Rosewood Thievz
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Rosewood Thievz

Houston, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Houston, TX | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band R&B Soul




"(Breaking Trendz) Rosewood Thievz"

This is the true story of 3 friends; 2 of which were living in a house and all of which were chasing their goals. Find out what happened as they stopped chasing them individually, joined forces, and began bringing the groove. The Rosewood Thievz……

What is better than one mind blowing trend setting artist? Three! In walk Rodeo Joe, Big Game James, and Killa Swami. Three musically talented guys who, together, form the group Rosewood Thievz. The group began on Third Wards very own Rosewood Street, where Killa Swami and Rodeo Joe were roommates. All with musical backgrounds, it was not long before hanging at the house with Big Game James, drinking, laughing, and listening to music, turned into freestyling and becoming the start of something great. Within those freestyles, came the name Rosewood Thievz. All athletes, the line and name giving the feel of a team stuck. And from that day forward, the team moved and created together as the Rosewood Thievz. Relying heavily on each other, as a team does, the group writes and produces all of their own music, putting the INDEPENDENT in independent artists.

We first got to witness their unique sound on their mixtapeEnter the Terrordome.Terrordomebeing a nickname for the house where the group began and where some of the music for the mixtape was recorded. With songs like “Wild Zebra”, a song about an ex who later turned stripper, and “On top of the GRB/Cost of your love”, referencing the George R Brown Convention Center and a tune you can’t help but to groove out to. The mixtape definitely provides you with interesting stories, perspectives, and Houston vibes. Since Enter the Terrordome, Rosewood Thievz have given us singles like “RIP Astroworld”, leaving us nostalgic for what Houston used to be. Being able to share those memories through grooving with an audience member who may not have been to Astroworld when you were, but we all somehow knew and could recall the same experience that Rosewood Thievz were talking about. Each with their own individual style, voice, and ideas, along with musical influences ranging from S.U.C., The S.O.S. Band, ConFunkShun, Slave, to New Jack Swing, and Rock, the group blends perfectly together. They create an eclectic sound that cannot be classified by any one genre out today and instead, are creating their own sound that the group can only describe as “groove” or “groovaciousness”.  From Big Game James acting in Julius Caesar in Scotland, to their initiative and desire to learn the instruments used in their music, their exploration and emergence into many aspects of the arts help contribute to the idiosyncratic style we get to experience today.

Even though their sound is not the norm, its universal, and they have the goal of one day reaching the mainstream audience, but remaining true to themselves and their sound and continuing to create their own music. With independence, there is a desire for better facilities. However, the group is more concerned with creating quality music.

“A lot of people have access to those things [facilities] and its [the music other artists put out with access to those facilities] is still terrible.”

When asked about barriers along the way to commercial success and support, the group agreed the only barrier is yourself. “People in your immediate area, it may be hard to impress. It’s just the proximity, but it is not really a barrier because they are watching. They just haven’t been told its okay to groove and to like us. It was a time we were trying to get everyone, especially friends, to come to our shows. But once we stopped caring and was like ‘here is the flyer whoever comes, comes’, there were strangers with no preconceived notion about us there grooving with us. We have received more consistent support from strangers than friends.  We love and appreciate them [supporters] for that. The barrier is yourself you can go with the tide of sh-t that’s being put out there or [continue creating the music you want to create]. When you know the reason you are doing it, there are no barriers. For that reason, music is [our] life. The only thing keeping [us] sane. Outside of family and friends, music was the only thing [we] ever loved. This is not a hustle or a come up. If this was a come up, we would make what everyone else is making.”

With a motto of “get the show on the road”, the group has done just that. From open mics, house parties, concerts, to grooving in parking lots, Rosewood Thievz continue to provide music that unifies people and makes them feel good.

What can you expect at one of these shows?

Along with people grooving together, you get quite the performance, raw energy, dancing, and matching outfits, you’re in the right place. You’ve just walked into a Rosewood Thievz show. “Have you ever seen Duck Tales? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Power Rangers? The Dream Team? The greatest shit ever that you’ve seen… They were dressed alike. Every championship anything, has worn the same shit. We out for the ‘ship’. When you see us know we are coming to take the ‘ship’. We dance while we make our music, so of course we dance on stage. Our dancing is like the uniforms and it makes for a better live experience.”

What’s next for Rosewood Thievz?

