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.
Killa Kyleon, who spent the formative part of his career caught in the empty air between Houston's last landslide of talent (2005) and this new one (right the fuck now), has become the arch-hustler. He seems revitalized lately, be it because he is simply flourishing as his own boss or because he has been re-inspired by the suddenly hyper-competitive environment of the local rap ecosystem.
His latest tape, a follow-up to the mostly mundane Candy Paint and Texas Plates, is possessed of the proper wit and ferocity one must possess to legitimately offer candidacy for leader of the new. It is no less than the third-best tape anyone in Houston has made this year, and arguably the best of all.
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Best "How The Hell Did That Happen?" Moment On The Tape: Cookin' Soul created the type of beat someone named Cookin' Soul should always create*, and somehow Mac Miller, perennial blog-boy punching bag but generally nice enough person, kept up entirely.
He and Kyleon sound like fast friends, a nod to Kyleon's superhuman charm. That Miller follows up on a song that features a snarling posthumous cameo by Pimp C, the greatest character the South has ever produced, is only mildly ironic. Speaking of...
*Kyleon went the way of earthy, endearing, shag-soul production on many of the tracks. Jake Beats, a name we'd never even pretended to know before, was tops with his work on "Change Up," FYI.
Best Song About Writing A Letter To Pimp C On The Tape: "Letter To Pimp C." Speaking of...
Theme On The Tape That Should Be Retired: Writing letters to people in songs.
Within the last year or two, someone wrote a letter to Slim and someone else wrote a letter to Z-Ro. (Z-Ro likely didn't receive his though, because how the hell is a mailman supposed to deliver a letter to Satan's doorstep?) If you count all of hip-hop, about 700 letters have been written since 2001. Let's go ahead and shut down the rap post office for a bit. #Kthanx.
Best Overall Song on the Tape: The massively aggressive/tumultuous/sinister "Bodies," a Lex Luger-produced thunderkick to the balls. Kyleon can do a lot of things well - construct layered metaphors, hijack beats, match his shoes to his shirt with subatomic precision - and lots of times he does all of them at once, but here he simply rears back, takes one big breath, and then demolishes EVERYTHING.
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It's hard to point to anything he's ever done and say conclusively that this is not better. Oh, also, Bun B is on there. And minus a weird planking reference (he's the second prominent rapper to do such), he is pretty unassailable as well.
Best Redub of an Already Excellent Song: Big K.R.I.T.'s "Time Machine" was one of the standout tracks from his impressive Return of 4eva tape. It possessed a delicate sensitivity to the beauty of traditional Southern rap. Here, Kyleon steals the production, steps in for a quick hit verse, smartly idles his pace and tone to match the atmospherics, then wanders off quietly. Vet stuff, really.
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Sound Smart
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Earlier this year, Kyleon and Jack Freeman released "Make Me," a sultry R&B/rap hybrid that registered as one of the year's best. It's on this tape. That's not necessarily an obscure fact, but it's certainly one someone should consider when weighing whether or not to download it.
Download Candy Paint and Texas Plates 2 tape at datpiff.com.