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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renzo Understand This (Self-released, 2010)
Renzo is the diminutive free-agent MC who enjoys singing his own hooks and offering ironic answers each week in the Rap Round Table discussion. If you've been out at a rap-related event this year, you've no doubt brushed shoulders with him.
Understand This possesses moments of levity, that's for certain, but there are as many serious (and probably expository) plot points as there are silly moments.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 98 percent
Best Line on the Album: From the classic rock-influenced "Get Too High": "I was through with school now as soon as I finished school, kid." That's smart, and a nice little dig at rappers who like to brag about quitting school.
Line on the Album That Makes You Think That, Behind His Purposely Aloof Round Table Answers, Some Very Serious Thoughts Are Rattling Around in His Head:
"Just covering up my tats and trying not to look broke so these white folks won't think I'm a joke."
The further you get into the album, the more serious-toned and contemplative it gets. This is the most surprising thing about Understand This. There are lots of nuggets of advice (if you don't want a baby, wear a condom; only have sex with your wife if you're married; etc), but that all eventually spiral back to one main thesis statement: Evil consequences are born of evil deeds.
Most Auspicious Moment on the Album: "Stupid Broad," wherein he attempts to hijack Lupe Fiasco's "Superstar."
Best Unofficial Statistic on the Album: On the previously mentioned "Stupid Broad," Ren reveals that, with regards to quality mating partners, there is roughly one woman available to every 5,000 hos. That's a high Woman-to-Ho rate, yo.
Can that possibly be true? Can that possibly be untrue? We mean, no great love story has ever started with "Oh, uh, I met her at Roxy. Yeah, she was letting this guy drink a Flaming Dr. Pepper from her cleavage. I knew at that moment that I'd marry her."
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Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Look Smart:
- Renzo has a fair amount of chest hair. You can't unknow that. You're welcome.
- You can purchase a copy of Understand This here.
Follow Renzo on Twitter at @renzeeo.