Screwston, Texas

Y'all Musta Forgot: Guerilla Maab's Rise

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].

Guerilla Maab

Rise (Resurrection Music Group, 1999)

Guerilla Maab was a gangsta-rap quartet turned trio turned duo turned trio again turned duo again that was at their strongest at the turn of the 2000s. Rise is the only album of theirs that featured all four members (Z-Ro, Trae, Dougie D and T.A.Z.). It is an outstanding album that, incidentally, laid out the blueprint for both Z-Ro and Trae's street-talk, tough-guy careers. The quality of the album was made frustratingly clear by GM's subsequent weaker, less dynamic releases.

T.A.Z. left the group (or was ousted; that's never been made entirely clear) after Rise was released. You can hear him in spurts on 'Ro's Look What You Did To Me as well as on Lil Flip's The Leprechaun. Ro' bailed next, leaving Trae and Dougie D to form a variation of themselves that they called Guerilla Maab 3D2. Ro returned later, only to see Dougie D leave shortly thereafter. That's when Trae and Z-Ro started releasing albums under the Assholes By Nature moniker.

We're sad we didn't have to look any of that up.

Y'allmustaforgotability: 75 percent

Ya'llmustaforgotability is a relative term used to describe an album's ability to exist in history without anybody noticing. The higher an album's Y'allmustaforgotability percentage, the more likely it is that you could ask the person sitting next to you right now what their two favorite songs on it were and they'd look at you like you had a horn growing out of the middle of your forehead.

Example: Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 would score somewhere around 1 percent because just about everyone on the planet has at least heard "Empire State of Mind" and "Death of Autotune." The Vigilante, however, the album Raheem released in 1988 before he linked up with Rap-A-Lot, would score a 97. Raheem probably couldn't even tell you the names of two songs from that album.

Yes, this section is named after the single from boxer Roy Jones Jr.'s awful rap album, Round One: The Album.

Best Verse on the Album: Z-Ro's opening verse on "Fondren and Main"

Best Song on the Album: "Fondren and Main"

Best Use of a Sample on the Album: A lift of the chorus from "Rumors" by Timex Social Club (1986) is used as the chorus to "Jealous Niggas." The paralleling themes between the two are pretty obvious.

Obscure Fact(s) That You Can Pawn Off As Your Own To Make Yourself Sound Smart:

Scarface, perhaps the greatest rapper the South has ever known, is a guest feature on Roy Jones Jr.'s aforementioned Round One: The Album. Also, Bun B showed up as a guest feature on Jones' subsequent group album, Body Head Bangerz: Volume One. That this was somehow allowed to happen is proof enough that the Rap Gods are a spiteful bunch. Neither of them ended up being as blasphemous as Paul Wall and Brooke Hogan's "About Us" collaboration, but they're in the conversation.

There is a fairly entertaining female artist who shows up on Rise (that's also popped up a few times on some other Houston rappers' albums) by the name "Cl'Che." This is funny for a whole bunch of reasons, but mostly because it appears she thinks that "cliché" is something good.

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Shea Serrano