Roughly 84,000 rap albums that have been released in Houston since 1989. We're counting down the 25 best of all time every Thursday. Got a problem with the list? Shove it. Just kidding. Friendship. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Little Big Man
"Get to the house, all I'm thinking 'bout is shootin' her/ 'Cause shootin' her would be sweet/ But you know what'd be sweeter/ if I made her shoot me."
Scarface will always be the best rapper from the Geto Boys, but the gap between him and Bushwick Bill was narrower than a lot of people realize. The ironic part of this statement is that we have to use "was" here because since 'Wick ventured down the Christian rapper trail, it has widened substantially, basically to the original girth most people assumed was the case anyway.
Anyhow, Little Big Man
, Bushwick's 1992 debut, represented the most honest, visceral effort of his career. For this duration of this one album, he was rap's Hannibal Lecter: A wildly charming nutbag who was trying to either sleep with you or eat you.
Most albums after it felt either a little too forced (like the "look how much crazier I am now" vibe that Phantom of the Rapra
's "The Bushwicken"* was dripping with), a little too preachy (not church preachy, but anti-establishment/America/spacebar** preachy) or a lot too aimless (Universal Small Souljah). But LBM
managed to corral all of his psychoses and present it in a way that was oddly endearing.
The two best representations of this were "Chuckwick," the horrorcore ode to everything awful that was so overdone and hokey it effectively became genuine, and "Ever So Clear,"
a wispy, juxtaposed track that chronicled the events leading up to how he lost his right eye. Namely, Bill was trying to convince his then-girlfriend to shoot him, she declined, he grabbed her baby and threatened its life, they got into a wrestling match and the gun went off, shooting him square in his eyeball.
Even songs that weren't laced with crazy - the bluesy "Stop Lying"; the inventive "Letter From The KKK," which is really a crisp observation on the long-term effect of Black-on-Black crime), are told in a wonderfully storyteller mode that force you to listen all the way through them.
Most people have forgotten how dope Bushwick was. Don't. Buy this album, listen to it front to back twice, and then start sending him MySpace and Twitter messages trying to get him to agree to do an interview, because he sure as shit ain't returning our messages. Seriously, Bushwick, if you happen to read this, get in touch with us - we know you have a Google alert on your name.
*This is the follow-up track to "Chuckwick." Gangsta NIP is responsible for having come up with the lyrics for "Chuckwick," a fact he proudly recalled when we interviewed a couple months ago. When we asked him why "The Bushwicken" didn't have the teeth that it did, he simply replied "I didn't write it." Love that.
**All of the titles of 2005's Gutta Mixx were one long word. "20minutesormore," "Milleniumpimpwick," Dowhatyoudo," etc.
South Park Mexican, Never Change
Swishahouse, The Day Hell Broke Loose
Chamillionaire and Paul Wall, Get Ya Mind Correct
Z-Ro, Life of Joseph W. McVey
Ganksta NIP, South Park Psycho
Big Hawk, H.A.W.K.
K-Rino, Time Traveler
Pimp C, Pimpalation
Big Moe, City of Syrup
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