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.
You know RoderickVONN. He's the other guy from JUZCOZ (the one that doesn't kind of look like Taye Diggs), the quixotic rap duo that charmed everyone with their EP Elektroklasik in 2009 and then curiously disappeared. He's on his own now, and he's just released his first solo effort, I'm Almost Done Getting Ready!.
Projected Y'allmustaforgotability: 99 percent
Unassuming Line That Becomes Exceptional If You Sing It Loud Enough: From "CAMRY," a song metaphorically and literally about a 1996 Camry: "Put on my seatbelt and I drive the speed limit."
Line That Leads To An Awful Realization: From "ALL UR BASS R B-Long 2 US!": "What's right for you is wrong for us." Why? Because it leads to this:
Best Argument You Have With Yourself After Listening To It: Am I old now, and is RoderickVONN going to lead a revolution against me?
The short of it: IADGR is mostly brilliant, and certainly one of the most interesting music projects anyone in Houston has released recently. The whole thing has been dragged several times through a mechanized junkyard, resulting in varying gradations of autotuneyness. It is (or plays like, at least), a peek inside of VONN's brain, a place apparently filled with singing robots and digitized bass.
Remember how Kanye utilized all of the robotization of his voice on 808s and Heartbreak to convey an isolated hopelessness? VONN operates here in a manner that's generally the same, but specifically different. He simultaneously (a) distances himself from anyone uncool enough to naturally understand what he is doing (if you listen to it and say, "Oh, I get it, I see what he's doing," then you're uncool), while he; (b) attaches himself to everyone that is. It's unclear exactly how old VONN technically is, but he's certainly playing the part of someone young enough to not be in charge of anything terribly important.
IADGR is a counterculture album, with VONN prepping his listenership for a nonviolent protest (highlighted most readily by the opening track, "ALL UR BASS R B-Long 2US!"). It's not necessarily a revolt against authority as much as it is a revolt against authoritarianism. And he succeeds wildly here, even when he's not trying all that hard to directly do so.
Obscure Fact(s) You Can Pawn Off As Your Own:
It's good to be specific when you're trying to impress people with your obscure facts, so try telling someone this when you mention the album to them: you know, I saw Roderick perform one time as part of JUZCOZ at this lounge downtown. He had this guy on stage with him that was apparently his dancer or something. He was a skinny guy, kinda alt looking, great big hair. Anyway, a few weeks later I was at the Children's Museum and saw that same guy working there. Crazy. I always assumed guys like that - guys that dance at rap shows and look alternative - just sort of lived in the trees or something." Now you're looking like a genius, son.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.