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.
Madd Hatta All About Me (Groovemakers Recordings, 1995)
Madd Hatta has risen to Houston fame as the big stick on The Box's Madd Hatta Morning Show. He used to, however, be a fairly prominent rapper in town in the '90s, back when a localized version of G-Funk had a strong, strong grip on the music.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 98 percent
We ran into Hatta at the recent Hip-Hop 4 HIV show and mentioned to him that we'd be writing about this album soon. His modest response was along the lines of "I don't know why anybody would wanna do that."
It's a fun album to listen to, but possibly more fun than it was to listen to back when it first came out; hearing it now is not unlike stumbling across some pictures in the attic of your dad playing high school basketball that you'd never seen before.
Best Song on the Album: "...Was A Groupie"
After hearing Hatta curse-free on the radio for so long, it feels weird to hear him describe a girl as being, "nothing but a nympho with the dick on her mind." Still, this is a well constructed, easy to listen to song. Good production, good-enough rapping, better-than-good concept, strong hook.
Worst Song on the Album: "Trunk of Funk"
This song is actually mostly good - Hatta is at his most compelling when he speeds up his flow like he does here - but the hook is just... wow.
Houston rappers have had years and years of practice on this sort of R&B sing-song thing, so maybe that's taking away from the effectiveness a bit, but we're not certain. Does anyone remember listening to this back when it first came out? Was it cool back then? Does it even matter? Hell, tapered Girbaud jeans were cool in 1995. They're still ridiculous today.
Most Engaging Line on the Album: In the feather-light, bouncy, lovey-dovey "Sumthin' Bout You" track, he hits you with the:
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And when we're finally married, don't get scary. The baby for nine months, I'd carry. I know it sounds like an unbelievable feat but I'd try. So listen, have a seat.
There's a lot to unravel here, the most pressing point being: Is he saying that, should the girl to whom he's rapping choose to marry him and then get pregnant, he'd try to gestate the baby for her? That's amazing. He's like a sea horse or something, a goddamn crazy-in-love sea horse.
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart:
• There was another album that came out either not too long before or after All About Me that had no less seven of the same tracks on it.