Currently the Rosewood Thievz are working on an album and have a single they will be releasing with “two ridiculous smashes on it” and will also be putting out a mini music series. “Every day for three weeks, at 7:13pm, we will be releasing a new Rosewood Thievz song.” There will be non- album tracks available on In the meantime, you can find their music , Soundcloud, YouTube, or stop by a show and see for yourself. Their story is not over; it is only beginning. You do not want to miss these trend setters. Witness what the groove has to offer. - Houston Trend


20. Rosewood Thievz, Enter the Terrordome No rap tape dug into the most basic components of an old Houston tape better than this one. A guilty pleasure that lasts for over 60 minutes with horrorcore thought processing (waiting for one of the Obama daughters to become legal), Terrordome sounds like anything you may find in the early Geto Boys discography, dusty yet organic, but nothing like Houston rap from 1995 onward. Shocking, isn't it? - Houston Press

"Rosewood Thievz - Enter the Terrordome"

I honestly don’t think I’d ever get a chance to enjoy Rosewood Thievz without a few friends along the way. The Third Ward group has the most barebones of web pages, a splash of their Enter The Terrordome mixtape, a Soundcloud stream and a download link and little to no information on who they are on social media. Yet the recorded in a basement with a dusty mic feel of Enter The Terrordome destroys the idea that their anonymity means they’re terrible. Far from it.

“Giants” tosses around the classic Jack & The Beanstalk sing-song inside of thunderous bass and Texas bounce, “Put Ya Work In” ups the shock value of any horrorcore Geto Boys release by wondering when does Maliah Obama turn 18, turning Frutopia’s into druggy concoctions and wisely sticking to the script. The terrordome is a pretty rough product but it employs a bit of charm, that it sort of exists in 2013 with little to no intent of touching anything swang & bang Houston. There’s no hints of anything out of Lil Keke’s big book of Houston rap slang or an attempt to be anything other than themselves. It’s dusty, it’s in your face and easily one of the better guilty pleasure tapes of the year. - Day & a Dream

"Spitfire Soliloquy and the Reign of Terror"

While Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit Hamilton may not arrive at the Orpheum Theatre until March, fans of historical revolutions and hip-hop will have a chance to take part in something equally original this month.

Held as part of the Come Out and Play game festival, Epic Immersive’s Ancien Regime places its audience at the cross-section of a pre-French Revolution Court of Versailles and the modern-day landscape of Silicon Valley. Unlike Hamilton, this performance does not take place in a theater, but rather across a number of locations in Fort Mason. Promising secret missions, chance encounters on the docks, and a masquerade ball, Ancien Regime envelops the audience in a pivotal part of the journey. You don’t simply watch the action unfold.

For director Steve Boyle and co-creator Bora “Max” Koknar, activating the audience is one of Epic Immersive’s core tenets.

For director Steve Boyle and co-creator Bora “Max” Koknar, activating the audience is one of Epic Immersive’s core tenets.

“I think we focus a lot on story,” Boyle says. “Big stories where there’s a clear narrative. In none of our work so far has the audience been a passive mover. They’re always seen and acknowledged, given attention, and brought into scenes.”

Epic Immersive began as a chance meeting between Boyle and Koknar, who were both participants in San Jose Repertory’s Emerging Artists Lab. When budget cuts in 2014 essentially killed the program, Boyle spoke at a local city hall meeting, citing a recent experience he’d had creating immersive installations in the forest for the venture capital firm Innovation Endeavors.

Following the meeting, Boyle was approached by Alida Bray, President and CEO of History San Jose. She told Boyle about History Park, a San Jose property owned by the organization that resembled a movie set of a town from the early 1900s, and asked if he might want to stage something there. Thus, Matthew Briar and the Age of Resurrection was born.

A three-act production featuring 100 performers — including actors, musicians, dancers, and aerialists — Matthew Briar took audiences from a ficticious 1907 World’s Fair to the Roaring ’20s and finally into the Great Depression.

“Getting started, I think we were all thinking this might be a one-and-done sort of deal,” Koknar says. “But then the reaction, both from the artists who were involved with the project and from our audiences, were beyond expectations for us.”

Originally scheduled for one day, the production ended up lasting a full weekend (with an encore presentation set for this Oct. 14-16).

“It struck a chord,” Boyle says. “It brought in a flood of new opportunities. This year, we’ve worked at speakeasies and created art for subterranean secret societies. Everything that’s happening now came as a direct result of the response to Matthew Briar.”

