Thursday, August 4th, 2011 at 9:45 pm
Artist: Pimp C
Album: Still Pimping
Release Date: July 12, 2011
It’s undeniable the influence the late great Chad Butler, aka Pimp C, had on rap culture. Whether he was calling out “f*ck boys” or keeping his mighty pimp hand strong, Pimp C was (and still is) the most revered lyricist in the game. Pimp C represented the south and UGK to the fullest, and would tell you to eat “7000 wee-wees and die” if you didn’t respect his opinion. His unabashed and icy attitude was well reflected in his lyrics, and his pimp daddy southern drawl made him arguably the most convincing pimps on the microphone. Unfortunately, the outspoken Port Arthur veteran is no longer here with us, and for the last four years fans and family have been trying to pick up the pieces. Last year, Rap-A-Lot records released Naked Soul of Sweet Jones which was warmly received by both fans and critics. It’s safe to say that Still Pimping is met with the same apprehension and excitement of fans on both sides of the coin, and-I must add-for good reason.
After the requiem like “Pimptro,” the album begins properly with “Watch the Reaction.” The track is a trunk knocking, shoulder leaning, southern cut that is guaranteed to have you and your crew bouncing from side to side. In addition to a solid and syrupy verse from Pimp C, Lil Keke and Killa Kyleon both come correct with solid verses. Next up is “Grippin’ on the Wood” which is certainly the biggest highlights of the album. Accented with light drum kicks and smooth organ chords, “Grippin’ on the Wood” is easily the biggest standout track on the album. Although UGK co-hart Bun B drops a stellar verse, it’s Big K.R.I.T who steals the spotlight with a dizzying and electrifying verse that will have fans stopping to press the rewind button. Other standouts include “Notes on Leases” and “Finer Thangs.” On the latter, Brooke Valentine delivers a serenading hook while Slim Thug drops a typical verse about a fling that develops into a relationship.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album swings in hydraulic fashion, and sadly to say, none of them have the same replay value of the highly irresistible “Grippin’ on the Wood” and “Watch the Reaction.” In addition, a large portion of the album is nothing less than pedestrian, and though there’s no doubt that most guest appearances had some rapport with Pimp C during his life, none took it the consummate level that Big K.R.I.T. was able to take it to. However, the biggest and most obvious drawback of this album is that it sounds contrived and rushed. “F*ck Boy” and “Get Down,” for example, sounds as if they slapped together verses from Pimp C just for song’s sake. “What You Working With” suffers from spotty production and lackluster performances from Bun B and Slim Thug. In addition, the bass slapping and noteworthy “Gorillaz” has everything except-waits for it- Pimp C unless you count his sampled voice on the hook as a feature. Needless to say, if it wasn’t for “Gripping on the Wood,” “Watch the Reaction,” and “Finer Thangs” this latest posthumous “effort” wouldn’t be much of an effort. And in comparison to last year’s Naked Soul, there are very few trunk rattling tunes that give you that Chevy riding high feeling.
Overall, this is a mediocre album put out by Rap-A-Lot. In many ways Still Pimping is almost a mirror image of Naked Truth. Simply put, it’s pretty much the same sh*t to a different tune. The only difference here, however, is that the production has downgraded considerably since the first posthumous release. In addition, a mixed bag of Pimp’s “best” verses and no production from Pimp C makes this hard for anybody who is unfamiliar with Pimp C’s work to imagine what Pimp C embodied as an artist. In all fairness though, and because this is a posthumous album, Still Pimping can’t be knocked for hustling backwards. I’m sure if Rap-a-Lot had a séance with Pimp C to re-record the album the result would have been much better. Anybody that just hopped on the Pimp C caddy wagon may not appreciate this album as much as true UGK loyalists. Therefore, it would be strongly advised to listen to UGK’s past work and Pimp C’s solo albums to get a fair idea of who Pimp C was. With that said, I hope that for the fans’ sake that the Rap-A-Lot vault still has some salvageable goodies left for those still saying long live the Pimp.
Let’s face it – judging an album on a scale of 1 to 5 mics just won’t cut it — that’s more of a magazine thing. After constant office arguments regarding album ratings, we’ve decided to revise our album review process and fairly judge an artist’s work across multiple avenues. At iHipHop.com, we believe every album deserves an impartial review, taking into account both music and cultural relevance.