Tag Archives: UGK

RAP LESSONS

UGK – Dirty Money

“No matter how you make it / it’s all dirty money” is a great life lesson I wish I’d learned it sooner.

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YOU CAN WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THE GOODY GOODY TWO-SHOES

FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE Pimp C destroys A$AP Rocky’s entire album in one verse.  Fuck how you feel about it, Billboard.

A$AP Rocky – Wavybone (feat. Juicy J & UGK)

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GODDAMN RIGHT I RIDE DIRTY BUT I’M ZESTFULLY CLEAN

Starlito & Don Trip – Pimp C 3000

I think this new Starlito & Don Trip track is trolling me for a blog post.  Here are the main two references from the hook:

UGK – Murder

OutKast – Elevators (Me & You)

But there are also a bunch of references to One Day, a quick International Players’ Anthem interpolation, and even a little dash of Pocket Full of Stones.  I haven’t heard this many Pimp C references since 1st Key, or I guess maybe LFK.  Or maybe every Big K.R.I.T. album…

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‘CUZ YOU’RE TOO BUSY THINKIN’ YOU DA SHIT

I can’t thank Tim enough for pointing out a glaring omission in this little miniseries we’ve been working with.  I don’t know how I remembered Gucci Mane/Esther Dean, Trick Daddy/Trina, Jay-Z/Foxy Brown, and even J. Cole/J. Cole while leaving this one out in the cold.  This is a great, great example, also notable its slightly sloppier flip of “Between the Sheets” a full 3 years before “Big Poppa“.

UGK – Cramping My Style (feat. Infinity)

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RAP JOURNEY #18 – FROM HALL & OATES TO B-LEGIT

This one’s been sittin’ on the sidelines for a while; I got tipped off on this Journey on the very day that I posted a different Rap Journey that prominently featured Main Attrakionz and UGK, so I figured it’d be a good idea to let this one sit out for a bit to not bore you all with the same artists over and over.  I couldn’t just let it slide by though, this one’s really good.

My good pal Sarah laid this one out for me (I love it when that happens), I put in no effort of my own into this whatsoever, so I gotta give credit where it’s due.  See she was working one day, and this track came on the stereo at work and she “FLIPPED OUT”, you’ll see why in a second.

Hall & Oates – Sara Smile

No, it’s not because the song title shares her own, it’s because of her love for Main Attrakionz (that you can tell I share if you follow this blog at all).

Main Attrakionz – Elevate Ya Name

Like a true lover of rap and sampling though, she didn’t let the discovery end there, she also unearthed some other really sweet tracks that use that same sample.  I’m surprised I never noticed that Main Attrakionz song and this one sharing the same sample, I’m a really big fan of the album this one’s from.  I guess I need to sharpen my focus a little better.

UGK – Feds In Town

There are some even more far out examples too, Vanilla Ice got ahold of it in ’94 and Soulja Boy rapped over a later section of that original Hall & Oates song just last year, but Sarah felt a special fondness for this one (that interestingly features Daryl Hall on the chorus), and I have to say I feel the same way.

B-Legit – Ghetto Smile

Thanks for the education, Sarah, it most definitely made me smile.

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NO INTRODUCTIONS NEEDED

When I see a track with a lineup like this, I always get really excited right at first, and then almost immediately really worried that it won’t be able to live up to the sum of its parts.

Big Boi – Gossip (feat. UGK & Big K.R.I.T.)

In this particular situation, you’ve got a lot of potential pitfalls: one of the dudes on the song has been residing in the spiritual world for the past four and a half years, two of them are very established, approaching middle-age rappers from different parts of the south, and one is a young and aspiring artist from yet another part of the south from everybody else.  Ideally, with a song with this many strong talents on board, it would be best for all of them to spend some time in the same room together to get on the same page and get all of their comparably genius creative minds pointed in the same direction, but in this case, that would clearly not be an option (see reasons above).  But in my opinion, aside from the Pimp C verse sounding a little uncharacteristically unsmooth and out of the pocket, this track actually does a pretty good job of living up to its lineup.  Plus, Big Boi in the first verse makes reference to one of my favorite non-Soul Food Goodie Mob tracks.

Goodie Mob – They Don’t Dance No Mo’

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BOBBY BY THE POUND, WHITNEY BY THE KEY

Traveling gives you a lot of time to think.  I’ve been thinkin’ about a lot of stuff, but one thing that’s been on my mind is the question Matt asked in his debut guest post exactly one month ago: What is  your favorite single word in a rap song ever?  I really like this question a lot, it makes me focus on really minute details of a rapper’s flow to determine a truly powerful single utterance of a word that is somehow extremely moving all by itself.  He got a lot of good comments on that post of people offering their favorites, and I’ve given it some thought and decided to throw in my own contribution to the discussion.  The word: “game” found 1 minute and 27 seconds into “The Game Belongs to Me” by UGK.  The line where my favorite word resides is a line Pimp C uses at the end of his first verse, and it’s just a rapped version of the hook of the song, but when he raps the line here, he puts extra emphasis on the word “game” and for some reason every time I listen to this song that moment gives me this rushing feeling in my chest just for a second, it’s incredibly powerful for being a single word, especially a word that’s repeated over and over in the song.

UGK – The Game Belongs to Me

There’s a cool video for that song too, but it’s edited and the silenced “bitch” right before he gets to that ultimate word really disrupts the flow and takes some power away from it, so I posted the video above for its uncensoredness.  I’m glad Matt made me ponder this question for a while, it’s been a fun thing to think about.  He’s assured me that he has some more posts in the works, and I hope he’s not bullshittin’ because his ideas are badass and it’s pretty difficult for me to get internet right now, as I’m sure some of you noticed by my recent silence.  Save me Matt!

