Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rarities: Banned

UGK - "Pregnant Pussy" | zShare
UGK - "Muthafucka Ain't Mine" | zShare
from Banned EP (Bigtyme, 1992)

Banned is an EP that includes two tracks that were cut from UGK's major label debut Too Hard to Swallow, no doubt due to their explicitness. It's yet another example of the fuckery going on at Jive, which the EP's cover elaborates on: "They took our samples, they took our hardness, they took our friendship."

And when I say these tracks are explicit, I mean it. "Pregnant Pussy" is probably one of the most hilariously disgusting rap songs I've ever heard. I mean, what else can you say about a song where Pimp C raps about babies licking up nut? "Muthafucka Ain't Mine" on the other hand is UGK's take on coat-hanger abortion rap, and the duo puts a decently unique spin on it.

The EP includes a pretty tame intro track (compared to the other two tracks anyway) and then instrumentals for "Pregnant Pussy" (called the "Pusi Mental") and "Muthafucka Ain't Mine."

NOTE: Most people are probably familiar with the CD reissue, but like The Southern Way before it, Banned was originally released as a cassette. Like the EP's cover, the titles of the each side of the original tape—"Brought Nuts" and "Took Nuts"—further reference how Jive fucked with UGK's music.


scjoha said...

More thoughts: Well, not having been there back in these days, early nineties, and never having been in Texas, I either don't know much about the history of the relation / differences & parallels between Geto Boys & UGK in general. But it seems to me that there must be a lot, a lot of stories (no beef of course) and they were definitely listening to each other. I mean, if I listen to Geto Boys' "Till Death do us Part" and Scarfaces' "The World is yours" (best Scarface album imo, if you skip the DMG and 2Low solo tracks), both from '93, both with that great early N.O. Joe production (better than the slicker G-Funk he later made, even better than his beats on Ridin Dirty!) and when I'm listening to UGK's Super Tight from '94 (which I soundwise actually like better than Ridin Dirty), then I'm seeing a lot of parallels in sound. All three albums have that dope Texas-Louisiana swamp funk (N.O. Joe brings that Louisiana element on the Geto Boys productions and Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli brings it on Super Tight). But I don't want to imply that Pimp C was "copying" the sound of the former two albums, and if he did, he did it in the best way: By making his own shit out of these influences. Pimp's beats on Super Tight sound somehow more, I don't know, I would say "jazzier" if it wouldn't sound so corny, or "warmer", than N.O. Joes'. But check out "Underground", the beat sounds a bit like Jazzmatazz, but of course waaay better.
But then I read somewhere (I guess it was on that when in early '93 UGK's "Pocket Full of Stones Remix" appeared on the "Menace II Society" soundtrack, that song influenced important southern hip hop musicians like Ball & G and Organized Noize - and perhaps also the Rap-a-Lot team.
Well, I don't know if you can follow me, sorry for that long ass, muddled kinda essay. I read a lot of blog posts, soaking all that info up and trying to make sense of these bits and pieces of info and impressions.
What I really want to say and put out there is: The '91 to '94 era of Geto Boys & UGK material is some of the best music ever, "Super Tight" and Scarface's "The World is yours" are underrated albums and I would love to hear stories, interviews, info, whatever, about the relation between UGK and Geto Boys (Rap-a-Lot in general). Somebody should make an interview with N.O. Joe and ask him about that time and working with UGK - I'll ask Noz. But maybe you also know a good place/ site where stuff like that is published/discussed, Percy? Or other readers?
And finally: I wish there would have been much more collabos and music from Geto Boys and UGK together. R.I.P. Pimp C.

scjoha said...

Some thoughts: In "Muthafucka ain't Mine" Bun advises the pregnant lady to "cut that bastard out". The whole song is kinda pro-abortion. The same year Geto Boys had a song on that Uncut Dope sampler called "The Unseen" where they take an anti-abortion stance, going hard on the ladies & gents "killing the unseen" and society for allowing it (it's really a dope song btw). Those contrary views on the same topic in the same year by two groups that definitely knew about each other, (though I don't know if personally at that time) is interesting. I don't know which one of both songs was released first and it's probably farfetched to see one as an answer to the other. But if you want to go there, I would assume "The Unseen" is an answer to "Muthafucka ain' Mine", because of the criticizing ("Muthafucka" is definitely in the tradition of Ice Cube's "You Can't Fade Me") and also because the compilation "The Unseen" is from was released in November '92, whereas "Banned" was probably released earlier that year - but I cannot verify that. UGK were pretty unknown back then and "Banned" was just a little local record (I assume) so Geto Boys of course wouldn't mention UGK, in the song, trying to beef with them. If it's an answer it's more a schooling for those 18 year old boys, showing them that they are wrong, showing them how to criticize society and that trend of dissing pregnant "hos" in the wake of "You Can't Fade Me" and trying not to be as ignorant as UGK appear to be on "Banned".
But I'm probably reading too much in it. Me myself I'm pretty indifferent to the "abortion controversy" and I'm definitely not a hardcore christian (can't really be when I'm enjoying shit like that, huh? Or maybe yes? (That's a whole other discussion.)) I enjoy these songs, but at the same time feeling a tiny little bit uncomfortable and disgusted listening to them. But great UGK ayway.
I would love to hear what people, other musicians, fans, in Houston back then thought about those records, "Banned" and "The Unseen", if there was some discussion back then.

Percy Mack said...

I'm not sure off the top of my head, but you could always try hitting up the "Dirty Roundtable" section of the Word of South forums. They live for that kind of stuff.

I definitely agree with you though: I wish there had been some collabos between the Geto Boys and UGK. Both groups were both making some really classic shit during that period between '91 and '94; I can only imagine what it'd be like if they had linked up for a track or two. For me, something like that is right up there with that rumored (and maybe imagined by me) Pimp C/Too $hort album.

Don't worry if you think your comments are long or muddled; hell, you're keeping the lights on in the comments section, my friend. Thanks for that.

scjoha said...

yeah, it's strange that there are so few collabos with Geto Boys members. There are the two Big Mike songs from '94, Scarface's "They Down With Us", Scarface dropping a verse on Buns "Pushin", Pimps "Rock 4 Rock" and him and Willie D appear on the '07 seven UGK album. So there's a bit, and almost all from the 2000s, when UGK was kinda tight with Rap-a-Lot. But it's not much in all these years and no direct collabo with an (original 2nd generation) Geto Boy in the 90's. And I wonder why that is. UGK always seemed to be open for collaboration and they did tons of them (which gives you all that work on this blog to do and one should think, that they would have enjoyed working together and rolling tight. But maybe it was because of label politics, maybe Jive didn't like Rap-a-Lot? Or was there (probably rather friendly) rivalry?
I wonder if there are some interviews and stuff from back then where one side spoke about the other.
Thank you, Percy, for the hint. I'll check out that forum as soon as I find the time.

Percy Mack said...

Yeah, personally, I would just blame Jive for the lack of features between the Geto Boys and UGK during the '90s. Hell, I blame them for just about everything else in regards to how they handled UGK's career.

And just to add to that (criminally) short list of Geto Boys collabs, there was also a Willie D song that Pimp C guested on called "Freaky Deaky" that was was on Willie's 2000 album "Loved By Few, Hated By Many," and its 2001 repackage "Relentless." But again, it's an '00 collab rather than a '90s one.

All this talk of Geto Boys/UGK tracks gives me an idea for a post. Not for one any time soon, but eventually.

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