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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delo Hood Politics (Self-released, 2010)
Delo is a Missouri City rapper who, as proof that the music industry is neither fair nor unbiased, does not yet rate on everybody's Favorite Underground Houston Rappers list.
He exists in his most beastly modes on tracks that are either a) warm and earthy; b) hearty and bass-driven; or c) the exact opposite of both of those; he'd likely never try it, but we suspect he'd be crazy on something by Lex Luger. But even when he gets it wrong, the soft rasp of his voice is almost always interesting, even when he's not rapping about interesting things. It bodes well for his long-term listenability.
Hood Politics is his first solo tape and a strong, demonstrative effort. If you were to argue that it was one of the best Houston mixtapes of 2010, you would not be wrong.
How Auspicious Is The Intro Track?
Very. "Ghetto Boy" is a funky, funky, modish take on traditional blues-rap. It's hard to imagine how it could be more effective. Our mouth felt dusty listening to it. We hear Samuel L. Jackson is considering making a really bad movie about it where he chains a girl to his radiator.
Obvious Contradiction on the Album:
In one instance, D is a hungry, dirty ghetto boy; in another he's a gazillionaire reporting on the state of the cosmos from his space-ready solid-gold helicopter (our words, not his). He's perfectly capable of doing that type of rapping, but his best songs always sound like they're the most honest ones. It's why "To Kill A Mockingbird," his take on one of Eminem's most humanizing tracks, is absolutely pulverizing; he sounds like he's telling truth the entire time.
Best Song on the Album:
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"Ain't My Style" is so, so brutal. It will never, ever get radio play, but it is very nearly masterful. This is when he's at his best; when he's allowed to just run. It's the same reason "Ghetto Boy" is so good - he doesn't sound like he's concerned with anything at all.
With "16 David," for example, it's neat, but it's not all that compelling. It's like he's playing to the chorus. Here, where there's no traditional framework, he sounds completely comfortable and genuine. The first minute of it is the best minute on the album, and very likely one of the best minutes of any Houston rap album in 2010.
Song That Is Cool At First Then Gets Annoying But Eventually Gets Better Every Time You Listen To It: Lenny Kravitz rip "Tell Me Mama."
You shouldn't really need any more analysis of this. The title of this section pretty much clears everything up.
Curious Note No. 1: In the first three songs, Delo references two different type of sauces, duck and tartar. Has that ever happened before?
Curious Note No. 2: It's funny that the rich mahogany of "Hood Politics" has Obama and a Denzel-as-Malcolm-X samples.
Not A Curious Note, But A Curious Observation:
When D does songs like "Money Drop," which very neatly sounds like the type of thumping, stringy Atlanta production everyone was trying to master back in 2004, we kept waiting for the Young Jeezy adlibs to come on. They did not.
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Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart: D has an obvious appreciation for soulful aesthetics. Which is why "I Think I Got Wings" was so unexpected. It is the song that has the highest degree of radio-friendliness; think something Mims might enjoy rapping over.
It also has the worst chorus: "I'm on the Red Bull with the Hennessey/ I'm feeling so fly, I think I got wings/ I think I got wings/ I think I got wings/ I think I got wings/ Like the commercial."
In it, he takes a jab at songs that attach trendy dances to themselves, mildly ironic considering he does so while championing a chorus that could adequately described as a one long Souljaboy-ism.