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Born and raised in Houston, TX, rapper Curtis Davis debuted as Big Mello in 1992 with the album Bone Hard Zaggin on the Rap-a-Lot label. Wegonefunkwichamind appeared two years later without any of the usual Rap-a-Lot guest stars. Those who encountered Big Mello's deep Texas sound compared him to favorably to Scarface or rising star Z-Ro, but Rap-a-Lot never found the right way to package Mello and soon he was on to other labels. Southside Story appeared in 1996 on the small N-Terrogation label and failed to spread his name past the most hardcore of Texas hip-hop fans. Mello disappeared until 2002 when it was announced he was working on a new album, Done Deal. Tragedy struck on June 15 of that year, when Mello lost control of his car and hit a pillar, killing both himself and a passenger. Out of nowhere the album The Gift appeared in August that year on the small KMJ label. Z-Ro appeared on the album and a small but zealous fan base declared it Big Mello's greatest achievement, better than the hyped Done Deal, which appeared a year later on the Woss Ness label. As years went on, the cult stood firm with Mello's albums -- almost all out of print -- trading for 50 dollars on Internet auction sites. In 2006, Rap-a-Lot dipped deep into its catalog and released screwed-and-chopped remixes of the rapper's first two albums. ~ David Jeffries