PASTOR TROY FACE OFF 2 Money & the Power/MADD Society
PIMP C SWEET JAMES JONES STORIES Rap-A-Lot/Asylum
It’s always refreshing when an artist is able to step outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves. Outkast have become legends by doing exactly that. Pastor Troy’s new album, Face Off 2, ventures into unexplored territory.
Before I begin, let’s get this disclaimer out of the way: In my eyes, Pimp C can do no wrong. I feel that he is the epitome of all Southern rap artists, and I will argue with you to high noon if you disagree with me. I might even resort to calling your immediate family horrendously degrading names if need be to prove my point is valid.
Even though the Pastor has been known to make the kind of music that you feel deep down in your soul, this collection of songs touches a different nerve. After a haunting rendition of the classic Bone Thugs & Harmony “Ouija Are You With Me” (appropriately retitled “PT Are You With Me”) PT commences the aural assault with “WWW (Who Wan War)”. It’s the classic Pastor Troy war cry over a real European-sounding track. It’s a great balance of hard rhymes over a softer beat. Next, we have the Pastor Troy we’ve grown to love with his classic underground single “Murda Man,” where he takes a shot at the reigning King of crunk, Lil Jon (“Lil Jon used to be my homie, used to be my ace / Now I wanna slap the taste out your mouth”). Dr. Dre must be so proud. Although this album does include the prerequisite booty club songs, get crunk in the club songs, and I’m-gonfuck-a-nigga-up songs, the shining moment is the cut “Acid Rain (In Loving Memory of Kurt Cobain)” with featured vocals from Sky. There’s magic that happens when Pastor Troy’s voice is paired with electric guitars. His voice lets us hear the raw emotion in the vocals. The album is worth purchasing for this song alone. True Pastor Troy fans have nothing to worry about, though. I can’t really see Pastor Disaster flippin’ the script anytime soon and going the heavy metal route. Outside of the hilarious Pimpin’ Ken interlude and the Kurt Cobain tribute, the best moment on the disc is the last record, the drum & bass joint “Keep On Movin’.” This song features a nice sampled hook from the Soul II Soul classic of the same name. I don’t think any of these “crunk” era artists have the nuts to try something like that, let alone pull it off. I strongly suggest picking this one up to add to your collection. - Wally Sparks, email@example.com 28
OZONE APR 2005
Anyway, let’s get on to the review of the new Pimp C album, Sweet James Jones Stories. Here we have 14 tracks of old-school Pimp C rhymes cut and pasted over some dope new beats. There’s also some newer unheard beats that may have been recorded recently. It’s hard to tell if some of these Pimp C masters were outtakes from the UGK masters like the posthumous Tupac catalog, or poorly recorded new verses spliced in to create brand new songs. Either way, I have mixed feelings about the finished product. On one hand, there are some songs that could easily become classics, like “I’s A Playa,” featuring Bun B, Z-Ro and Twista. That’ll have you itching for that UGK reunion album. But along with the good, there are a few miscalculations. “Get My Money,” featuring the Milwaukee Mack Pimpin’ Ken, has a dope premise, but doesn’t live up to its potential. Right after “Get My Money” is the bass-guitar driven funkfest “Young Prostitute,” which sounds like the old Bar-Kays and Funkadelic albums my uncles used to play while they were making me wash their Regals. That joint will definitely be appreciated by the older crowd, but not the younger. The best thing about this album really is Pimp C himself. Many UGK fans may be somewhat disappointed by the album, but still glad to hear Pimp C on wax again. Any real fan of Southern hip-hop music should have this album in their collection out of sheer respect. Plus, the beats are dope. Pimp C can do no wrong, remember? - Wally Sparks, firstname.lastname@example.org
BIG BOI, KILLER MIKE, BUBBA SPARXXX, & THE APHILLIATES GOT THAT PURP Purple Ribbon This mixtape/album is sort of a reintroduction to some familiar names (Killer Mike and Bubba Sparxx) and formal introduction to the rest of Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon batallion (Konkrete and Scar). Good music is always the best form of promotion, and this mixtape accomplishes that goal nicely. Got That Purp is full of bangin’ new exclusive joints from the entire Purple Ribbon roster, Dungeon Family throwback tracks, freestyles, and rare remixes. Mixed by the Aphilliates’ DJ Drama, Don Cannon, and DJ Sense, the mixtape kicks off with a dope-ass joint called “Oh No” featuring Big Boi, Bubba, and often overlooked DF rapper Backbone. There’s another version of this song floating around with Killer Mike on it, but I prefer this version. The MVP of this mixtape has got to be Killer Mike. The first freestyle featured is a classic from an earlier Gangsta Grillz mixtape over the Kanye West-produced “Ain’t No Love” instrumental (“While you was in yo’ PJs watchin’ Cartoon Network, I was networkin’ learnin’ how to serve wet work”). For the second freestyle, Killer Mike uses the backdrop of the 112 bedroom joint “Cupid” and proceeds to absolutely murder (figuratively, and literally) the track with a story of drugs, guns, and violence. It’s simply amazing. It’s a breath of fresh air to hear an MC be an MC again, regardless of the subject matter. Other standout cuts are “Margarita,” featuring Sleepy Brown, Big Boi, and Pharrell, and “Pocket Full of Midz,” which is Bubba Sparxxx’ take on the UGK classic “Pocket Full of Stones.” This disc does not disappoint, and is a must-have for any Dungeon Family fan. - Wally Sparks, email@example.com
Ozone Mag #33 - Apr 2005