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 protected].
Summertime Johnny Version 1.9 (Self-released, 2011)
John Dew is a rapper. He is part of The Council, a rap group consisting of Dew, hasHBrown and Phonix, as well as T.H.E.M., a rap conglomerate consisting of Dew, hasHBrown, Phonix, Hollywood FLOSS, Kidd the Great, Dustin Prestige, Thurogood Wordsmith, Rob Jay, Nya and EWood the Kid). Out of all of the people involved in both of those entities, Dew might be the most casually talented rapper.
He moves through tracks effortlessly, always sounding in control and occasionally sounding like he knows something that nobody else does. He has three tapes thus far, with this STJv1.9, a hodgepodge of sounds and ideas, serving as his first proper album.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 89 percent
Best Song on the Album: This is a sticky one. We'd like to pick "Joe Clark" because any rap song that's based on a Morgan Freeman character should get preferential treatment. If someone makes a song called "Shawshank Redemption," we will burn this motherfucker to the ground.
But "Hot Route," which makes clever use of a Lakeside(!) sample, is the most fundamentally sound and immediately charming. Winner.
Worst Song on the Album: The mechanical "Let Your Hair Down." Go ahead and delete that one from your iPod. Unless you're a T-Pain fan, in which case you should go ahead and delete yourself.
Best Feature on the Album: Every time you start to count out (or wonder what happened to) Hollywood FLOSS, he pops his up like, "Hey, fuckers, remember me?" He wins here for his work on the nuevo-Motown* "Satisfy You."
* Actually, a sample of Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing" (performed by Mary J. Blige, we believe) is used here. There are several enjoyable samples used on the tape. Other good ones: "Richest Man Alive," performed by The Dramatics and used on "Richman," and "Somebody's Watching Me," performed by Rockwell and used on album opener "Watchin'."