One such opportunity was from Catherine Herdlick, the director for the San Francisco chapter of Come Out and Play. Boyle says that when Herdlick mentioned that the festival’s 2016 incarnation would take place at Fort Mason, he and Koknar “leapt at the chance” to put something together. According to Koknar, one of their main challenges was figuring out how to create something that would take advantage of their newly gifted setting, a “visually striking landscape.”

“We joked about how we could get more epic,” he says. “Of course, the answer is to have a story that incorporates the entire Bay, with Oakland and islands and enormous bridges in the background, and have it be meaningful to the story.”

What they settled on became Ancien Regime, which takes its name from the political system upended by the French Revolution. Boyle confesses that he and Koknar have “a bit of an obsession” with the Revolution and subsequent Reign of Terror, and that Epic Immersive is currently working on a musical experience for 2017-18 that encapsulates those themes.

“We’ve long been fascinated by that little five-year period, and for what it has to say about our modern world,” Boyle says. “It’s rife with meaningful questions about income inequality in the developed world, and it has a lot to say, for example, about revolutions in the Middle East, and about nation-building and terrorism.”

Thus Ancien Regime presented Epic Immersive with the perfect scenario to test out some of what the duo has in store. Along came Rococo, an “aristocratic start-up” that had recently done a photo shoot with the Houston hip-hop group Rosewood Thievz. Boyle got in touch with the rappers and was thrilled to learn that member James Pendleton IV was also a Shakespearean actor. They agreed to take part in the production, which Boyle gushes may be the first example of hip-hop being incorporated into a large-scale immersive experience.

For Boyle, he sees hip-hop as the natural extension of Shakespeare.

“To me, hip-hop is Shakespearean,” he says. “It’s spitfire soliloquy that moves as swiftly and intricately as rushing thought. I wanted to get my hands dirty with it for a long time, and here was an opportunity that had actually been hoisted on us without us even seeking it out.”

So with elements as disparate as rap and masquerade balls, what precisely should one expect to see during a performance of Ancien Regime? Not surprisingly, it’s hard to say. With numerous opportunities to interact with the cast, and so many choices to be made on the fly, it’s seemingly impossible to take in every detail through one go-round. In a sense, Boyle says, that’s really the point.

“It’s part of the beauty and excitement and scalability of immersive theater that it’s so large and rich and intricate that you can keep returning again and again and peeling back new layers of story,” he says. “With our shows, all of a sudden you’re dropped into this world, and it is your oyster. As an audience member, there are these actors right in front of you, going through the experience with you. The human connection that gets created makes getting the whole picture a little less important.”

Ancien Regime Friday-Saturday, Sept. 23-24, 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 25, 6 p.m. Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. $25-$50; - SF Weekly

"Spring Cleaning: 11 Houston Acts That Should Be On Your Radar"

Rosewood Thievz carry a classy elegance not usually seen in a town famous for Tippin' and Sippin'. They can seemlessly move between cerebral hip-hop and buttery-smooth R&B without any disruption in mood or musicality. Yet if you ask them to define their sound, they'll sum it up in one word, "groove," which may indeed be the perfect response. Formed in 2012 in Third Ward, the diversely talented Killa Swami, Big Game James and Joe-yo release a vibe of earthy realness, a sapiosexual essence that's intoxicating to watch and compelling to hear. Brave enough to celebrate all facets of Southern sounds (even zydeco), Rosewood's music is continally surprising, but the trio is more than that, too. Active community members, they even do things like create historical video lessons with the Buffalo Soldier Museum. Rosewood Thievz are the kind of trio that only H-Town could create — a mix of alternative hip hop, funk, and groove played with a humid thickness that feels like the soundtrack of the Bayou City on a hot and steamy day. - Houston Press


Playa G - EP (2017)

Grown Moves - Single (2017)
3 For The Tre - EP (2016)
Rosewood Thievz Holiday Cheer - EP (2015)
Blackballed [mixtape] (2015)
7 Days [daily music series] (2015)
Enter the Terrordome [mixtape] (2013)



Rosewood Thievz cut their teeth at Third Ward Houston house parties using a pool table for a stage & spreading underground mixtapes of raw groove, which led to tours of the U.S. and selection as official Super Bowl Live performers.  Their style lives somewhere between Texas Blues and 90's New Jack Swing.

The Thievz believe in Groove Over Division - if you can dance together you can live together.

Band Members