Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Lil Raskull Goes Back to School
When the Big Red Marching Band of Houston’s MacArthur High School takes the field for halftime of this Friday night’s homecoming football game they will be joined by two special alumni. The first will be Marcie Chapa – a professional drummer who frequently tours with Beyonce and Delbert Harris aka Lil Raskull – a veteran Christian rapper.
Although Harris’ small stature and babyface features would allow him to pass for a member of the senior class (hence the “Lil” in his stage name), it’s actually been 20 years since he roamed MacArthur’s locker-lined hallways. Chapa graduated five years after him and is a 15 year alumna.
The duo will perform with the school’s marching band for an interpretation of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” hit song as well as an all original duet written by MHS music director Jose Diaz.
Harris said he was invited to perform by Diaz who was MacArthur’s music director when he attended the school. He’s also worked with Diaz’s side band, Caliente, a few times in the past.
“I’m definitely honored by the request,” Harris said. “It’s probably the closest thing a Christian artist like myself will get to performing at the Super Bowl.”
Although Ras, as he is also known, has not performed in a setting like this before, he said he was inspired by the mix of hip hop and marching band music when he saw the movie Drumline.
“I’m definitely excited about getting my Petey Pablo on,” he said, referencing the mainstream rapper who made a memorable cameo in that 2002 film.
Harris said he was far from a straight-A student when he attended MacArthur High but had many friends who were and also participated in varsity sports.
After graduation Harris briefly attended the University of Houston – Downtown. He said back then he wasn’t disciplined enough to appreciate the delayed gratification rewards of a degree and eventually dropped out of college to pursue his burgeoning rap career.
But today, he’s actually returned to the UHD campus and is one year away from graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.
When asked what he would say if he could provide one bit of advice to the 1990 version of himself, the answer was almost instantaneous.
“Definitely take that athletic trainer college scholarship you were offered but turned down because you wanted to ‘hang out.’ Paying for this stuff on your own dime is no fun at all,” Harris only half-way joked.
The MacArthur Generals will take on the Jefferson Davis Panthers this Friday, September 17 at H-W.W. Thorne Stadium at 7pm.