It’s probably a little bit of a stretch to say that Bun B is underrated. He had a good run with the late Pimp C in UGK, he’s had two well regarded solo albums and it’s pretty much the consensus opinion among hip hop fans that he’s dope on the mic.
Still, it’s fair to say that Bun hasn’t had his definitive star turn. Yet that’s exactly the kind of buzz he’s been enjoying since word got out that a certain famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) rap magazine was giving his third solo release, Trill O.G., a perfect 5/5 score.
Regardless of what previous albums may have received the same score (ahem, Lil Kim), that’s lofty praise. On first listen, though, there’s every reason to think it may live up to the hype.
Bun B sets the tone right off the top on “Chuuuch!”: “Go ask the hustlas, the gangstas, ask your momma. / And they’ll tell you the best who ever did it is still in here doing it, you can’t fuck with it. / And I’m a hit it on the head with a hammer, reppin’ H-town like Phi Slamma Jamma. / Am I hard enough? Am I real enough? Am I ready bro? / Well you already know, on your mark, set, ready, go.”
He also has plenty of help on the first half of the album, including spots by T-Pain on “Trillionaire,” Young Jeezy on “Just Like That” and current man of the hour Drake on one of the standout tracks, the organ-driven “Put It Down.” A posthumous UGK-2Pac collabo even takes place on “Right Now,” with the result sounding a lot more natural than other similar attempts.
The solo tracks on the second half of the disc allow Bun B to show off his versatility as a lyricist. The old school, move-the-crowd vibe of “Lights, Camera, Action” flows right into the in-your-face “I Git Down 4 Mine” (produced by Steve Below, whose work is something of a revelation), followed a few songs later by the DJ Premier-blessed “Let ‘Em Know.” And that guy again, Drake, shows up to help close things out on “It’s Been A Pleasure.”
Repeated listens reveal just a few spots where things drag. The aforementioned Jeezy team-up is one, and several tracks toward the end could have been swapped with their iTunes bonus counterparts and made the album even stronger.
No matter, though. While it may not be a classic in the sense that it will change the direction of hip-hop or make an indelible impression on the next generation of rappers, Trill O.G. is as well crafted as almost anything else that’s dropped in 2010. It’s arguably Bun B’s finest moment, a remarkable feat for someone with his longevity and something that should end any underrated talk once and for all.
Leave a Reply
- Raekwon Sets A Release Date For “F.I.L.A.” Album
- BUSH: A Snoop Odyssey Produced By Pharrell Williams [Preview]
- Drake – “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” Surprise Album on iTunes Now
- Action Bronson “Mr. Wonderful” Cover Art and Tracklist
- Juicy J “Blue Dream & Lean 2″ Mixtape Cover Art & Release Date Revealed
- MF Grimm “MF Love Songs” Cover Art + Tracklist
- Lord Hakim – “Brass Knucklez” (feat. Vast Aire & Phizz Ed)
- IAMSU! – “Hella Good” (feat. Tyga)
- DJ Kay Slay – “I Declare War” (feat. Styles P, Sheek Louch, Vado, Raekwon, & Rell)
- Maverick Sabre – “We Don’t Wanna Be” (feat. Joey Bada$$)
- Cannibal Ox – “Blade: Art of Ox” (feat. Artifacts & U-God; prod. Black Milk)
- Asher Roth – “Blow Your Head” (prod. Nottz)