For the record, this head has been through Dallas and Austin, but never physically been to Houston. One would like to think that thanks to the UGK by way of Port Arthur, the Geto Boys, Z-Ro, Devin the Dude and Chamillionaire, one might feel at home there. Sometimes artists find a way to perfectly represent their time and place. Booker T and the MGs faithfully represented the soul of Memphis and Stax, or Wu-Tang ushering the sound of the streets in NYC. This album sounds like a perfect collision of the voices and flow of Houston. It’s not perfect but its safe to assume that Pimp C would be proud.
This album has thirteen solid tracks and features nearly everyone that has a foot down in Houston today. “Welcome to Houston” reels you in, with features from Cham, Bun B and Pimp C, Trae and Z-Ro and those are just some of the biggest hitters. Some people might complain about its length, as it clocks in close to nine minutes. But this song is an epic, meant as a slow motion soundtrack driving through a hot day in Houston or anywhere else where the sun hits hot, it’s has the biggest beat on the album meant to shoulder the massive voices of everyone involved.
The album sounds cohesive as a whole, thanks to production coming from Mr. Lee for much of the album. The album starts off with the title track, “Boss of all Bosses”, which is no strange territory for Slim Thug. Just in case you forgot he makes sure to establish he’s at the top of the order. Slim Thug announces “I’m Back” soon afterward, with an assist from Devin the Dude, who sounds comfortable, if not a little bored over the synth underneath. What should be an unfortunately poor imitation of Flo Rida’s 80’s pop sampling on “I Run” works surprisingly well, thanks both to the production and YelaWolf’s hook.
If there’s another standout on this album it’s “Show Me Love” with a feature from Mannie Fresh. The beat is summer music plain and simple. The horns and bouncy groove are similar too a lot of Killer Mike records, but with a little less anger. ”Smile”, however, is hard to wrap your head around. It’s a decent beat, but one that sounds a little too pop for Thug. “Top Drop” is a perfect song for Slim Thug and a Paul Wall guest spot, as one can imagine a black and white, convertible heavy video, with slow motion camera pans focusing on the song’s namesake.
While Slim Thug can definitely keep up the pace with his guest spots, he sounds less comfortable by himself. He steps up his game when assisted by Bun B and Pimp C on “Leaning”, but falls back on “Thug and My Bitch”. “Associates” features Z-Ro at his best and on “Hard”, Slim Thug tries to keep his candle going against Scarface, but is thoroughly dominated (not that one would expect any less from Scarface).
Boss of All Bosses is definitely bigger and better than might have been expected with Slim Thug now an independent. He’s not only managed to make a quality follow up to his debut but he’s also managed to make a cohesive album that has a sound that couldn’t come from anywhere else. More than that, he shows he has respect for everyone in Houston and they return the favor. – Dane Johnson
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