Houston is a city that beams with the utmost pride in its hometown musical legends. As Texas author Lance Scott Walker put it in DJ Screw: A Life in Slow Revolution, Houston “has a rich history of both live and recorded music in rock, tejano, blues, jazz, zydeco, R&B, funk, punk, country, gospel, boogie, soul and anything else you can think of—but no Houston genre focuses as much of its lyrical energy talking about the different parts of the city than hip-hop.”
In other words, our storied history in rap music deserves particular commemoration, and rapper Lil Keke was initially granted an official day to celebrate it by then-mayor Annise Parker in 2015, a proclamation followed up by current Mayor Sylvester Turner in 2019. July 13—better known as 7-Thirteen Day—coincides with the city’s oldest—and arguably favorite—telephone area code, which debuted in Houston in 1947. The day is marked with celebrations of Houston’s remarkable music culture, and in years past 7/13 Day has witnessed herculean performances by OG Houston rappers, including the likes of OG Ron C and The Chopstars, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Big Pokey sharing the same stage.
“7/13 Day (also known as 7 Thirteen Day) is special to me because it celebrates our city, our culture, and our music,” Lil Keke tells Houstonia. “Every year I try to do something special for the city on this day where we can all come together and celebrate our music, our cars, and all things H-Town.”
There’s a handful of ways to celebrate 7/13 Day this year, and we’ve compiled a list of the best happenings here:
Multipurpose creative space Sanman Studios is hosting The Houston Appreciation Show, an immersive experience that integrates live music with art installations that depict the North and South sides of Houston. To top it all off, you can expect to nosh on traditional and modern dishes that speak to Houston’s culture.
Sanman Studios, 1109 Providence St. 7–9:30 p.m. Tickets start at $35.
7/13 Day marks rapper Lil Keke’s official day in the city, and this year the self-proclaimed Screwed Up Click Captain is celebrating the Houston holiday with a meet-and-greet and book signing at Amahle Bar & Lounge. His book, LGND TLK: The Fastest Way to a Fresh Start, discusses his journey through the music industry, getting his start with DJ Screw, and eventually venturing to work with the Northside label Swishahouse.
Amahle Bar & Lounge, 1916 Baldwin St. 7 p.m. Free, but RSVP is required.
The Ion Innovation Hub is getting in on the 7/13 Day festivities with a fireside chat with the G-Unity Foundation team. The conversation will discuss the foundation’s partnership with Houston Independent School District at The Ion for the Prototyping Lab. Watch a short documentary on the project, and end the evening with a networking happy hour with drinks from local brewery Second Draught and food from Stuff’d Wings. The night wouldn’t be complete without some local tunes that remind us of the Houston culture we so deeply love.
4201 Main St. 5–7 p.m. Free, but registration is required.
Self-serve wine bar Roots is saying “cheers!” for 7/13 Day. Celebrate your Houston roots in the East End with the wine bar’s 56 wines on tap, via automated wine-dispensing machines that allow guests to sample one-, three-, and five-ounce pours before committing to a full glass. Top off your experience with a skillfully curated menu of New American, farm-to-table food items from executive chef Andre Garza.
3107 Leeland St. 4 p.m.–midnight. Prices vary by glass.
Chef Chris Cosentino and the team at Rosalie Italian Soul are taking it to the next level in celebrating the Houston holiday. Rosalie, housed inside Downtown’s C. Baldwin Hotel, is offering all of their craft cocktails, like the Dalai Mama and The Hugo Spritz, for $7.13 on Wednesday, July 13.
400 Dallas St. Starts at 11 a.m.