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.
(Self-released, 2011) CQ & t.h.e. MisFit Crazy-8
Note: Heretofore, whenever t.h.e. MisFit Crazy-8 is mentioned here, he will be referred to as "8," because fuck, man, "t.h.e. MisFit Crazy-8" is just a little too much.
The Sunday Soapbox is a duo album. It was made by 8 and the previously unknown CQ, a brisk, pinhole-voiced emcee. In its best, most auspicious moments (when the twosome volley ideas and kinetic energy back and forth), it squints your eyes with effervescence. They are inspired and in control. In its worst moments, everything is reversed.
Yallmustaforgotability: 99 percent
The Best "Oh, That Was A Good Idea" Moment: The tape is carved from earthy, shining J. Dilla instrumentals. That's always a good idea. We mean, there aren't a lot of times in the history of history that anyone has ever followed, "What is that, a J. Dilla sample?" with "That shit sucks." J. Dilla instrumentals are like sandwiches from Arby's, except the opposite.
The Most "It Would've Been Cool If They Hadn't Done That" Song on the Album: The ten hole is a song called "Elroy Jetson," a grab bag of sounds and ideas that sounds way too much like a grab bag of sounds and ideas. It works entirely too hard to impress, which is antithetical if you macro view the project.
The Best Song on the Album: There are plenty of strong points on the SS. The intro, "Sunday Soapbox," a 2:48 aural version of an Autumn sunny morning, is as enjoyable as just about any Houston rap album's opening this year. "Be Me" (edict: you should be you) is effective. And the rolling frolic of "A(typical) Love" is impassioned. But nowhere are 8 and CQ more convincing in their hip-hop apothecary roles than on the backroom swing of "You Can't Hide."
Interesting Aside Regarding "You Can't Hide": It is preceded by an interlude titled "The Truth." In it, a woman recalls a dream she once had wherein she interrupts a party (implied to be full of white people) to tell them (a) Jesus is black; (b) Ronald Reagan is the Devil; and (c) the government is lying about 9/11. After her announcement, the party breaks into screeches and hollering. That they followed it with a song called "You Can't Hide" that, in effect, calls out people that lie about things (money, cars, women) is a fun amount of clever.
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Should I Or Should I Not Download This: You should. For one, it is free, and that's neat. But also, if you upload it into your iTunes and then delete "Elroy Jetson," "Run Thru" and the two interludes not named "The Truth," it becomes an especially solid project with a significant amount of listentoitagainandagainability.
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own So As To Sound Smart
The cover is a picture of two shoes (Converse/Adidas). Underneath each is the name of the emcee that favors it.
This album is mostly organic; it started out as a single collaboration and grew from there. Those types of things almost always turn out well.