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The return album for the legendary Port Arthur, Texas duo UGK came out in 2007; the self-entitled "Underground Kingz" release was their sixth (the first of which came out in 1992) and was the first to come out following the imprisonment of member Pimp C. With Bun B united with his partner in rhyme, they chose to drop a monster double-album to kick start their career once more with the new-found southern Hip Hop rise, which had seemed to occur at a time where they were absent form it. Unfortunately, Pimp C died the year after, but they still managed to bring out an additional album following this in 2009.
1. "Swishas and Doshas"
To get things thing underway you have a track which has you thrown back into the wing of their older tracks form the nineties with the funky beats and wah-wahs getting this things going with Pimp C on the production and from here you have them just getting straight to it with Pimp C starting it and speaking of the generation of southern MCs ho he represents.
2. "International Players Anthem" (Remix)
I have to say that I see this as the best creation I have heard any southern rap act come out with. It is just perfect, you can't fault a single thing in it whatsoever. It find three of the biggest Dirty South duos coming together as Texas' UGK get to work with Georgia's OutKast and you get beats from Tennessee's Three 6 Mafia in a track completely unlike what many of them would ever do as they perform on top of Willie Hutch's "I Choose You" in an emotive manner, and are still able to retain their 'Gangsta' through the swag they choose to place upon as they flow. The beats are hard, and every line will impress. You can't get better than this. The original had DJ Paul and Juicy J of Three 6 Mafia on the raps, but this version was the killer.
3. "Chrome Plated Women"
Really nothing was going to compare to what we just got there, but I felt that from there you certainly get something big an exciting to show that they won't just flop of that monster recording. You have them getting to the up-tempo swinging stuff to get you swaying along as they show you that they are back into the groove and will show you how things are done in the Dirty South, and the type of content often comes with the raps. In this case its all about the cars and it is something you knew was coming.
4. "Life Is 2009"
On top of some beats from Old School Too $hort work you have them collaborating with that Oakland rapper, and talking about how short this life is. It is a funky one, and it forces you in as they keep spirits up in the choice of production, and the way that they flow about it. It takes you right back to their early work, and reminds you of the journey they have taken.
5. "The Game Belongs To Me"
As one of very few Southern Rap acts with almost twenty years in this filed, I felt that it was certainly relevant that they chose to speak about how they have taken control of this sub-genre to Hip Hop. Here you find that the pace is dropped, as they get to the laid-back to the flows, and represents what this area is about.
6. "Like That" (Remix)
Here you have them getting into more hard rap, and it shows just how strong a duo the pair of them are as I am aware that they always chose to record separately and construct their own individual verses, without any sort of influence upon what the other recorded but here, as it is a remix (to a track later on in the album), they are able to show a lot more unity with things overlapping, and showing great connection.
Pimp C is behind his one, and it finds that the pair of them do things alone (as many of the tracks here have guests) so here they show how they do things by taking things back to how it was done back in the day. The beats remind you of the late eighties and early nineties. The pace is low and has you floating with them as they do things in such a relaxed manner.
8. "Underground Kingz"
Using their name as the title, this one has them representing themselves in the only way they can as they rap about the struggle they went through in order to get to the stage where "Underground King" was actually true of them with them really guiding all of those who do the Texas and Memphis style of rap today (as well as what is done to a degree in Atlanta). You have them tracking their journey from the early inspirations to the underground 1988 release before talking about one of many standard southern phrases which they invented. At one point you here Pimp C use a line heard not long ago on the album, but he quickly flips this to show that it is far from unimaginative of him to do so.
9. "Grind Hard"
Here you find that they take things back a bit by choosing to use a past UGK track as part of the hook, you know that only they personally would choose to do such a thing, and so it is Pimp C who is behind the production, and he takes you back to their first Golden era before allowing a couple of younger names to do their thing on top of the beats.
10. "Take Tha Hood Back"
This is a heavy recording on the album, and there's no way you can see it as anything short of this as you have them going for a hardcore tune where they speak with a lot more conscious thought. As Bun B continued without the Pimp for a while, you can hear the direction he took things with a little more socially-aware topics coming through, and it does aid the quality of the track as they work with Slim Thug and MDDL FNGAZ.
11. "Quit Hatin' The South"
With this coming out at a time when the Dirty South's rise was hated on by Hip Hop's home of New York, and to a degree where it travelled across to in the late eighties with the Wet Coast. Here the two of them show that they aren't really concerned about how 'northerners' see it as they acknowledge that they needed to have this guidance, but once they adapted it to their very different lifestyle and culture, it was made only for the southern, so they shouldn't hate, they should just do their own thing instead.
It really doesn't' matter where they choose to take the content of the rap as thy always come with something funky to get you excited about and in this case you have a track which, in knowledge of Pimp C's death, is quite haunting as you have them doing their own version of 2Pac's "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto" as they ponder upon whether there is a place for them there.
13. "Trill N***as Don't Die"
This one deal with similar things to what you got on the album prior to this as you find them rapping about how those who kept things 'Trill (true and real) will never have their spirits pass, and since this pair have done so much for the game, you have to say that this is the case here too. The same emotions are brought up this as were felt with the thought-provoking lyrics of the track prior to it, and it leaves you at what could have been a reasonable end.
1. "How Long Can It Last"
To get the second disc of the album underway, you have a tune which appears to have them taking a completely different direction with the music as it begins with Pimp C asking to repent for his sins, but after this he returns to the exciting and funky stuff to show that he isn't going to take it that far form what we know from them. Former Gap band lead singer Charlie Wilson sings an meotive hook and explains what it is to be a 'G'.
