Houston's history is dotted with albums that, fairly or not, have been swept aside. We'll examine them here. Have an album that you think nobody knows about but should? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chamillionaire Badazz Slow-Mixes (Self-released, 2011)
Chamillionaire, everyone's favorite globetrotting recluse, held a contest on his Web site back in May. The rules were plain enough: Create a 12-song mixtape that incorporates his "This Is My World," "Slow City Don" and "Chandelier Ceiling" into the fray, turn it in, then wait. The prize was, basically, an official co-sign from Chamillionaire,, who promised to send it to all of the blogs and not erase the winner's name. This tape came away the winner.
Yallmustaforgotability: 98 percent
The novelty of the tape will be remembered, but ultimately, when people talk about it, they'll say things like, "Remember that Badazz Slow-Mixes tape, the one where Cham went in on that Miguel song."
Why This Tape Works: Chamillionaire helped build his empire by thieving beats from folks. And his bumblebee drone has always been a weapon he's wielded with precision, especially when he was pulling the innards out of an R&B song. And that's pretty much what he does for the entirety of this tape.
The Artist That, After Listening To This Tape, Makes You Say, "You know, Chamillionaire should really do a song with that guy": Surprisingly, it's Frank Ocean, this year's most interesting insta-superstar. He manages to outdo J. Cole, Z-Ro, Big K.R.I.T. (just barely), Drake and more. That guy's probably not going anywhere soon.
Song That Makes You Realize Z-Ro Could've Really Been A Giant Had He Had More Opportunities To Work With Outside-Houston Production: The eighth song on the track is the best "I Hate You" redo, that one where his vocals are laid out over Usher's idyllic "There Goes My Baby" beat.
Most Surprising Moment on the Album: Perhaps he was compelled by the impressive agro-rap of Big K.R.I.T. in the opening salvo, but early in the album he lets loose a profanity ("dick"), which he has mostly avoided for the duration of his career. It doesn't sound weird, it just FEELS weird, like running into one of your teachers in the Galleria.
Best Chorus Hijacking on the Album: It's likely due to the silky, utter brilliance of the cadence of the original, but Cham's version of the hook of Miguel's "Sure Thing" is the one moment on the tape that, above all else, makes you say, "Yeah, I'm glad I downloaded this."
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Sound Smart:
Three people actually won this contest: DJ Arshizzle, Prabh Dhillon and DJ Sick Blunt. Cham pieced this together between the three. That says something about something, for certain.
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Pimp C's and Bun B's verses from "One Day" were stitched into "Swim Good," and it would've been totally cool if it wasn't.
Chamillionaire plays Best of Houston® BestFest September 24 in Midtown.