UGK 4 Life (Jive)
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., April 17, 2009
UGKUGK 4 Life (Jive)
Anyone familiar with the Notorious B.I.G.'s posthumous Duets: The Final Chapter or Tupac's parallel Better Dayz can understand how laudable the move is by rapper Bun B, UGK's surviving member, in pulling out UGK 4 Life. Faced with the opportunity to turn the Port Arthur duo's seventh and final album into an all-out lovefest for Pimp C, who died of an overdose Dec. 4, 2007, and profit in a big way as a result, Bun took the highest road that could handle his tricked-out low rider and released the album he and Pimp were making in the wake of 2007's Underground Kingz reunion. He lets everybody know at the top, asserting, "You can't handle Bun, and you can't fuck with Pimp" on first proper track "Still on the Grind" and again on the Isley Brothers-featured "The Pimp & the Bun." The subjects of conversation stay on a traveled path, the two splitting bars about "Swishas & Erb," the trill, all sorts of souped-up trunks, and white rocks. They get a knockout verse from E-40 on hood anthem "Used to Be" and pull Goodie Mob's Big Gipp for a hook on "Purse Come First." Only "Hard as Hell," a shallow pop collaboration with Akon that Pimp had been working on, fails. The rest of UGK 4 Life rolls celebration, not just for one of Houston's greatest personalities and foremost musical pioneers but also for the Bayou City's finest hip-hop unit. Long live the Pimp, hell yes, but this is one fantastic curtain call.