The Next Spot is a recurring series dedicated to the albums that could’ve, would’ve, should’ve made the Decade Top 50. 

Capture the essence of the most important album from one of the most important emcees to come out of Houston in the last 20 years in less than 200 words, including this intro? That doesn’t leave much room for masturbation jokes or Blood In Blood Out references, but here it goes:

Z-Ro is so much not like you (street certified, genuinely depressed, woefully star-crossed) that he’s exactly like you (completely lost in his own skin). He’s the rare tough guy rapper that wholly understands the futility of being a tough guy rapper, and that realization tinges everything he does with an amount of desperation that endears him to seemingly everyone without allowing him to personally connect with anyone. It’s madly ironic that he’s talked about his heartbreak and loneliness so perfectly that it’s provided a level of fame that has only magnified each. His music is wildly reactionary, which humanizes the obvious contradictions in it, and never has he offered a more conceptualized representation of that incidental grit –from the legendary “Mo City Don Freestyle” to the ghostly “Help Me Please”- than on Let The Truth Be Told.

Done. Count ‘em. That’s exactly 199 words. In your face, putas. –Shea Serrano

MP3: Z-Ro-“Mo City Don Freestyle”
MP3: Z-Ro-“Help Me Please”