2. "Still Ridin' Dirty"
Referring to their third album (which Chamillionaire was then inspired to create "Ridin'" in 2005), this one is the first one the album where it is Bun B who begins things, and it seems to give it a completely different feel, but I wouldn't say that this is a negative, but it is something you immediately pick up upon as they do things.
You have Bun be getting this one started again here, on a track which was one of the popular ones on the album. It has Jazzy Pha behind everything here, and felt that what he came with was surprising strong, and it allowed them to do something a bit more commercialised with beats which are a lot lighter than what we are typically subject to when they are doing their thing.
You can't really go wrong when attempting to guess what they rap about here as it is rather straight-forward, and so on the low paced freaky beats which take on a very irregular form, you have them dropping something which really contrasts quite greatly from what else you get here. Not many go this deep when it comes to actual use of it. It has Pimp C speak on his experiences with it, and Bun B giving us a history lesson on where it comes from, the type of thing it was used for in the past and what other names it has, and after this Rick Rock does a similar thing to the Pimp.
5. "Two Type of B****es"
Off a collaboration on his album Dizzee Rascal is given an opportunity to do his thing on UGK's work as he gets a few bars to give things a UK twist, I felt that this was a nice one, and it has them clearly having fun describing the girls they like to be with. I really didn't expect it to come through like this, and the massive contrast, which comes through with Dizzee's flows seem to temporality throw you.
6. "Real Women"
Keeping the theme around the same place as we move into this one, you find a banger of a collaboration as you have Raheem DeVaughn performing a soulful hook to drive things as they do a classy one about the type of women who they can't give a title which was given to those in the track prior to it. Talib Kweli also steps up to show just how diverse this album is, and it certainly boosts it.
Here you have them returning to the tracks about the cars that they simply love to roll around in. It is a big one and it has them just kicking back and having fun as they just explain what it is that excites them in this world. It is a funky jam from them and stands out as they go for a much more simplistic structure as they flow.
8. "Tell Me How Ya Feel"
Jazzy Pha does the production here too and chooses to give them more of the freaky club music which they are able to vibe o. It is a smooth one, and demonstrates how the two of the artists are able to do their thing on stuff which they don't often associate with. It also showcases Jazzy Phizzle's ability to adapt to artists who are in another world from his Pop-styled work.
9. "Shattered Dreams"
As soon as you here the opening to this, you know that it is Pimp C behind the beats and with funky stuff, using a sample of Raydio, you have them doing a track which talks of how they have clearly got to a stage where they have accomplished their dreams, and unbeknown to them, this would be the first time where they would actually top the Billboard charts with their distinctive underground sound.
10. "Like That"
This is a much livelier version to a track which was remixed in the first disc in the album. It is a bassy track, and it is quite different to the type of thing which you commonly get with them as they take things to the clubs and choose to do things which they wouldn't usually as they try out the type of track which the younger acts are more likely to engage in.
11. "Next Up"
Here you get a track which is a massive surprise as it finds them on beats from one other than Marley Marl. Unfortunately he doesn't try out anything tha new (an attempt at something southern would have been valued, but its not bad as it gives them what they need to get going as they work with two of the best late eighties and early nineties Hip Hop artists with Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane doing their thing with them. They all came up at the same time, so it's great to see what happened to them all.
12. "Living This Life"
With the final proper track on the album, you have a track which has them dealing with the effort which went into the struggle which they went through as they attempted to simply live their life. It is an emotive one, and has them deal with things which you don't get any of in the rest of the album. It finds Pimp C talk about his time in prison briefly, as well as earlier in his life, and what he used to get up to.
This album is a big one, and an album which everyone really needs to listen to. It is the best in Texas Rap, and a fantastic return from the two of them. There isn't a weak point in this album, a with so many tracks, it is something which you don't often get (since 2Pac's "All Eyez On Me").If you are into southern rap, then this is for you, but bare in mind that thy keep it in their style, and stay away from the Buck and Crunk which the south is known for, so don't expect any of it here.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Swishas And Dosha - UGK
2 Int'l Players' Anthem (I Choose You) - UGK & Outkast
3 Chrome Plated Woman - UGK
4 Life Is 2009 - UGK & Too Short
5 Game Belongs To Me - UGK
6 Like That - UGK
7 Gravy - UGK
8 Underground Kingz - UGK
9 Grind Hard - UGK & Young TOE/DJ B-Do
10 Take Tha Hood Back - UGK & Slim Thug/Vicious/Middle Fingaz
11 Quit Hatin' The South - UGK & Charlie Wilson/Willie D
12 Heaven - UGK
13 Trill Niggas Don't Die - UGK & Z-Ro
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 How Long Can It Last - UGK & Charlie Wilson
2 Still Ridin' Dirty - UGk & Scarface
3 Stop N Go - UGK & Jazze Pha
4 Cocaine - UGK & Rick Ross
5 Two Type Of Bitches - UGK & Dizzie Rascal/Pimpin' Ken
6 Real Women - UGK & Talib Kweli/Raheem DeVaughn
7 Candy - UGK
8 Tell Me How Ya Feel - UGK
9 Shattered Dreams - UGK
10 Like That - UGK
11 Next Up - UGK & Big Daddy Kane/Kool G Rap
12 Living This Life - UGK
13 Outro - UGK
14 Int'l Players' Anthem (I Choose You) - UGK & Three G Mafia
15 Int'l Players' Anthem (I Choose You) - UGK & Three G Mafia
16 Hit The Block - UGK & TI