Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rarities: The Southern Way

UGK - "Something Good" | zShare
UGK - "Cocaine in the Back of the Ride" | zShare
UGK (Pimp C) - "Use Me Up" | zShare
from The Southern Way cassette tape (Bigtyme, 1991/92?)

Well, here is where it all started: the debut cassette tape from The Pimp and The Bun. Recorded between 1990 and early 1992 and released through Bigtyme Recordz, The Southern Way can be considered as a demo tape of sorts, since the duo signed with Jive not too long after its release. All of its tracks also went on to appear on their major label debut Too Hard to Swallow. Being a cassette, the tracks are spread across two sides: Side A is the "Short" side, and Side B is the "Texas" side.

Unfortunately, when these tracks appeared on the new record, they were severely butchered. Lyrics were changed to be more "radio friendly" and samples were ripped from the original beats, most likely due to clearance issues. (Or in other words, the stuffed shirts at Jive were too lazy to pay for the samples.) In fact, only one track from this tape, "Short Texas," survived the transition intact, in both lyrics and beat.

And really, the originals are far superior. The "new and improved" versions just can't compare to the rawness on display here. Not only that, but the versions on this tape were fully endorsed by Pimp C, who called the majority of Too Hard to Swallow garbage—mostly because of Jive's fuckery. Hearing this tape is a must for any UGK fan, if only to hear how UGK's first album was supposed to sound like.

While The Southern Way was originally limited to a release on cassette, there's also a web-only reissue (not sure how official it is, though) that I've seen floating around. It comes with a "bonus disc" full of extra tracks—such as the ones found on the Banned EP—from UGK's short stint with Bigtyme.

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