The “Free Pimp C” movement has inched along
on ever since the Port Arthur,
Texas bred rapper was sentenced
to 8 years behind bars for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Since then,
the other half of the Underground Kingz,
Bun B, has led the “movement” with
various songs, verses & interviews about freeing Pimp C. Interestingly, that movement is a big reason why the UnderGround Kingz are no longer
his much anticipated 2nd solo album – the symbol of his emergence from the Texas penal system. Pimp C displays a Lil Kim-like approach to the music on this one, not hesitating to
leverage his recent release from jail into marketing momentum.
After a subdued intro, “Free” is a semi-inspirational cut which features a
classic Tom Petty sample; the end
result of which is a feel-good track which gets the album off on the right foot.
“Knockin Doors Down” has Michael Watts
written all over it, and gives Pimp C
the chance to speak on all the industry corruption and unnecessary drama
between artists in Texas
that developed in his absence. The beat is good and hot, and epitomizes the new
Texas swagger, which goes well with Pimp C’s old Texas swagger. The only problem is most of
the “beef” he talks about (Lil Flip/
T.I.P./ Slim Thug) is old and forgotten. Don’t they get cable in jail?
“Rock 4 Rock” is weak (the organ- electric guitar combo didn’t do it for me),
despite a nice little 16 from Scarface,
and an obligatory verse from Bun.
Plus the clap-your-hands-and-sing-along hook (methodically recited by Pimp C) made me want to find him and
say “shame on you, Mr. Pimp.” “Pourin’
Up” is the highlight: a rejuvenated Pimp
C lays his verse like the “Big Pimpin” days of old. Mike Jones does his usual thing (does his usual thing) and fits
well, although I swear I heard his verse somewhere else… Nevertheless, Bun B reps for UGK hard, reminding
youngins who got the LoneStar
State poppin in the first
place. “The Honey” is a Jazzy Phae
manifesto to pimp life, and is clearly where Pimp C is most comfortable. I was mad at first, till I realized I
was listening to a dude named Pimp C
on an album called Pimpalation.
“Gitcha Mind Right” is a throwback to the true pimp heyday of the late 70’s.
The lazy organ melody conjures images of Cadillacs (El Dorados, not Escalades),
swanky lounge clubs used as fronts for illegal drug cartels, and butterfly
collars. “I Don’t Fuc Wit U” represents the ugly side of pimpin, with Pimp C and crew making threats,
slanging insults, and claiming real southern street-life. “Workin’ the Wheel”
is vintage Pimp C, who this time
teams up with Slim Thug to toast
candy cars, blowing doja, and sizzurp.
Phew- let’s recap. So far we’ve gotten released from prison, celebrated our new
found freedom, sold some drugs, chastised our homeys for misrepresenting the
game, repped UGK to the fullest,
pimped some hoes, pimped some rides, and bragged about it. What’s missing? Oh
yeah, almost forgot the strip club.
“Like That (the Remix)” is your standard “bounce that ass” track, and Pimp C doesn’t bother with contributing
anything new. Instead he tosses out celebrity names (Trina, Olivia, Cierra, Tierra Marie, Fantasia, Paris Hilton, etc) seemingly at random.
It’s pretty clear everybody in the studio was blowed, because at one point
somebody rhymes Beyoncé with Ashanti,
and that’s not easy to do. And he must have anticipated people taking issue
with his views on gender equality and women’s rights, because “Cheat On Yo Man”
comes right out with his game plan for female advancement, courtesy of Mannie Fresh: “If you wanna get ahead baby, stick to the plan/ if you wanna get a head
baby, cheat on yo man.” There you have it, irrefutable evidence that Pimp C is concerned about the sisters.
It truly is hard out here for a pimp- these days even Congress is trying to
prosecute pimps who don’t pay income tax on their, umm… wages. Fortunately, Pimp C is here to show us how it’s
done- how to turn all these respectable women out here into pros and live the
good life in the process. The bad news is that Pimpalation doesn’t really stack up against Bun’s solo disappointment Trill.
The good news is that we can stop waiting to see if it will. Pimp C is home, and all is right with
the world. Bitch.