Remember ABN's It Is What It Is?

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Houston's history is dotted with albums that, fairly or un, have been swept aside. We'll examine them here. Have an album that you think nobody knows about but should? Email sheaserrano@gmail.com. Assholes By Nature It Is What It Is (Rap-A-Lot, 2008) A.B.N. is Z-Ro and Trae's unduly short-lived rap super-team. Though It Is What It Is was, by most every account, a successful unification, it remains to be the sole official album released under the moniker. In all likelihood, this fact will not change for all of time. And that sucks. Y'allmustaforgotability: 64 percent On account of the sheer volume of music released by these two (roughly about 9,000 songs), this number could be a lot higher. But both Trae and Z-Ro are fond of performing "Still Throwed," which means that one half of the "How Many Songs Can You Name From This Album Without Looking It Up On Wiki?" requirement for calculating Y'allmustaforgotability is fulfilled. "No Help," arguably the most well known Trae/Z-Ro track, is on here as well. And that seems like it should drop this number down to somewhere near the teens, except that it first appeared on Trae's Restless in 2007 so you can't really count it. We're all about picking at those nits. Read what Y'allmustaforgotability means. Best Song on the Album: There are about five songs on here that would've been the best song on any other album they showed up on, but "Umm Hmm" crushes them all. It's the perfect opening song. Remember the first scene in Saving Private Ryan? This is like that. Worst Feature on the Album: There are four* total guest appearances on IIWII: Lil' Boss, Jay-Ton, H.A.W.K. and Bulletproof. Bulletproof's is the weakest verse of the four, but he shows up on a song called "3-16's," so his gets a pass because being thematic is an admirable trait. *Actually, there might be five. Duvall, an only occasionally funny comedian who seems to find his way on more albums than he should (one should've been the limit), also makes an appearance here for two equally uneccessary skits. You can give him the belt for Worst Feature on the Album if you like. Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own So As To Make Yourself Look Smart: They mimic New Edition's "Can You Stand the Rain" for the chorus of "Rain," with Ro flexing his crooning muscles a bit. It's impossible not to smile the first time you hear it. Z-Ro leads the league in Unexpected R&B Samples. A few of the songs he's mimicked for you to throw around the next time this comes up: Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell"; Luther's "So Amazing" and "One Night"; Lenny Williams' "Cause I Love You"; Sade's "Cherish My Mind" and Jodeci's "Feenin'." He also worked in a Pat Benatar hat-tip once.

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