Earlier this week, the official Top 10 Houston Rap Albums of 2010 list was posted. Though initially the only real surprise on the list seemed to be the discreet Preemo wiggling his way through the thorn bushes all the way up to the No. 2 spot, there were plenty of emails to wade through about the list's relative inaccuracy.
Now, were we tiny, we'd immediately point out that just about everyone that bothered to email - thanks for that, as always - responded to "Have you heard the albums on The List that you felt were placed too highly?" with some form of "Um, nope," which effectively nullifies most all gripes. But that type of chicanery* serves no real purpose.
*You see what we did there? We undercut chicanery with chicanery. In part because it's semi-dickish to do so, and that's always fun, but mostly because "chicanery" is an excellent word to write and read. Chicanery. Chicanery. CHICANERY.
There were handfuls of talented, relevant rappers, many of whom we've written flattering things about, who did not make it into the final 16; everyone seems to be able to agree on that part. So let's make a proper list of guys and gals who also deserve a big ol' high five.
Yung Redd: The marketable, likeable, sellable star that SwishaHouse doesn't seem to recognize it has, Redd is one of the best, brightest guys out right now. Eviction Notice 4 was very strong. Definitely deserves a high-five.
Kyle Hubbard: Ah, Mr. Hubbard, perpetual Rocks Off contributor and proud author of a solid EP. He has seemingly gotten better and better every minute of every day. There's little reason to assume that he will treat 2011 with any indifference. High-five.
Delo: A strong, strong rapper with a strong, strong grasp on his rap existence. People still email us about his interview that ran back in April. His Hood Politics tape was about as strong as anybody else's in his weight class. If 2011 brings a proper Delo album, expect to read his name quite a bit. High-five.
IB: A darkhorse pick for Breakout Houston Female of the Year, she's like a more coherent, more hip-hoppish version of the enigmatic Perseph One. Her Outta My Mind* tape glows with potential. High-five.
* Here's an interesting tidbit: Delo has a song on the Hood Politics Vol. 1 tape that has a part where he's rapping about arguing with his girl that says something to the effect of, "She's like 'Fuck you,' yeah, I love you too." IB has a song on her tape that says an almost exact reverse of that statement: "When I say 'fuck you,' just know that I love you." This has to mean something, right?
H-Kane: Though he's grown his presence in Houston because of his preternatural ability to both throw and run a party, Kane also released a solid album in January called The Curfew. His name has been on, like, 65 percent of the flyers we've peeled from underneath the windshield blades of our car. High-five.
Candi Redd: She and Troublesum continued there sparring match for the Best Female Rapper In Houston title. She finally properly released her Redd Alert album. 2010 was big for Candi. She's eyeing bigger success in 2011. High-five. Speaking of...
Troublesum: It seemed like everyday we received an email blast championing some new project Troublesum was involved in. Here's to a 2011 full of those same types of messages. High-five.
hasHBrown: Let no one forget about the self-proclaimed Rap Mayor. While he's currently most devastating in the producer capacity, hasH has shown flashes of lyrical monsterisms. In 2010, he was as busy as breakfast at McDonald's (#ApplicableBreakfastAnalogy); 2011 will be no different. High-five.
iLL LiaD: Microsoft Word hates this kid, the rest of Houston does not. High-five.
John Dew: This year, Summertime Johnny was in the early stages of his plot to take over the city; he'd only periodically pop his head up to deliver a guest verse or crush a live show or release a single. Still, it's hard to ignore the innate crispness of his flow. A combination of the two should serve as verifiable proof that anything with his name on it in 2011 will merit thoughtful listening. High-five.
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Thurogood Wordsmith: Who can possibly not enjoy wiggleworm Thurogood Wordsmith? His The Appetizer EP had all sorts of fun parts and did exactly what it was supposed to: Make people anxious to hear his forthcoming full-length. High-five.
B L A C K I E: Nobody was really sure what to do with his Spred Luv EP: Was it rap, was it noise, was it rap-noise, was it noise-rap? Whatever, just know that it was an audio hurricane that no doubt incited its share of fistfights. High-five.
There are more, for certain. That's sort of been the point of all of these discussions this past week or so. Who else needs a high-five? Hit the comments with your picks.
And thank you for another year of your support. Have a safe weekend. Stay away from hitchhikers.