Quite like the many other cities in America, Houston has many unique, signature characteristics and cultures that are almost found exclusively in Clutch City itself. Due partially to the vastness of H Town in regards to different cultures and ethnicities, the rap music scene of the city has many attributes that are custom to only Houston itself.


For instance, the remixing type of music known as “chopped and screwed”, where the music is slowed down and the vocals deepened, was created by the late DJ Screw and popularized by Screw himself as well as by the many excellent rappers and DJ’s that have since come from Houston. Along with countless songs and multiplatinum hits that have stood the test of time, Houston’s rap scene is known for popularizing one type of jewelry accessory.


According to the American Dental Association, a “grill” is a decorative cover often made of gold, silver or jewel-encrusted precious metals that snap over one or more of their teeth. Among the many rappers currently sporting a grill, none have familiarized the accessory quite like legendary Houston rapper Paul Wall.


With all due respect to the many great rappers who wear a grill, Wall has not only written plenty of songs regarding grills while donning quite the elaborate grill himself, but also hand-makes grills for notable, usually sports-related Houstonians when they do something incredible. Such examples include former University of Houston coach Tom Herman on winning the American Athletic Conference title and Wall even offered free grills for the entire Houston Astros team upon winning the most recent World Series.


However, while Paul Wall certainly is both the unofficial face for grills and a pioneer of Houston rap, his business partner in the very niche market of grills definitely has quite a story.



Johnny Dang, or TV Johnny as he’s more commonly known, is a Vietnamese immigrant and Houston-area business owner operating three very distinct jewelry stores, including two in The Sharpstown Mall and near The Galleria. Starting as a watch repair technician in a Houston flea market, Dang slowly but surely worked his way up to business owner. According to the website for Johnny Dang & Co., Dang is “best known for popularizing diamond encrusted mouth pieces referred to as “Grillz”” and for “influencing the Grammy Award-winning Hip Hop collaboration of Nelly and Paul Wall entitled ‘Grillz’.”  


As well as making the signature oral bling that many rappers currently rock, Dang’s company produces an array of jewelry, such as stunning diamond bracelets, golden crosses and they even offer custom engraving for everything from cufflinks to even portable hard drives.


Through his many products and the accompanying publicity of those products from the many rappers that use Dang’s services, his business has received quite the recognition. His products have been featured in the wardrobes of such notable figures as Kanye West, P Diddy and even the late Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner. In terms of publicity, Dang’s products have been featured in some of the biggest hip-hop magazines, XXL and The Source to name a few. Dang’s jewelry, not only donned by himself, has even been featured on MTV’s “Super Sweet Sixteen” and BET’s “Spring Bling”.


With the opening of his third location with Paul Wall himself, Dang’s well-known business continues to flourish by both its notoriety within the city as well as the many famous clients that Johnny Dang and Co. services.


Are you familiar with Johnny Dang? Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff and we’ll talk about it.