November 12, 2016

Botany Boys - Thought Of Many Ways (1997)

Thought Of Many Ways is the completed album version of the Cloverland group's influential 1995 EP, Smokin N' Lean'n. Screw had a holiday with the EP on his 3 N' Da Mornin Part Two blue version, and other than maybe ESG, I don't think anybody made Screw source material as great as Botany. Thought Of Many Ways is super representative of Houston rap, but it's also a great middle-of-the-road dirty south album. The beats are lavish, but not on some all-out shimmering production that would find its way onto later S.U.C. works like Under Hawk's Wings, The Commission, or even the second Botany Boys album. Instead, Thought Of Many Ways gives a few nods to the West coast with its trunk knocking kick patterns and unwavering g-funk whistles. The rapping is ridiculous as well. A lot of the S.U.C. was known for using their iconic voices to craft unique freestyle-type flows; Botany has those abilities for sure, but this is about as "pen to paper" as the Screwed Up Click will get. Will Lean and C-Note are the standouts for me--they are also probably the most well known of the group because of their solo material and features. C-Note flows hard as hell on these beats and proves himself to be one of the best in all of rap music and Will Lean's nasally voice combined with a thick H-town accent makes his words pop out in the best way. I remember a few years ago I kept putting off listening to this album because of the 18 track/85 minute duration, but was absolutely shocked at how quality this music stays the whole time. No song really hangs above any of the others and a unique set of features, samples, playouts, and hooks ensures that every song offers something unique.


Thought Of Many Ways