The Official DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club


#721

Guerilla Maab are Z-Ro, Trae Tha Truth, Dougie D and (less frequently) Taz. They were part of DJ Screw’s ‘Screwed Up Click’, and a few other affiliated guys feature on this. This dropped in 1999, so is essentially Z-Ro’s sophomore album after ‘Look What You Did To Me’, and pre his Rap-A-Lot days. The production pretty lo-fi, a lot of synths and r&b hooks, and the rapping is mostly triple time, tongue-twisting stuff. Will talk more on it as we go.

Just fyi if you don’t have the hooks from Rise and Fondren & Main in your head for the next week pls check yourself into A&E immediately.


#722

Welcome to the club! Another one I haven’t heard. I like plenty of stuff by Z-Ro and Trae so got high expectations


#723

Glad it’s going to be new to some people. I wanted to pick an early Z-Ro album as I don’t feel like he gets enough love generally (other than in Houston where I guess he’s rap royalty). I got a bit Mike Dean obsessed a while back so first heard him through those mid ‘00s releases ‘The Life of Joseph W. McVey’ and ‘Let The Truth Be Told’. His early stuff is a naturally less polished without MD mixing but that’s part of the charm.


#724

That run of Mike Dean produced Z-Ro albums in the mid 00s is sick as. This is a cool choice though, bumping now and enjoying. As far as I’m aware, the only MD produced album we’ve had so far on here is Odd Squad, so would welcome more of that in the future too


#725

Found this interview with Z-Ro when I was doing some research for this week (https://noisey.vice.com/en_au/article/r3zaq5/z-ro-mo-city-don-melting-crowns-interview-houston-2015). It’s a bit “Vice” at points, but has this fucking excellent anecdote about Mike Dean’s house:


#726

HA! good stuff.

Great pick! Love this album but wasnt up on these guys in the late 90s. Didnt get into Zro until the mid 00s. This is one of the better projects he was involved in for sure. Havent listened in a long time so glad to check w new ears. I’ve always thought this alb cover was really good.


#727

I love loads of the covers from that era, especially from No Limit (like the Young Bleed pick earlier ITT) and the Screwed Up Click guys. The car in the background is classic Houston.


#728

I love stuff like Not My Home: very simple kinda cheap sounding beat (bass on point tho) with a real syrupy hook and just loads of melodies and interesting flows, even got some harmonies in there at the end. Zro is (was? he says he retired lol) a real talent, think he coulda gone pop very easily.


#729

Nice. Never heard of this before. Got it on my phone for work tomorrow.


#730

also never heard of this before. Completely out of my sphere, so looking forward to something new. Keith/Don and Conscious Daughters I really need to catch up on too, work has been mad lately, but I’m going to enjoy tackling all three

As for Southernplaya it’s one of my all-time favourite rap albums and I love it so much I own it on both CD and cassette, which might also affirm the speculation about southern rap enjoyment being linked to car culture, because I literally bought it once for a car with a tape deck and once again when I got a car with a cd player. Feel like I’ve missed the window to wax lyrical on it too much but yeah, heavyweight classic for me, never gets old.

thread keeps delivering


#731

Ha i havent even talked about the 'kast album yet. I kept writing posts then deleting them. I have a lot to say about outkast but feel like ive said enough on DiS in my time and nothing seems original in my head. I’ll chime in eventually.


#732

z-ro (and to a lesser extent trae) is one of those guys who I should listen to more really, like everything I’ve heard but barely scratched the surface of his discography. had never even heard of this album but I’m liking it. production obvs not at the level ro would later rap on but quite like it for what it is. jealous n’s is the track I keep coming back to


#733

ain’t any windows here


#734

listening to this when it came out, I don’t think people would say it was lo-fi. is just old. a lot of it sounds darkchild-like.
‘ain’t getting shit’ is very catchy, glad when cl’che came in on that to mitigate the uuuurgh lyrics. the back and forth between them at the end of that makes me smile.
‘what will it take’ is my fave off this, sounds like a sample of aphex twin at his most pretty, what do you reckon to that one @AphexTwinkletoes ? a southern jam you can dig?


#735

Let’s see eh? Will have a listen over the weekend :+1:


#736

Not My Home has been a favourite for me on the relistening. That last minute or so is a jam. They do a similar thing with the beat at a few points on the album, a lot of songs built round like 3 chords.

Z-Ro is a genuinely excellent singer. You get a lot of rappers singing their own hooks who aren’t necessarily great but get away with it because they have an ear for a melody (shout out Kevin Gates) but Ro has a legit great voice. Guess he doesn’t go by Rother Vandross for nothing.


#737

Interesting that you and furryfan have gone for Jealous N’s and What Will It Take. On my first few listens this week i thought the album dipped around those few tracks, though after a few more goes I really am struggling to see the weaknesses. I think the beats can kind of get a bit repetetive at points, though Ro and Trae do enough with their flows to keep things interesting.

Cl’Che is a real unsung hero on this album. Think her verse on Problems might be my second favourite after Ro’s first on Fondren & Main.


#738

Gates owes a lot to zro. zro owes a lot to 2pac (more on the rapping style tho).


#739

He does sound a lot like Pac. Also Scarface sometimes. Not just the style either, but the stuff they’re talking about - real, heavy street stuff about life and the struggle etc. In one of the interviews I read with Ro (can’t remember which but will try and find it later), he talks about seeing Pac live in Houston in the mid 90’s when everyone in the Screwed Up Click was doing music about strippers and cars and he was trying to find his lane. Pretty much said he was the biggest inspiration to keep rapping about these topics.


#740

Enjoying Rise. Think Z-Ro is definitely the star of the show. Trae not yet full formed. The others do a decent job/not just carrying the weed. It suffers compared to the very best Z-Ro stuff on behalf of the production which isn’t really up to the same standard, but still bumps nicely. First half of the album has stood out way more than the back end. A very solid addition to my Z-Ro/Houston rotation.Thanks for the recommendation @coolerthantv!