Rest in Power Darrell Veal. My Tribute to MC Wickett Crickett

On November 23, 2015, Houston, Texas lost a local hip hop legend much too soon.

Darrell Veal, affectionately known to many as MC Wickett Crickett lost a long battle with lung cancer. Throughout his ordeal, love and well wishes came pouring in to a man known as an MC, promoter, friend and father figure to so many others. Veal built artist connections that were void of color lines, gang affiliations, or neighborhoods. He loved rap. But he also loved people

Over the past 30 + years, you've seen him host open mics, talent shows and celebrity basketball games. He has spoken at numerous schools and has worked with non-profits throughout the local area. His energy fueled events that he catered, with an infectious smile and personality to match. 

In the summer of 2006, while attending a car show, I remember an indelible memory from a brief exchange with MC Wickett Cricket. He had no idea who I was, but I must assume that he heard of our company. We had never done business together. 

He approached me that day and shared that he is familiar with us. He offerred me simple advice that I will always remember:

Please do this for the city... live for the city, give to the city, and stick together.
— Darrell Veal

(The following is an excerpt from Lance Scott Walker article titled, Wickett Crickett: Elegy for a Houston OG. Lance is the co-author of Houston Raps and Houston Rap Tapes)

Veal was born in Houston in 1959, and was given away as a baby by his parents along with nine of his siblings. He ended up living with friends and relatives in New York City, running the streets as a young teenager when hip hop was still in its infancy. That was how he got the name Wickett Crickett. His New York crew named him that. When he got to Houston in his late teens, he brought the streets of New York with him into Wheatley High School, which future Geto Boy Willie Dennis would attend in the years following.

He pursued rap in Houston as if it were a normal thing to pursue there. But that wasn’t yet the flavor in The Bayou City. In the clubs, there were funky bands and boogie bands. They were playing R&B, blues and zydeco, but no rap. Wickett adapted to that, and started hosting open-mic nights in the clubs, freestyling over the bands while they played. It started at a club on Kelly Street in Fifth Ward called The Fresh Connection, and he eventually started hosting nights all around town... (read more here)