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Y'all Musta Forgot: K-Otix's Universal

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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 sheaserrano@gmail.com. K-Otix Universal (Bronx Science, 2001) K-Otix are the Hawk and Animal of Houston rappers, a seemingly ageless tag team with a hulking stage presence that has always worked out the best when paired up with one another. They're more De La Soul or Talib Kweli (both of whom, incidentally, they've opened for) than Fat Pat or Big Moe, and that means that they've mostly played the Man Without An Island role for the duration of their existence. Despite forming all the way back in 1992 (What up, Sega Game Gear and Microsoft 3.1), K-Otix didn't release Universal, their official debut LP, until 2001. Also heavily involved in the album's genesis was the now-acclaimed producer The Are. Y'allmustaforgotability: 96 percent Read what Y'allmustaforgotability means.

Best Verse on the Album: The second verse from "U Know The Name," mostly be cause of the "For any enemy who enters my vicinity/ Face a musical symphony of lyrical humidity" line.

Best Song on the Album:

"World Renown"

If you enlist a jazz guitarist to help you with your rap song, it's either going to turn out really, really good, or really, really bad. This one went the way of the good.

Best Threat on the Album: In

"Untitled,"

where Big Mon threatens to "leave you with no jaw." Imagine how ill that would be. If you snatched someone's jaw off, nobody would ever say shit to you about anything again.

You could walk into a room full of killers, call them all bitches, take a bite of someone's sandwich, poop on the floor and then walk out without anyone saying a word. As soon as someone started to say something, someone else would grab their arm and be like, "Yo, yo. You know No Jaw Johnny? The guy from the East side with no jaw?" and then point at you silently.


K-Otix, "C.P.R."


Feature That Should Have Been on the Album: Method Man should have been on "Untitled." He was destroying that type of stuff in the '90s.

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

Even if you're only basing it off this one album, it's pretty clear that the K-Otix sirs are some pensive guys. Which is why the album cover is so interesting.

Among those that either own this album or have taken the time to actually look at the cover, countless conversations have been had discussing its meaning.

Why did they pick a naked man? What does his nakedness mean? Does it represent a purity, some sort of sinless existence that only art can provide? Why is he positioned like Jesus? Why is he at the center of a galaxy? Are they implying that the infinite creativity of man, not sun, is the energy source of the galaxy? And which galaxy is it, because the order of the planets looks off?

That type of pondering could (and has, no doubt) go on for days. But it's all been for naught. Because the image means nothing. The record label picked it without consulting K-Otix about it.

Sucks.

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