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.
Devin the Dude Gotta Be Me (2010, Real Talk Records)
We've written ad nauseum about Devin the Dude's sleepy brilliance; it's completely within reason to argue that no other Houston rapper has utilized one particular skill set - rapping about weed and women, essentially - to create such a vast and pleasing discography.
Did you know that Michelangelo created that Creation of Adam painting where Adam and God are touching fingertips using only two different colors?
You shouldn't have known that, because it's not true. But if it were, that'd be a perfect metaphor for what Devin's done for this entire career.
His late 2010 LP, Gotta Be Me, is all gooey and charming production coupled with his gooey and charming modulation. There are no transcendent tracks like "Doobie Ashtray" or "Lacville '79," but you can easily listen to the entire thing 100 times in a row without realizing you've done so, and that seems to be the point this time around.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 81 percent
Best Feature on the Album: Nobody. As in, there are none. It's completely possible that Devin was up at 1:20 a.m. on a Tuesday morning watching Next Friday and decided to go make an album. You can't convince us that this isn't exactly what happened.
Best Indirect Example of How Utterly Likeable Devin the Dude Is: On the rubbery "No Need To Call," Devin somehow manages to make "Don't call if you don't wanna fuck. Bitch, don't call just to say what's up." sound like "I think you're a really dynamic woman, and I'd like nothing more than to massage your feet while you tell me about the stormy relationship you and your mother have."
Best Argument You Have With Someone After Listening To The Album: Could Devin ever be considered the greatest rapper that Houston has ever spawned?
He's critically acclaimed by rappers and writers alike. He's never put out an album that could be completely dismissed. He was integral to the formation of Houston rap's counter-counterculture. And he already wins the Most Underrated Houston Rapper award, as well as the Most Underappreciated Houston Rapper award.
What if he puts out another Just Tryin' Ta Live in the next two years, then follows that up with a couple of To Tha X-Treme-like works, then backs his way into a Grammy with a single when he decides that that's what he wants to do?
Even when you consider the fact that he's already about 41, it's still not unreasonable to assume he could do that. His appeal is ageless and permanent, which means as long as there is R&B in the world, he will have a canvas. His name has to become a fixture in that conversation, right?
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Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart:
- Right around June 21 of every year, the sun shines directly at 23.5 degrees north latitude, making it the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere and the shortest day of the year in the Southern hemisphere.
- That doesn't have anything to do with Devin the Dude per se, but if you say it, people will think you're smart.