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.
Fat Tony RABDARGAB EPreview (self-released, 2010)
Fat Tony has, it seems, worked hard to keep the traditional Houston rap tropes at arms length - Rocks Off will mail you $2 if you can find one song where he uses the phrase "H-Town" even once. Any time he's glanced at those sorts of things, it's always been furtively, ironically, or part of a grander, less obvious message. It's like he's purposely gone out of his way to avoid them. Or rather, that's what appeared to be happening.
But that's not what's been happening at all. Actually, it's quite the opposite. Tony wasn't trying to avoid them, he simply was avoiding them. There was no compulsion, no clichéd candy-painted demons to fight back. Because he's not, nor will he ever be, that rapper. And this is clear now because last week he put out the preview mixtape for his forthcoming full length album.
It's spacey and unexpected and adventurous and interesting, and the production is, at times, fearless - not unlike what made Theophilus London's This Charming Mixtape a critical favorite a few years ago, but not too much like it either. And it seems that one of the main points of it is to directly serve as indirect evidence that his designation as a Houston Rapper is only a technical relationship, not a methodology.
The other is that he may spend a lot of time high.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 94 percent
Best Song on the Album: "Like Hell Yeah Remix"
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The original version of "Like Hell Yeah" was fun and all - it even earned an Houston Press Song of the Year nomination - but ultimately it was destined to become an inconsequential aside in his songs listing. The remix, however, produced by Ibe, is a world-beater, capitalizing on the appeal of his drunk drone flow near perfectly with scaled back, semi-thumping production and a tiny, looping guitar rift.
Acceptable Alternate for Best Song on the Album: "Put It In The Air Remix"
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This song is driven by etherealness, canonized by the detached despondency of Tony's vocals, which are tunnel and filtered and all but weeded out completely. He seems to swoop in and out, over and over again, until he eventually fades away forever.
Most Obvious Feature Lacking From The Album: Kid Cudi. On, like, all of the songs on the second half of the album. Pick one. You can't be wrong.
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart:
- Fat Tony no longer smokes weed. This is remarkable. And likely a non-permanent lifestyle change.
- We're almost certain that the last half of "In Your Room" is exactly what it sounds like when people have sex in space. It has to be. Listen to it. It'll make sense then.