Two Bottles of Hypno

Cory Mo [ft. Bun B, Slim Thug & Pimp C]: If It Ain't Me
Southern Smoke 25

I went to Houston once, a few years ago. People only wear cowboy hats in the airport, and the Rushmore school from Rushmore is right across the street from the public school from Rushmore, but other than that it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect. The heat is so oppressive that laziness becomes sort of an environmental necessity; everyone who can afford to have a pool in his backyard has one, they turn pissy-warm around mid-June, and it's almost impossible to do anything other than just sit there in a floaty chair and drift in and out of sleep. There's a lot of oil money, a lot of rich people, and you can see the sense of entitlement rising off their SUVs like steam after they leave the car wash. It definitely had something to do with where I was staying, but I didn't see anyone swanging their candy-paint cars; all I saw was big monsters cruising slow on the way to the supermarket because everything is way too far away from anything else for you to walk, and plus it's too hot. Have you ever heard people talk about real estate in New York? People mention triple-digit figures when they're talking about square-footage; it's pathetic. Rappers in Houston talk a lot about real estate, and they sound like they know what they're talking about.

"If It Ain't Me" is the first time I've heard that Houston in Houston rap, all bullhorns mounted on front bumpers and orange-tinted mirrored wrap-around sunglasses and golf-course swagger. Cory Mo sounds just like Cowboy Troy except he cusses, too-white plosives and over-enunciated ooh-sounds, like he's a white person making fun of rap music, saying absolutely nothing but very proud of himself for it. Slim Thug is amused, laughing at himself for being as fly as he is: "I'm six-six with six chicks under my wing." Pimp C gets on the hook because everyone likes the way he says "bitch." Bun actually mentions tinted Ray-Bans. It's all that kind of moneyed indolence, dudes making a rap song in between bitching about gas prices and comparing lawn furniture. The beat is straight-up goober-disco, sounds like someone turned an Allmann Brothers riff into a bassline and put some drums and organ squiggles on it. If any of these four guys have ever had a bad day in their lives (and they most certainly have), you can't hear it. It's sports music, like Huey Lewis.