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 email@example.com.
Chane Samplified Successor (Self-released, 2011)
There are new rappers in Houston, and there are new, new rappers in Houston. Chane is a new, new rapper. He made his first proper footprint in May with "Feet Don't Fail Me," an exceptionally cathartic song about life after his father's death that came packaged with a devastating, unforgiving music video.
Samplified Successor, named such because his father, Kendall Mosely Sr., was called Samplified Stro, is his first album.
Yallmustaforgotability: 98 percent
Best Song on the Album: In lots of spots on the album, Chane flexes his Philly heritage with strength and aggression. But no other place does he do so with as much menace and intent than on "Off Like a Rocket," a chunky, static-filled fistfight. In the first verse, he is tempered, calm even. In the second verse, he does, in fact, take off like a rocket, exploding into a rapid fire cadence.
Most Heartrending Moment on the Album: Essentially, the entire album is constructed to relay how profound an experience the death of Chane's father was to him. He references it, either directly or tangentially, in just about all of the songs. There is no shortage of compelling moments. Chief among them though are the between song intermissions, where Chane spliced in audio of his father speaking to him.
According to Chane, he has an untold number of hours of recordings like that; apparently, Papa Chane kept an audio diary, chronicling how he felt about Chane and his growth as a man for just about the duration of his life. It's remarkable, really.
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Imagine not only being able to listen to someone who's passed speak to you, but to hear them say combinations of words that you've never heard before. It's as close to communing with the dead that anyone will ever get.
At Any Rate: The album opens with an extra-tiny, extra-nasally Chane rapping into the microphone for his father. After that, a beaming Papa Chane begins talking, specifically mentioning how they will be together forever "because I'm not gonna die." From there, it bleeds into ethereal bells and tinks as he continues his monologue. Crazy, crazy, crazy*.
*I played this for Wife, explaining the history behind it beforehand. Towards the end, she was in tears. And that's the story of how the Serranos started their audio diary.
Second Most Heartrending Moment on the Album: SS ends with a Goodbye, Dad track, which was pretty much inevitable given the album's circle-of-life theme. But it is tasteful and honest and teary-eyed.
Should I Download This Album: Yes. And you should pay at least, like, maybe $9 for it. There are parts that are lackluster, but there are far more interesting, energized parts. This is not the best tape that has been made this year, but it leapfrogs projects by a whole heap of dudes.
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own So As To Sound Smart:
Plenty of Houston rappers recorded with Papa Chane at his studio, ranging from the underappreciated stalwarts (K-Rino) to the iconic (DJ Screw).
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Papa Chane's name was Keenan Mosely. Chane's name is Kendall Mosely. Chane's son's name is Kendall Mosely.
Download Samplified Successor on Chane's Bandcamp page.