Sunday, August 12, 2007

UGK "Underground Kingz": Best Southern Album This Year?

Bun-B and a fresh out of prison Pimp C return with their 5th album "Underground Kingz." Many of those who are in the know about UGK are of the presumption that the group has never slacked after their much talked about relic "Ridin' Dirty," to which every rapper from Jay-Z to many others have sung its praises. Well, this time around they are back with a 2 disc set, 13 tracks a piece on each disc. And surprisingly enough, it ranks as possibly the best double disc rap has seen to this day.

Whereas 2pac, Biggie, Jay-Z and Nas fumbled by going between really horrendous to really awesome, UGK remains consistent on each song, regardless of the subject matter that reigns on this 2 disc set. Fresh out of his stint of prison, Pimp C unleashes the wonderful charm that made us love him on "Pocket Full Of Stones," and his cadence still reigns supreme. Meanwhile on this disc, Bun B remains intact, his swagger and his knack for vocabulary very much showing why he's very much has the threshold of the South by the waist and holding it as if it were his birthright.

However, that all changes on the duo's first single, "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)." OutKast lends a helping hand and blasts it off into outer space with Andre 3000's welcome back to rap streak, but rest assured the people involved with the song make it something to welcome new listeners as well as ensure the fans of yore that the group has not lost their touch. DJ Paul & Juicy J produce the track, and have chosen to go with what made "Stay Fly" such a hit, a blood curdling soul sample gone entertainingly crunk awry, while all four people, from Andre 3000 down to Big Boi's finishing and somewhat screwed and chopped verse. In addition, there's many other tracks, like the car tribute "Chrome Plated Woman."

Their usage of guest spots are very nicely done on this release as well. Scarface and Raheem Devaughn croon on the hook lines, while such guests from old school legends Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane, to others such as Talib Kweli, Dizzee Rascal, Rick Ross, Slim Thug, and many others. Overall, what a victorious welcome back to the game, and not only that, but also a vindication so sweet for Pimp C who recently was released from prison. Keep up the good work fellas.

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