Y'all Musta Forgot: Lil' O's Da Fat Rat Wit Da Cheeze, Featuring Destiny's Child
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.
Lil' O Da Fat Rat Wit Da Cheeze (Atlantic/GameFace Entertainment, 2001)
Lil' O is the bronze-voiced Screwed Up Click MC that, despite a culling of quality tracks and guest features, and despite being one of the first Houston guys to sign to a semi-major (Atlantic), will be remembered for his regional supersmash "Back, Back" from 2001's Da Fat Rat Wit Da Cheeze.
Fat Rat is about two notches away from being a Houston classic. It features Hawk, Moe, a 19-year-old Slim Thug (who sounds nothing like a 29-year-old), Papa Reu, Billy Cook, Z-Ro, Mr. 3-2 and a handful of others. Lil' O does two things well when he raps: Talk shit and tell the truth. Though sometimes contradictory in nature, he does both of those things to great effect here, namely on "Back, Back" (talks shit), "We Ain't Broke No Mo" (talks shit), "Playas Get Chose" (talks shit), "My Loved Ones" (tells the truth) and "Ooh Wee" (tells the truth).
Y'allmustaforgotability: 83 percent Read what Y'allmustaforgotability means. Best Verse on the Album: The first verse from "Back, Back." The first two bars of "Back, Back," in fact, form the most succinct, all-encompassing, unassailable representation of Lil' O's career:
"Hey, here's a little story about a nigga like me, I fuck bad broads, live large and drive V's. Some say I'm cocky and rude I might be, But nigga fuck you, you ain't got to like me."
That's pretty much all you need to know about Lil' O. Oh, also that he's barely five feet tall. And that his relationship with his father is the inspiration for a fair number of tracks. Now you're all caught up.
Second Best Song on the Album: "Ooh Wee," feat. Z-Ro "Back, Back" was so very clearly the best song on this album that it felt silly having a section to tell you it was the best. It'd be like showing you a picture of Wesley Snipes and saying, "Yo, this guy is black." Best Use of a Sample on the Album: In "Slow Down" Lil' O uses a line from Puff Daddy and Mase's "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" as the chorus. It's the best sample only because it's the most ludicrous. Most Unreasonable Line Of The Album: From "We Ain't Broke No Mo" Lil' O drops this doozy about his femmes: "Gotta lick my thing, and freak me in ways that's sickening, they lickin' my ass til' it's glittery." He might have possibly said "glittering" instead of "glittery." That doesn't make any difference, we suppose. Obscure Fact You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Sound Smart: There is a very real possibility that Beyonce will settle into history as the greatest individual musical act to ever come out Texas. She'll almost certainly be ranked as the best female musician from here. And Destiny's Child will likely go down as the greatest female group to ever come out of Houston. But there was a time when DC's talents were relegated to the margins of Lil' O songs.
Proof: Hear "Can't Stop," a Lil' O track from 1997 where the girls that sing the hook will sound awfully familiar. Listening to it now, particularly when you consider the institution Beyonce has become, it's almost unbelievable. Can you imagine if they had never gained any traction and spent their careers supplying the SUC, SPC, Swishahouse and so on with these buttery, Houston-riffic choruses? Think about that for a second. Think about seeing an album cover like Carolyn Rodriguez's Medicine Girl with Beyonce on the cover instead. Now go ahead and pick up the pieces of your head that just exploded all over the place.
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