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At the beginning of The Naked Soul Of Sweet Jones, Pimp C states “My first solo album, bitch. I ain’t never had one before. They dropped that other shit while I was in the penitentiary…. I got out and dropped that comp on they ass and fucked them up….this is Pimp C starring in the Naked Soul of Sweet Jones“. He refers to his first two solo albums, Sweet Jones Stories and it’s follow up, Pimpalation, neither of which he considers his debut solo LP. Passing away in 2007, he would never see – or finish – what would ultimately be that LP.

These words are hauntingly professed on “Down For Mine”, the album opener which finds Pimp in his element, crooning falsetto over a classic 70′s break (also used for this track), setting up the album nicely. “What Up” follows, with Boi 1da utilizing more vintage soul samples, as Drake helps animate the track with his colorful delivery and UGK partner Bun B adds his own verse to solidify things. The sticky funk of “Love To Ball” is also classic Pimp C, as he crafts a Cadillac anthem with Chamillionaire riding shotgun. Even the overused Jazze Pha sounds refreshing here on “Fly Lady”, while E-40 completely steals the show on the we-been-doing-this anthem, “Since The 90′s”.

While all of these tracks are Pimp C at his core, the album gradually loses it’s soul as it progresses, trading dusty samples for keyboard synth and his usual overly done live instrumentation. Much of the rest of the LP gets drowned out in guest appearance driven tracks from the usual suspects, covering the same topics over and over again. It doesn’t get more ignorant than “Dickies” (feat. Bun B & Young Jeezy) (“got my dickies on hoe, got my dickies on hoe”, and repeat), that is, unless you count “Made For Me”, where he and Too Short discuss the existence and duties of vagina. Rick Ross and Slim Thug appear together on the forgettable “Midnight”, while already expired Webbie and Lil’ Boosie deliver their usual dosage of hood hop with “Hit The Parking Lot”.

The overabundance of guest appearances, filling in the spaces where Pimp couldn’t be make this sound more like Pimpilation 2 than a glimpse at Pimp C’s naked soul. Ultimately, superfans of Pimp can get every last bit of his philosophies through any three of his non-albums, this one included.  But truly, his legacy lies with UGK, best exemplified in it’s humble beginnings with “Pocket Full of Stones”, all the way up through UGK For Life. Long live Pimp C.

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