Sunday, April 12, 2009

UGK - UGK 4 Life

Almost two years after Chad 'Pimp C' Butler passed away in California from a ill-timed mixture of promethazine and sleep apnea, Underground Kingz have dropped their final release 4 Life. Many, if not most of the tracks were done prior to Pimp's death, so don't think this is some carcass picking or out and out whoring of the UGK legacy. Jive will probably save that for the next record. 

No disrespect to the dead, but I was always more of a Bun B fan than the dear departed Pimp C, but both Kings come strong with it on 4 Life. This is definitely some Third Coast hip-hop, with more Soul sample-driven material than dirty boom-bap. Ron Isley and Akon croon their way through a couple tracks and there is no shortage of ersatz string beds or reverb dapple. The lush background makes tracks like She Luv It fire for the club or the car. There are the requisite songs that I wonder if my neighbors can hear, like the charming Harry Asshole, a track that is sadly not about an ill-tempered gent named Harold, but most of the tracks here are more soulful than street bangers. 

Lots of guest stars from all walks of hip-hop on 4 Life, including Big Gipp and Lil Boosie, as well as a track with Snoop and Too Short that does not herald UGK's move to Gospel Rap. Mannie Fresh contributes a track or does, as does Akon. My personal favorite might be Game Been Good To Me (check the flamenco guitar), but everything is pretty solid on 4 Life. The record is some serious Texas hip-hop. but blessedly for me, nothing is screwed and chopped. In retrospect, that might be perceived as a bit insensitive, given Pimp C's untimely passing, but you should check out 4 Life. Here's a link. Tracklisting is below. 

1 "Intro" Cory Mo 1:45
2 "Still on the Grind" Raheem DeVaughn Steve Below 4:13
3 "Everybody Wanna Ball" Cory Mo 3:57
4 "Feelin' You" Steve Below 3:54
5 "The Pimp & The Bun" Ron Isley 3:32
6 "She Luv It" Cory Mo 3:53
7 "7th Street Interlude" Pimp C 1:26
8 "Swishas & Erb" Sleepy Brown Pimp C & Avarexx 4:02
9 "Purse Comes First" Big Gipp DJ B-Do 4:23
10 "Harry Asshole" Lil Boosie & Webbie Cory Mo 4:15
11 "Used to Be" B-Legit, E-40 & 8Ball & MJG Pimp-C & DJ B-Do 5:40
12 "Steal Your Mind" Too Short & Snoop Dogg Steve Below 4:45
13 "Texas Ave Interlude" Pimp C 1:16
14 "Hard As Hell" Akon  3:55
15 "Da Game Been Good to Me" Pimp C & Avarexx 4:20
16 "Outro" Cory Mo 3:11

Texas, stand up!


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