21 Songs, 1 Hour 26 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Lil’ Flip’s immense 2004 double album, U Gotta Feel Me, is the most successful release of the Texas rapper’s career. It arrived at the perfect time: at 23, Flip was reaching his creative prime, and the national media was just starting to home in on the regional rap style of Flip’s native Houston. With its hulking basslines and ingenious interpolation of arcade game effects, “Game Over” is one of only a few songs that deserve to be in the dictionary next to the definition of “Houston rap anthem.” The equally popular “Sunshine” was Flip’s answer to the sleek and sweet love songs of Jay-Z, but U Gotta Feel Me is best when it focuses on the heaving tempos indigenous to Houston. Only Flip’s most dedicated local fans will know “Bounce,” “Represent,” and “We Ain’t Playin’,” but these songs embody his signature disposition: relaxed menace. “Sunshine” finds its counterpoint in “Sun Don’t Shine,” an ode to living through tribulation: “In life you go through joy and pain/And when somebody close die, it give you a migraine/And a whole lotta stress, a whole lotta tears/Days turn into nights, nights turn into years.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Lil’ Flip’s immense 2004 double album, U Gotta Feel Me, is the most successful release of the Texas rapper’s career. It arrived at the perfect time: at 23, Flip was reaching his creative prime, and the national media was just starting to home in on the regional rap style of Flip’s native Houston. With its hulking basslines and ingenious interpolation of arcade game effects, “Game Over” is one of only a few songs that deserve to be in the dictionary next to the definition of “Houston rap anthem.” The equally popular “Sunshine” was Flip’s answer to the sleek and sweet love songs of Jay-Z, but U Gotta Feel Me is best when it focuses on the heaving tempos indigenous to Houston. Only Flip’s most dedicated local fans will know “Bounce,” “Represent,” and “We Ain’t Playin’,” but these songs embody his signature disposition: relaxed menace. “Sunshine” finds its counterpoint in “Sun Don’t Shine,” an ode to living through tribulation: “In life you go through joy and pain/And when somebody close die, it give you a migraine/And a whole lotta stress, a whole lotta tears/Days turn into nights, nights turn into years.”

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