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.
Roosh Williams Common Struggles of a Modern Man (Self-released, 2011)
Common Struggles of a Modern Man is the debut LP from Roosh Williams, the UT student turned rapper that's still a UT student. It is as clever and contemporary and pseudo-preachy as you'd hope an album called Common Struggles of a Modern Man would be, but it's also not nearly as pompous as you'd expect, and that might be more impressive.
There are times when his commentary is direct ("They Only Know My Name"; "Think"), and times when it is delicate ("Beautifully Simple"; "Time To Give"), but it is always there. If nothing else can be derived from this album, this can: Roosh is a thinking man.
Oh, and he smokes weed regularly.
Y'allmustaforgotability: 93 percent
Best Song on the Album: Occasionally, Williams weebles and wobbles his voice a little too much for effect, but on "Beautifully Simple" he flutters above some creeping bass thumps and high hats with more verve and self-confidence than anywhere else on the album. It is, fittingly, a perfectly simple programmatic evaluation of his philosophical doctrine.
Most Unexpected Movie Reference on the Album: Ben Stiller's Zoolander. No shit. It's in there very briefly, but it's in there. Pay attention.
Most Expository Line On The Album: From album opener "Barely Breathing": "Twenty-one years is enough, for me to conclude that most people suck." Welcome to the world, Mr. Williams. It does, indeed, suck greatly.
Second Most Expository Line On The Album: "Fuck whoever said I'd never be great*."
There aren't a lot of moments when the seemingly-permanently-even-keeled says something that could be twisted into being a menacing statement, but this would be one of them.
*He mentions a variation of this line again on the trembly "Royal Rumble." It's likely not an accident. He also makes two references to society's general level of ignorance on three separate songs as well, complete with a song called "Think" that is prefaced by a proclamation that "too many motherfuckers are... stupid, you know what I'm sayin?".
Best Guest Feature on the Album: Killa Kyleon, who already delivered one of the year's best guest verses on Marcus Manchild's "We Are Not The Same."
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Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own So As To Make Yourself Look Smart:
Remember "Chanel Dizzle," the girl who sang the Big Moe cover that Chamillionaire linked to on YouTube, and thought everyone was impressed with her when they were really just amused? Chanel and Williams met in class at UT, and she shows up twice here, just about nailing her assignment on the looming "Wake Up Dead." Aces.