Chances are, you’ve heard southern rappers chanting “Free Pimp C” in their rhymes over the last few years. While relatively unknown to the general public, Pimp C has crept his way into several timeless rap singles, such as Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’” and Three Six Mafia’s “Sippin’ On Some Sizzurup”, along with UGK partner Bun B. And who can forget the group’s timeless debut single, “Pocket Full Of Stones”, that found its way into the homes of every rap fan in 1993, on the Menace II Society soundtrack? So, while Pimp C might not exactly be a household name, his influence on rap music - and in particular the southern scene in general - has been substantial.
Just released from a short prison stint, Pimp C returns to the rap game, and everyone came out to show their support. The Texas native sounds reinvigorated on the album’s jump off track, “I’m Free”, which finds Beat Master Clay D cleverly manipulating a sample from Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin”, as C recounts his time in the pen. He gets right down to business on “Knockin Doorz Down”, acting as the Southern state of the union address, calling out all beefing rappers of the region, in an attempt to create some unity. Bun B checks in for a pair of back-to-back tracks on “Rock 4 Rock” (feat. Scarface and Willie D) and “Pourin Up” (feat. Mike Jones), both of which keep the UGK formula tightly in check, with trademark live instrumentation. Pimp C details his preferred profession on the Jazze Pha produced “The Honey”, while busting his vocal chops out on “Gitcha Mind Right”, with a show-stealing verse from Cory Mo.
However at 17 tracks length, with mostly Pimp C’s back up band handling the majority of the production, things do tend to get monotonous. The second half of the album drowns itself out with syrupy sex songs that seem to all run into to one another in a jumbled mess. The addition of at least two guests on every song on the album also makes this record sound like a compilation rather than a true solo record, but perhaps that was the idea (hence the title).
On one hand, its nice to see that everyone came out to support Pimp C on his comeback trail, but the inclusion of 27 guest artists almost suggests that C couldn’t carry the album by himself. Regardless, it will be nice to see him team up with Bun B for another UGK full-length, now that he’s finally free to do so.
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