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UGK came with their debut album in 1992. "Too Hard To Swallow" directly follows-on from their first EP from the same year and has them including some of the same songs, and adding a few more to complete it. It finds that the Port Arthur, Texas duo show what Texas has to say when it comes to Hip Hop as Bun B and the late Pimp C come with a range of smooth, southern tracks to really depict the area and display just how it differs from the sort of thing coming from more established Hip Hop hotspots.
1. "Something Good"
The act's first single, this one really stands out as one that you can't ignore as it would be reworked on many occasions later in their career. The tune sees them making good use of throwback Soul material that I'm sure you won't be able to get over once it has blazed through your body and you feel the full intensity of it. The jam is a hardcore one and really stands out on this release for its significance and how it kicks things off for this album.
2. "Use Me Up"
With this one and we see that we get the chance to feel the full intensity of the act when they are working at their top standard and both Bun B and Pimp C are coming together to bring forward something where they are working off each others' talents, (especially when it comes to the drug-based rhyming) and make something funky out of it to make a good lasting impression on listeners.
3. "Pocket Full Of Stones"
Staying true to their expectations as being big names on the D-Boy Rap scene, we seen that one this one they rhyme about hard about their reputation around their ends for selling cocaine and giving what everyone in their area wanted before they went in pursuit of Rap as they do here. This makes for a heavy piece and one that you seem to be immediately drawn towards for its intense feel and the way that they attack it.
4. "Short Texas"
We have them keeping the Funk flowing as they come out with more of that hardcore stuff and the kind of material that sees them establishing the sound that would remain the regions distinctive sound with its low-paced stuff which you simply won't be able to take yourself away from once it has begun. The tune has them showing the influence that the first pimp rapper in the game, Too $hort, had on their music with a couple of samples of his thrown in there.
5. "Cocaine In The Back Of The Ride"
Here they get off with a heavy one and one that has great immediacy to it as we see that Pimp C blasts-through with his raw rhyming on top of beats which he personally composed. The production has a real southern feel to it, and this is completely unexpected when you consider that the pair weren't even 18 years of age at the time and were able to compose a tune that allows them to represent their region in a way that you would only have expected if the Dirty South scene had been around few a few years (which it hadn't yet).
6. "It's Too Hard To Swallow"
The smooth production that we've had on most up to this point is seen to continue through for this one and it seems to do great things for allowing the MCs to do what they do best an represent their end of the US in the way that few before them were capable of. I have to say that this one didn't seem to flow as well as other sand so was held back slightly, but it still can't be said to be all that weak.
7. "Cramping My Style"
Using The Isley Brothers' "Between The Sheets" we see that for this one we get a bit of a change to the usual stuff from them as they recruit and uncreditted female MC to start things off to give an alternative perspective on the sorts of things which they rhyme about as they go in on the sorts of girls they go for an how they tend to treat them. This is a fresh one and the obvious sample aids them massively along the way.
8. "Feel Like I'm The One Who's Doin' Dope"
Using a very ominous tune in the Geto Boys' "My Mind's Playin' Tricks On Me" as a backing to what they do, here we see that they come up with a grungy tune and one where they do even more to attempt to work out exactly how the Southern Rap sound should feel. I'm glad that this kind of thing didn't persist much further than this, but it makes for a nice novelty tune here to give a little something different that takes you by surprise.
9. "I'm So Bad"
This is a straight banger of a tune and one that has them going off with just the sort of thing that gave Rap a bad reputation around this sort of time where it's all about with coming up with the most ruthless and explicit material. Clearly taking on things heard in the material of N.W.A, this one has them showing the sorts of power they have over the girls and what they can get them to do. It sticks right out here, but I can see many having lots of negative things to say about it.
10. "Trill A*s N***a"
They don't keep that hardcore stuff from flowing as we see that here they come for more of the raw stuff and we see the first use of the 'Trill' (true and real) word that The Pimp invented back around this time and was adopted by a high number of the southern acts working in genre. They improve the beats to what was heard on the original version to this one and so it seems to keep things just as strong as they've been up to this point.
11. "976-Bun B" (Lude)
12. "Something Good" (Remix)
Coming off a short one where Bun B does his thing, here we see that we're brought right back to where we were at the top of the album as we see that they come up with a remix to their first single. A straight killer piece, we see that here Pimp C shows off his skills at cutting thins up and gives things an even funkier twist as he slows the pace right down and makes it fit in with what the Texas lifestyle is like.
A classic Southern Rap album, this was a great way for the duo to set up their legacy in the game as they come up with an impressive set of tunes for all to get excited about. Although they may be seen to go just a little too far with the lyrics on a couple of the tracks, they keep things tight and make for an album which shaped the sound for Hip Hop in their region for years to come as an alternative to the northern styles.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Something Good [Extended Version]
2 Use Me Up
3 Pocket Full of Stones
4 Short Texas
5 Cocaine in the Back of the Ride
6 It's Too Hard to Swallow
7 Cramping My Style
8 Feel Like I'm the One Who's Doin' Dope
9 I'm So Bad
10 Trill Ass Nigga
11 976-Bun B
12 Something Good [Pimp C's Remix][*]