The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper: Ldavoice
The Weakened, H.I.S.D.'s follow-up LP to 2007's heralded The District, has just come out. Get it here. And be back here for a breakdown of it in Thursday's Y'all Musta Forgot column.
This Week's Subject(s): Duo rap albums that will never be
Ask A Rapper: Kanye got to leaking information about his upcoming duo album he's doing with Jay-Z. Lots of people are already going yo-yo for it, and rightfully so; like it or not, those are two of the best, most powerful rappers out today. Nas and Damien Marley had a (pretty good) duo album together. E-40 and Too Short just released news that they're making one soon too. It's en vogue, apparently. So that got us to thinking: What other rappers would you like to see do a duo album?
1. Blu C Fashawn: They're just too dope; one great song away from blowing up. Seriously underrated MCs.
2. Mos Def & Talib Kweli: Although they've already made an album together like, 12 years ago, it would do both their fans and themselves a favor if they release another Black Star album.
3. Phonte & Elzhi: Two of the most consistent yet underrated dope MCs over the last 10 years whose groups dissolved but were able to still make great music.
4. Andre 3000 & Big Boi: Hip-hop and the listening public needs another OutKast album baaaaaaad.
5. Rick Ross & Young Jeezy: I think it would be an interesting album for you to have two dudes who are just-under-mediocre rappers who get bailed out by good production.
We're a tad more Houstoncentric, thus:
Ask A Rapper's Picks:
1. Trae & Z-Ro: Oh, what once was and what could've been. Former bandmates, it's a bit hard to argue that this twosome would've been better served staying together; since they separated, they've each grown to become tertiary consumers in the Houston rap ecosystem. Still, we can't imagine too many other instances that would cause Houston rap heads to get more amped up than to hear that they were reuniting to do It Is What It Is Pt. 2. The guys at the Texas Takeover message board might ejaculate all over themselves if this were to happen.
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2. Fat Tony & Preemo: Tony and Preemo are two of the best underground rappers out. They're creative and dynamic and not tied down to the Houston rap archetype. They're also not afraid of much creatively (see: Tthe whole second half of Fat Tony's RABDARGAB EPreview or Preemo's recently released Strange Brew, a duo album he did with Tanzanian rapper LBT), so there's a possibility that it could be something pretty trenchant. We suppose this means there's also a chance it could potentially be terrible. Whatev. We'll chance it.
3. J-Dawg & Jay'Ton: Both had super-solid individual tapes this year (Behind Tint Vol. 2; Got It By Tha Ton), one of which you heard a lot about, the other of which belonged to Trae's brother so you heard zilch about it. They are two of the most ferocious rappers out now, as adept at scarring the shit out of you as they are at ripping apart a 16. Their uniting for a full-length joint effort would almost certainly produce a monster tape. Or a mass murder of monumental proportions, like when Jason and Freddy teamed up in that horrible idea of a movie a few years ago.
4. Lil Flip & anybody: Flipperace has his deriders--in fairness, if you call yourself "Flipperace" you deserve any needling you get--but he has always been an interesting person with an interesting voice. Remember the album he did with Ro? Or his early-career SUC freestyle stuff? Or that song he did with Lea? Wait, okay, that last one was shitty. But the other two were phenomenal. He matches up with just about anybody nicely. If his name is on a tape, we're at least going to give it a chance.
5. Bun B & Scarface: Imagine if instead of one Jesus, there were two. And imagine if instead of them being concerned with the well being of man and and using God's guidance and wisdom to construct a better, more meaningful existence for all, they were concerned with making the ultimate Southern hip-hop. A Bun B/Scarface album would outsell that album by at least 40,000 units. For double Christ's sake, Bun and 'Face helped account for the four most important Houston hip-hop albums of all time, and at least five of the most important Southern rap albums of all time.