Big Mello

Wegonefunkwichamind

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One of the most G-funk rappers to come out of Houston, Big Mello's versatile style -- laid-back gangsta to Twista-styled quickness -- was never properly sold to the public by Rap-A-Lot. He should have been bigger, but then a car accident with no signs of foul play took his life in 2002. Some posthumous releases were heralded by a handful, then almost everything went out of print and Mello was only heard by those willing to shell out some serious cash for collector's items. Four years after his death, Rap-A-Lot makes the odd choice of releasing chopped and screwed remixes of his early albums rather than reissuing them. Mixtape regular DJ D is enlisted for the remixing, an excellent decision considering his knowledge and previous handling of Texas hip-hop, although any remix isn't going to satisfy those looking for the real deal. DJ D tightens up Wegonefunkwichamind by dropping some tracks, which allows him to stretch the volatile "Southside" into a mammoth, ten-minute-long brain wrecker. Most of the other gangsta tracks are also handled with a heavy hand as sludgy beats create suffocating, eerie monsters, while the weekend numbers roll along smoother with minimal stutters and the occasional rewind. The album as a whole hangs tight and ends with the great "Family Affair 94," which cops the old Sly & the Family Stone song along with the beat from Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express." Rap-A-Lot picking the right remixer for the job and DJ D's follow-through makes this a great experience for the Texas hardcore, but you can't help but hope the original gets reissued and the Big Mello word gets spread.

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