Underground Kingz – UGK

UGK Album

Disc1:
01. Swishas And Dosha
02. Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You) Feat. OutKast
03. Chrome Plated Woman
04. Life Is 2009 Feat. Too $hort
05. The Game Belongs To Me
06. Like That (Remix)
07. Gravy
08. Underground Kingz
09. Grind Hard Feat. T.O.E. and DJ B-Do
10. Take Tha Hood Back Feat. Slim Thug, Vicious and Middle Fingaz
11. Quit Hatin’ The South Feat. Charlie Wilson and Willie D
12. Heaven
13. Trill N***** Don’t Die Feat. Z-Ro

Disc 2:
01. How Long Can It Last Feat. Charlie Wilson
02. Still Ridin’ Dirty Feat. Scarface
03. Stop-N-Go Feat. Jazze Pha
04. Cocaine Feat. Rick Ross
05. Two Type Of B****** Feat. Dizzee Rascal and Pimpin’ Ken
06. Real Women Feat. Talib Kweli and Raheem DeVaughn
07. Candy
08. Tell Me How Ya Feel
09. Shattered Dreams
10. Like That
11. Next Up Feat. Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap
12. Living This Life
13. Outro

Bun-B and Pimp C are the self-proclaimed inventors of the word Trill. They are bona-fide Don’s of the South who are co-signed by Hip Hop Royalty like Scarface and Jay-Z. Hailing from Port Arthur, Texas miles east of another burgeoning Hip-Hop Texas state, Houston. They held their own against their Texas brethren from Houston like The Geto Boyz and Scarface. That in addition to over 15 years in the Rap game and with this their 7th album, the duo are to the South what Kool G Rap is to New York gangster rap, the Godfathers. After their biggest crossover hit to date “Big Pimpin”, a feature with Jay-Z, they went on a slight hiatus as a group. In January of 2002 Pimp-C went to jail for falling behind in his community-service obligations from a previous aggravated-assault charge.

During this time, Bun-B released a solo record while continuing to promote UGK as a group. Southern rappers jumped on the “Free Pimp-C” bandwagon, which was spearheaded by Bun-B. Eventually he was released with a great deal of fanfare and here we are with their self-titled release Underground Kingz. Pimp-C has been in the Hip-Hop blogosphere lately because of disparaging remarks he made about the city of Atlanta not really being the South because of it’s being on Eastern Standard Time (utter non-sense on his part). He especially expressed his displeasure with the Southern Hip-Hop movement that features rappers who he feels are fraudulent, negligent in their constant drug-related raps and their lack of overall consciousness in lyrics. The Internet consensus is that Pimp-C is coming at rappers who were apart of the “Free Pimp-C” campaign. Since those comments he has apologized to Atlanta for what he deems to be some “ol’ bullshit” comments and started a mini-rap war with Lil’ Troy of “Wanna be a Baller” fame. Will this album feature Conscious raps or Beef records?

The Underground Kingz album features 30 tracks of drippin’ candy paint, grippin’ wood, swangin’ on a slab, DJ Screw reppin’ (creator of the Screwed and Chopped sound that died in 2000 of a heart attack), gangster talk, getting’ in a snitch’s ass, flipping birds, selling white, stone-cold pimpin’ and checkin’ a Ho. They clearly haven’t abandoned their bread and butter just yet. This type of gangster-talk would not warrant a good rating from PMD, but these are the originators of this style of rap in their region. Every Down South gangster rap anthem owes a bit to the Underground Kings style, from Master P to TI to Rick Ross to Young Jeezy and even Mike Jones. This is the epitome of lyrical Southern Hip Hop. There are some great collabo’s on this record including the best collabo of 2007 thus far, UGK and Outkast Int’l Players Anthem produced by Three 6 Mafia (T6M only appear on the remix), Take the Hood Back feat. Slim Thug, Vicious & Middle Fingazi is a good thumping track and the Rap OG record Next Up featuring Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap where the old-timers sound plausible. By no means is every track great but, they are listenable from both a lyrical and production standpoint. With Pimp-C’s comments about the lack of conciousness I doubted that he would have an entire album of positivity. It just wouldn’t have been profitable. They manage to make a dent on Cocaine speaking on the ills of cocaine use. Real women which features an unlikely collaborator in Talib Kweli, is essentially about the “Queens holdin’ down they King/ gone do ya thang…” says Pimp-C in a drawl that makes even these words rhyme. There is the soon to be fake “Controversy” because of the song Quit Hatin’ on the South which features Charlie Wilson and Willie D; where there’s a lot of diplomacy by Bun-B, gangster posturing by Pimp-C and b-level street rap by Willie-D. This is a real entertaining album in that there’s nothing pop about it. The production on it is drowned out in a good way because they can actually rap with a degree of lyrical content. There isn’t much of anything new content wise, but it’s skillfully done with clearly matured raps that were trained during a time when a rapper had to actually know how to rap. Lest we forget Bun-B and Pimp-C are 34 and 33 respectfully. They earn a cop it not for anything original, but off of sheer ability. Mathis signing out.

4 Responses to “Underground Kingz – UGK”

  1. S. Mathis Says:
    August 8th, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Good thorough review. Almost makes we wanna check this album out.

  2. R. Kelly's Lawyer Says:
    August 8th, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Yeah I might give it a listen.

  3. DeWitz Says:
    August 9th, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    I’m downloading the album right now.. Glad to see there back, and gettin nothing but good reviews..

  4. NativeAmericanIndianX Says:
    August 9th, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Yo did you know that Bun B has a 86 year old grandson. Dem ol Foggies made a hot song with Frederick Douglas back in 18somethin.

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