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.
Doughbeezy Reggie Bush and Kool-Aid (Self-released, 2010)
Doughbeezy is, at the moment, one of the city's brighter points of light. He raps fast and with a very distinct swerve, his tone settling in somewhere around the pinched-tenor flagpole.
He has been grown in the hard soil of Southeast Houston, and over the course of about six months has gone from having his name followed with a question mark (Doughbeezy?) to an exclamation point (Doughbeezy!).
Reggie Bush and Kool-Aid is his first full-length effort. There are bits of brilliance on there and there are bits on there that are not brilliant; fortunately, there are far more of the former than the latter.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 89 percent
Best Song on the Album: "Light You Up," the album's ethereal opener, is the walk-away best here. It jumps from tunneled to overt sonically, with DB's voice shifting between sleepy to keyed-up with the same velocity a Ferrari takes corners with. The song bears a tangential relationship to Drake's "Light Up" (at least aesthetically).
Worst Song on the Album: "In The Morning." It's about how a woman should wake her man up in the morning by performing fellatio on him. Morning fellatio isn't a terrible idea, mind you - matter of fact, it's probably the best idea in the world - but it just doesn't work as the spine of a song that is clearly trying to take itself seriously.
The chorus: "Suck that boy in the morning, suck that boy in the morning, suck that boy in the morning, sun rising while I'm yawning"
Incidentally, the song that comes on immediately after it is called "Neck." It's about fellatio too (anytime fellatio, not just morning fellatio). "Neck" succeeds because it doesn't make any attempt to be anything other than a song about head. It's poppy and clap-heavy and built to be played loudly at the club and nowhere else and it seems to understand that entirely. It's like a grown man version of "You're a Jerk."
Line From The Album That Makes You Say, "Hey, Wait A Sec": "My first three words were, 'Bitch, I'm on it." Cool, cool... hey, wait a sec...
Retread That You Don't Mind Being On Here: "Temperatures Rising" first showed up on DB's EP. It shows up here too, and that's totally okay; it's his song, it's good and it adds to the general theme of the tape. Thumbs up.
Retread That You Do Mind Being On Here: "HAM" first showed up on Dante Higgins' Rhymes For Weeks earlier this year. It's a fun, fun, fun song, but it's Dante Higgins' fun, fun, fun song. It doesn't need to be here. It doesn't do anything that other songs on the tape don't already do. Thumbs down.
Most Surprising Showing on the Album: Kyle Welican. Never heard his name before? That makes you and everyone else. But he gives a strong performance here, gleaming most brightly when he quips, "I'm super duper... nah, fuck that, add another duper" on the Lupe Fiasco highjack, "It's On."
Best, Most Interesting Argument You Have With Someone After Listening To The Album: "Is the second verse from 'Pass The Swisher' a pivotal performance?"
Our guess: probably. It can only either be that, or an anomaly, and Doughbeezy doesn't seem like the type of person that trades in anomalies.
That verse is, in no uncertain terms, the best one on the album. He snaps on it, altering his voice at will, stutter-stepping through parts of it just for fun and just grabbing lightning bolts in general. It's the type of thing that people can point to and say, "See, this right here is why everyone is falling over to compliment this guy."
But more than just that, he sounds wholly natural while delivering, like there were an entire catalog of these types of verses in his brain and he decided to take one out and show it off for no other reason than because he could.
A day or so we received two very similar text messages about Doughbeezy from two very different people: Do you think Doughbeezy has what it takes to become a Ludacris?
Response: He certainly possesses the talent to become famous, yes*.
*Ludacris, by the way, is an easy comparison to make, but it doesn't feel completely right. At least, not in the sense that he's being mentioned here. You know how that goes.
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart:
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On "Light you Up" Doughbeezy makes mention of Kobe Bryant's deftness for burying clutch jumpers, comparing it to the quality of the weed he has. Theoretically, the analogy makes sense, but is actually based on a fallacy. Kobe's crunch time stats are rather pedestrian (via Truehoop): "In the final 24 seconds of playoff games, Bryant has racked up almost as many air balls as makes, making just below 30 percent of game-tying or go-ahead shots"
More on that, Bryant's Lakers' offense is very middle-of-the-pack. The team in the NBA with the most lethal crunch-time stats: The New Orleans Hornets. Go ahead and throw those nuggets out there as you watch the two play against each tonight.