Screwston, Texas

Remember Kung Fu Banda's Rock and Rap?

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].

Kung Fu Banda Rock and Rap (Self-made, 2011)

This week's YMF is a special edition. Many of you are already aware of this, but in addition to making penis jokes and off-color generalizations about race here, Rocks Off also teaches at a middle school in Houston. You need to know that because the tape we're reviewing here is one that was actually made by a student.

Last year, we taught 7th grade, the level we'd taught for the three years before that. It was a good, productive year and many of the students showed substantial growth. So when the students moved on to 8th grade, we went with them (the thinking was that they'd continue that trend, we suspect).

One of the students who has been in our homeroom for two years now is a kid named Kung Fu Banda (his last name is Banda; that nickname pretty much came up with itself).

KFB is a wonderfully sincere kid. He has a nearly full-grown mustache, an impeachable attendance record and impeccably perfect teeth. He is happy most of the time and funny all of the time.

At the end of last year, he made a mixtape for us. It was pretty unbearable -all we specifically remember about it was that there were nine songs from Chingy's debut album on there.

Last week, KFB gave us this year's mixtape, and it is a marked improvement over the 2010 edition. There is some obscure rap on there, some death metal, two country songs(!), and more.

Y'allmustaforgotability: 100 percent

Naturally, KFB didn't know any of the names of the artists, nor any of the names of songs, making this the first time in the history of the YMF column a tape has scored a 100 percent. Kung Fu Banda, folks. We pulled KFB aside before class one morning to get his insight into the songs that made the cut this year.

Track 1: "I don't like this song. I gave it to you because I don't like. I think it's Mentallica."

Yep. "Mentallica." How can you not love a kid like that? This isn't Metallica; it's some distorted death metal. It starts out sounding entirely harmless - high keys on the keyboard, bells, tinks, etc - but quickly unravels into anarchy. It is a remarkable start to Rock and Rap. There was nothing this dexterous on 2010's tape.

Track 2: "I don't listen to those songs. My sister does. She put it on there."

KFB's sister played a big part in putting this tape together. He made it on her computer using her catalog of songs. This is another death-metal song. KFB isn't a fan of death metal. That he suspected we might be is both sweet and disconcerting.

Track 3: "Oh, this is rap. I like this. I think it's Military G. I think it's a band. I don't know."

Pretty standard rap stuff here; A-A-B-B rhyme flow, predictable cadence. It's easy to tell why an 8th grader would like this.

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Shea Serrano