: We big sippers. We don’t sip drank ’cause it’s cool or because it sounds good on a song. This is a part of our life. We grew up doing it. It’s a danger every time you get in the car and get on the highway. It’s the same danger as putting a substance in your body. There is still an educational side to it. We just take shit more serious and personal because this is our homeland. Our culture and position in life is to show people how to do it the right way.
It's deeper than just drank.
Sauce Walka: It’s deeper than drank. It’s the jewelry, the diamond grills. A$AP Rocky will rap all day long about Pimp C this, drank that, and after he’s been out awhile he’ll start feeling himself. You forget you said you got this from Houston and start saying, “I’m the reason you wearing gold grills and you saying you trill.” No, Texas is the reason why you saying that. That’s not to discredit him, we’re fans of artists from other states. But we always make sure we acknowledge where it came from.
A video posted by 🙏Holy Sauce🙏 (@sauce_walka102) on May 23, 2015 at 6:20pm PDT
Who are some artists who acknowledge Houston the right way? Do you feel like Drake reps the city right?
Sauce Walka: We fuck with the homie Drake. That’s family. He reps it to the best of his ability. At the end of the day, and I told him this to his face, by blood he is not from Houston. So by blood he could never rep Houston the proper way it needs to be repped because he isn’t born there.
You just put up a post on Instagram saying he’s “using” the city.
Sauce Walka: It’s plain and simple—a man lying to another man. I didn’t ask Drake for a feature [on “2 Legited 2 Quited”]. This was all situations that came upon us while we were doing what we were doing for the city. Drake took it upon himself to say he was going to get on the song, and he lied to us and let us down. We met face to face on many different occasions. He requested for us to come to Las Vegas to meet him at one of his parties and the whole meeting was about linking up with the Sauce Twinz and putting the youth of Houston at a higher pedestal. He looked to us eye to eye at the dinner table and said, “I support your movement, and I’m going to do what I can to support you guys.” It’s like someone trying to recruit a kid in college basketball and not come through. It’s all lies. He takes it upon himself to use references of our music for himself like saying “sauced up” and all that. I just expressed my feelings about it. It ain’t no disrespect. He’s a great artist, but it’s just a situation that should have never happened.
A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Jan 1, 2015 at 1:53pm PST
So the remix is never going to come out at this point?
Sauce Walka: At this point, I don’t know. I’d have to say no. I have no comment on that.
You guys weren't included in any Houston Appreciation Weekend events. Do you feel snubbed?
Sauce Walka: I don’t feel any way about it. The people do. I’m the one receiving the backlash. At the end of the day, we’re doing well. We’ve been overworking. This isn’t a situation about attention. It’s about right or wrong. I’m tired of being the person that’s asked questions [about this]. Now I reverse the situation to where Drake has to answer the questions we are asked. If you love us so much, why don’t we have this song? You have this whole appreciation weekend to get brownie points from the city, then why would you not bring out what everyone wants to see from the city? Sauce Twinz don’t have to be the one to get the remix. Why we can’t get a “Flicka da Wrist” remix either? For someone to love us so much, where’s the opportunity? Why haven’t you signed anyone from Houston if you love us so much? It just seems shallow to me.