Dwane (pronounced Dwane) Sweazie (pronounced Sway-zee) is a new guy, but he's an old guy too.
He's been rapping for about six years and ghostwriting for an untold number of those. He's fairly secretive about the ghostwriting process, responding to most queries with a politely short, "Ehhh, I can't talk about that. It's in the contract." He will go so far as to say that he writes for guys not from Houston, which isn't very far at all, considering that leaves about 99.7 percent of the rest of the rapping world as viable clients. But, still.
This tape, The Remix Vol. 1, is his first released work. It's a precursor to a precursor for his forthcoming debut album (Inception-style, suckas). We spent the better part of a couple of days listening to it. Five notey-notes about it:
1. Beyond that there are nearly 40(!) tracks on the tape, it isn't exactly groundbreaking; it's mostly bragging about how he owns this and bragging about how he owns that and so on (the best one is that he lives in a quarter million dollar house). The tracklisting in fun because of how non-linear it is, and that's a neat enough trick. But there are three tracks on here that are interesting enough to warrant paying attention to Sweazie. As these things typically shake out, they're all interesting for different reasons. The songs:
2. "Gub'ment Cheese" is an early-Goodie-Mob(ish)-sounding track that first showed up on Dallas rap group Dem Southern Folkz' 2009 album, The Message. It originally featured a verse from Royce Da 5'9", everyone's favorite choice in the Let's Name Underrated Rappers conversation despite the fact that he's just about perfectly rated. The chorus is as such: "Gub'ment chee-eese, bread and wah-ter, gotta do whatever, feed my sons and my daughters." On Sweazie's tape, it comes on immediately after a remix of T-Pain's "Shawty." That's funny for obvious reasons and funny for unobvious reasons. Add this one to your iPod.
3. "Texas Plates" is the best song on the tape. It is one minute and twenty-three seconds long and Sweazie, rapping at a double time pace, rips it apart limb by limb. On most of the other tracks he's either natural sounding (this happens occasionally), confident (this would seem to happen a lot, but it'd be more accurate to say that he's closer towards being a braggart than simply being confident) or likeable. Here though, he's all three at the same time. Incidentally, the hook is a cut-up of a line from Mike Jones' "Like What I Got." Even when Sweazie's not bragging directly, he's still kind of bragging. Aces for being thematic. Add this one to your iPod.
4. "Dey Know Remix" is a - surprise! - remix of Shawty Lo's very best song. The production on it is somehow saccharine, even though it doesn't appear to possess any characteristics of anything ever described as being "saccharine." Again, Sweazie attacks the soundscape with vigor and life, this time even mimicking Lo's cadence and wispy wisp. If you can't appreciate him here, you might not be able to at all. Add this one to your iPod.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
5. Sweazie is currently piecing together his proper debut album - the shitty part about being a ghostwriter is that folks will periodically come in and cherry pick your best work to use as their own during your recording. It's like being a regular sperm donor, then making a bunch of your own babies, only to have someone swoop in and take all of the attractive ones. Or it's nothing like that at all. Whatevs. This is the fourth time he's gone through the process of trying to make his album. That's gotta suck, at least a little. You get the point.
Thank you for your continued support. Please send good music to sheaserrano()gmail()com.