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.
The Niceguys Green Room EP (265 Pro/The Pi Group, 2009)
You know The Niceguys. If you don't, read this and this. If you don't want to read those, then read this: The Niceguys are four dudes; one is rapper, two are producers and one is a DJ. That equals four, just like we said. Face.
With the exception of our two blogs linked above, not much else has written about the foursome. That's probably going to change soon when they release their first proper full-length. Because, by all evidence, it's going to merit a lot of discussion. As such, Rocks Off had planned on implementing a Niceguys embargo until then, but we tried to engage several people in discussions about their Green Room EP two weeks ago at a show and absolutely nobody had any idea what we were talking about.
It has somehow already become a forgotten piece of Houston hip-hop history, and that's a shame, because it's a very good EP. It's seven songs long. There's one great song, three good, good songs, two good songs and one song that should probably be better than it is but is still fairly enjoyable. We'll let you sort out the pieces, because you can download it for free.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 96 percent
The Niceguys are no doubt stars in their circle of friends, and we suspect anybody that's met them can satisfy the "Can You Name Two Songs From This Album Without Googling It?" qualifier. But, as we've learned, you're not going to find very many others that can.
Second Best Song on the Album: "Not At All" is so very clearly the best song on the EP that we had to change this category a bit. "Supreme Team" is the second best song here, mostly because Christolph (producer) gives Yves room to roam. Some of the other songs have just a little too much going on in the background, and that tends to siphon away a bit of Yves' steam on occasion. It's kind of like what happened to Slim Thug on that album where The Neptunes nabbed most of the production credits, though that's about where the similarities between Yves and Slim end.
Most Unexpected Reference: Not only does Yves et. al drop a Malcolm Gladwell reference, but they make an entire song paying homage to his book, Outliers.
Song That You Need To Re-Listen To 42 Times To Catch Everything That's Going On: "Not At All"
Yves snaps on this song. The whole first verse is littered with all sorts of meta content. Some of the punchlines are actually punchlines of themselves. It's like Inception, except you don't have to sit there and wonder why they picked Juno for that one role.
Yves somehow manages to lyrically outpace the very busy, very excellent production, which sits somewhere on the How Impressive Was That? scale between outrunning an avalanche by foot and karate chopping a Kroger's employee in the neck for no reason at all.
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Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart:
• The only song that was recorded in a studio was "Supreme Team," which makes sense when you stand it up next to all of the other songs. "Venting" and "Bloodshed" were actually recorded in Moody Towers on the U of H campus. That makes them doubly impressive. Have you ever been in Moody Towers? It's like where Charles Manson would live if he got kicked out of prison. It's the Cuney Homes of college dorms.
• "Not At All" was supposed to be a remix of another Niceguys song, but word got to Yves that people were murmuring that he could only rap about clothes and shit.