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.
Tawn-P The Wake Up Kiss (self-released, 2011)
It feels a bit like Tawn P, a teeny-tiny firecracker MC with an affinity for dreadlocks and short pants, materialized out of thin air. One day she didn't exist, the next day she did, like an inverse of the thesis statement in UGK's "One Day": Tawn-P this, Tawn-P that, Tawn-P something, something baseball bat.
It was strange, really, and for a bit, it seemed like her apparent birth from nothingness would cauterize her ability to be anything other than the universe's child. But then she released The Wake Up Kiss. And watch the fuck out.
Tawn's scratchy, brassy voice is instantly entertaining - it sounds like it's been dragged back and forth through TV static - and she wields it like an axe murderer for a large percentage of TWUK. On it, she's aggressive and boisterous and confrontational and occasionally insightful and perpetually energetic, slowing down only to breathe and blink every ten or so minutes.
There are missteps, of course -she occasionally uses phrases like "I think outside the box"; she makes iffy choices for choruses on "My View" and "Window Seat," the latter of which she accidentally sings on - but it is a fun, purposeful 40 minutes and has to be regarded as one of the three most impressive Houston rap outings thus far this year.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 99.5 percent
One of the drawbacks of making a tape using famous beats (TWUK is made up entirely of them) is that nobody will ever remember the title to any of your songs that you made over them, even if you asked them the second they finished listening to your version. At best, someone will be able to say, "Hey, didn't X do a remake of this?" You don't get Y'allmustaforgotability credit for that.
Best Sample on the Album: Yikes. This is a tricky one. The whole tape is a sample, and Tawn's picks are pretty impeccable. Pick whichever one you want. If you're smart enough, you can justify your pick.
Most Unintentionally Funny Line on the Album: On the album opener "Wake Up," Tawn makes the assertion that she has been crushing things for a considerable amount of time ("I been running shit!"). In itself, this isn't a funny statement; it's the type of generalized proclamation rappers make all day.
What's funny is that, as evidence of her apparent perpetual domination, she tells you to listen to her heralded guest feature on "Lauryn Hill Stickup," a song from Dante Higgins' Rhymes For Weeks that came out about six hours before this tape.
Best, Most Ridiculous Question A Guy Will Ask Himself After He's Listened Through The Tape For The Fourth Time: "Did I just listen to a rap album by a girl recreationally? No, no, I couldn't have... holy shit, I did, didn't I?"
Men don't listen to rap music made by women for fun. They just don't. If a guy tells you he does, he's either lying, or he's the same type of person that watches the WNBA, and nobody likes liars or WNBA fans. Men can listen to it, and even enjoy it, critically (Lil Kim has a classic album in her discography), but not recreationally (no man has ever been like, "Man, I really feel like jamming out to Lil Kim right now").
But this tape possesses that quality. It can be a bit hard to tell whether that's because the sample selection was so vibrant or because Tawn was, but that's irrelevant, really. You can listen to this tape for fun, and that's far more impressive than it should be.
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart:
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At the mixer for this tape's release, they were serving alcohol and cookies. That doesn't have anything to do with anything per se, but it still seems like something you should know about.