Screwston, Texas

Five Plot Points From 5200, Z-Ro's Latest Tape

About two weeks or so ago, Roel Osteen released 5200, a grab-bag mixtape of various clips of music that have appeared elsewhere online. It's a mostly fun tape. Notes ahead. One bulleted point for each of the fingers on his right hand.

#PayingHomage The best song on the tape is "Southside Groovin'," a redub of a track that appeared on Point Blank's Bad Newz Travels Fast more than a decade ago. Three takeaways:

1) Production team Beanz and Kornbread cleaned up the track to a proper shine. If you're going to try to make this type of beat, those two guys are the first one you should call. When it comes to shaggy, hazy, Texas rap atmospherics, they can compete with anybody on the planet;


2) On the original version, Ro was still an energetic pup, hurriedly pushing his way through the beat. Here, he does his sing-song promethazined boogie, harmonizing with himself and just generally sounding like a world beater. Best line: "We don't do no dancing, even less romancing";

3) Slim Thug is the guest feature here. The original version had Point Blank, Ro, SPM and Big T.

#LittleMac The most uninteresting song on the tape is "Macc & Tha King," mostly on account of the uninspired production and how overwhelmed the middle-of-the-road Macc Grace sounds when standing next to Ro.

The best line: "I was at the bottom for so long I didn't know [there] was a top. Now I'm at the top riding a drop top, I didn't know it had a top." Other features on the tape include the aforementioned Slim Thug, B.G. and an uncredited Paul Wall.

#ICan'tFeelMyFace The phrase that'll likely become popular in the suburbs in a few months simply because it shows up on a Z-Ro tape: Face real heavy. It's a slang term to mean that one is extra high, and Ro and B.G. spend five minutes and one second discussing how and when they feel that way. B.G., by the by, does a splendid job sounding extra heavy-faced... in his own croaky sort of way.

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Shea Serrano