Big Moe

Black male vocalists tend to break down into two camps nowadays. There are the sweet, almost-too-precious crooners like Musiq and Remy Shand. Then there are the funky-butt stylings of folks like Cee-Lo and his Dungeon Family compadres. Houston's Big Moe, who waxes playalistic on his latest, Purple World, leans toward the latter category. Emphasis on leans. Starting with a woozy spoken intro, this crooner-rapper specializes in the kind of sloppily funkadelic soul that you'd expect from a member of Houston's codeine-blasted, syrup-sippin' community (the album's title refers to a cough syrup/soda concoction that is that clique's buzz of choice). Like Snoop Dogg, Moe has a love for old-school funk and soul, indulging his hankerings on swaggering bangers like "Purple Stuff," "Purple World," and "Still Da Barre Baby," as well as smoother offerings like "SUC," a tasty ode to the hip-hop crew headed by the late DJ Screw. In a world of clean, often sanitized-sounding soul men, it's good to know that there are some folks who like leaving a li'l somethin nasty under the table.