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REVIEW: Pimp C : “The Naked Soul Of Sweet Jones”

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There will never be another character like Pimp C. There will be people that are fearless in voicing their opinions on music like him, and there will be people that rap about the same content as him, but as far as his demeanor and the way he brings it all together, Pimp C will forever be in a class of his own. From his arrival on the Hip-Hop scene as one half of the now-legendary group UGK alongside his partner Bun B, to his jail sentence, to his reemergence as one of the premier voices for the South because of his tell-it-all, and sometimes politically incorrect take on everything relevant, he is and will forever be known for his charisma and his fearless stance on speaking his mind. It’s only right that Pimp C’s last album combine all of those aspects as a respectable ode to the Texas-rapper and the outspoken legacy he left behind.

From the beginning of the album, you can hear Pimp C affirm that this is his first solo album, and after an introductory serenade (“Down 4 Mine”), the album flows directly into the Boi-1da produced “What Up”, accompanied by Drake and Bun B.  Pimp C’s subject matter changes, but never waivers or jumps out of his style or his traditional Southern slow-flow. From his fascination with ballin’ (“Love 2 Ball”), to how he’s been rich for years (“Since The 90s”), to the dedication song to his favorite brand of pants (“Dickies”), to his traditional “pimp” song alongside Too $hort (“Made 4 Me”), it all encompasses Pimp C’s signature style in some way, shape, or form. If you were wondering, the Rap-A-Lot tradition of routinely airing out Lil’ Troy (although he is unnamed) is also present throughout the listening session.

The production on the LP is handled remarkably well. From the aforementioned Boi-1da, to the likes of David Banner, Jazze Pha and the 808 Boyz, all of the production maintains that Southern swagger that makes Pimp C and the whole Houston sound that’s established throughout “Sweet Jones” just pop for the listener. It comes together to make the project flow solidly and sound polished. The cameos also boost the value of this project. Jeezy’s “Master of Ceremony” take on “Dickies” makes the song sound more like an anthem, Chamillionaire’s harmonizing vocals on “Love 2 Ball” fits well, and Bun B rides every beat almost perfectly to the point of making me wonder what would happen if we got a chance to hear another UGK album. Contributions from Webbie, Lil’ Boosie, E-40, Rick Ross, Slim Thug, and others make this project better-rounded.

The only issue with this album is the same exact thing that makes Pimp C who he is; his subject matter is extremely strong and sometimes even more vulgar than normal rap music, which is saying a lot. It’s nothing that most Hip-Hop heads aren’t used to, but for some listeners the appeal to finish the album could die off quickly due to Pimp C’s adult topics and contents when dealing with women, most notably in songs like “Made 4 Me” and certain lines in “Fly Lady.”

Although the album lacks lengthy appeal with 13 tracks, “The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones” serves as a respectable send-off to one of Hip-Hop’s legends. Solid production combined with Pimp C’s slow, syllable-emphasizing flow and topped off with features from several different artists make this LP a solid album from beginning to end.

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