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RAP JOURNEY #17 – FROM ASAP ROCKY & MAIN ATTRAKIONZ TO THE ART OF NOISE AND UGK

The other day Reeve got ahold of me to ask if I’d checked out this song yet.

Main Attrakionz – UGK (feat. A$AP Rocky)

Somehow I hadn’t, even though there are three rappers I really like on this song AND it’s named after two rappers that I absolutely LOVE, so how this one slipped by me I’ll never know, but I’m very grateful for getting the late-but-not-too-late introduction to it.  I feel a responsibility to Pimp and Bun to let y’all know what UGK song the hook is taken from, but what really caught my attention was that simple sampler/keyboard part that opens that track up.  It’s got such a recognizable melody and tone, and it didn’t take me long to figure out at least one place where I’d heard that tune before.  It was a song by another duo that, coincidentally, Reeve turned me onto several years ago in their Bake Sale days.

The Cool Kids – Art of Noise

This is actually one of my favorite Cool Kids songs, it’s a little less silly and kitschy than a lot of their more popular stuff is, but it doesn’t sound forced at all, especially Chuck Inglish’s flow on that first verse, that shit just feels right.

I felt like that couldn’t be the only place that sample had been used though, I had this feeling like I’d heard it some other places.  Turns out I was very right, that same sample turns up in a LOT of rap songs from all over the place.  It shows up in the Memphis underground, in a classic 90s New York rap format, and in the ATL trap-rap scene, to name just a few.  But my favorite is probably this one, if for no other reason than the fact that it has three very different artists, one of which had been dead for over 10 years when this song came out, the surviving two coming from the same general region of the U.S. but definitely not sharing much time in the spotlight simultaneously, but they somehow all rap in basically the same style without any of them sounding like they’re reaching at all, it’s pretty amazing.

Lil’ Wayne – Nymphos (feat. 2pac & Ludacris)

OK, I know you might be tired of hearing it by now, but there’s no way I can not finish this up with the original.  It really is a nice listen, so if you’re sick of it now, come back tomorrow and take the time to hear the whole thing.  I think you’ll be glad you did.

The Art of Noise – Moments in Love

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RAP JOURNEY #14 – FROM RAKIM TO PLEASURE

I thought of this in the shower today, I was feelin real rested and carefree cuz I haven’t had to go to work in a while, and this little loop was just spinnin’ around in my head cuz it fit just right with how I was feeling.  It’s one of the most laid back, start-of-a-good-day-feelin loops around, and playing it in my mind to myself while I was gettin’ soaped up made me want to find out where it came from.  I first heard it way back in the day on this Rakim song from his first solo album.

Rakim – Remember That

A few years later, when I was getting more into southern rap, I came across this track that actually predates that Rakim song by about 3 years.

UGK – It’s Supposed To Bubble

It’s cool to hear a Houstonian and a New Yorker flip the same sample but treat it slightly different because of how the sound in their area is, I really feel like those two songs have a surprisingly different feel to them even though the meat of the instrumental is totally the same.

When I started trying to track down the common ancestor to both those songs, I discovered quite a few other tracks that also came from that same song, some of which even predate one or both of the previous rap versions.  Crazy.

Big Daddy Kane – Give It To Me

Then this one that came out around the same time that UGK version happened.

Main Source – Only the Real Survive

The thing I didn’t know was who K-Cut, Pimp C, Spark Boogie, Mister Cee, and DJ Clark Kent were all listening to in the mid-90s when they made these beats.  Until now.

Pleasure – Thoughts of Old Flames

And here’s this Guilty Simpson song, that seems to be unrelated sample-wise but is called the same thing pretty much.  I dunno.

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RAP JOURNEY #13 – FROM GUCCI MANE TO BIRDMAN & LIL’ WAYNE

Yeeeahhhhhh… I’ve been lookin forward to Gucci Mane’s new mixtape since I first heard about it a couple months back.  The couple videos I saw leading up to it were real promising, and when I finally got to sit and listen to the whole thing yesterday I was real pleased.  It’s tight.  Possibly the most surprising track on there for me is “Get It Back“; if you’ve ever played Tetris before you’ll probably be pretty surprised too.  Hearing that song for the first time and also hearing this song for the first time real soon after made me wanna put together a video game-centered rap mix, that would be so cool.  Mike, I’m lookin’ in your direction…  But that’s not the song I meant to talk about.

The first track of the tape, after the intro, is this song.  Check it.

Gucci Mane – Back In ’95

Like I said, I was excited about this tape comin’ out already, but I had no idea the first song on there would make reference to one of my favorite groups of all time.

UGK – Pocket Full Of Stones

And it’s cool Gucci chose this song of UGK’s to reference, because it gives me the chance to bring up this other song that re-imagines “Pocket Full Of Stones” in a slightly different way.

Birdman & Lil’ Wayne – 1st Key

I’m a total sucker for when rappers are rapping and then a little sample pops in to finish a line, it fuckin’ gets me every time.  And this is one of my favorite examples of this phenomenon I think, they do a really good job with it.  Word is they’ve got a new album comin’ out soon too… very exciting.

Hey this one stayed totally within the confines of the rap world, we didn’t get any soul/funk/whatever samples at the core of all this, that’s interesting.  Is that the first time that’s happened?  I think it is.  Cool.  See y’all!

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