Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Trill Connection's New Domain

In case you weren't aware, I've pulled up stakes from Google/BlogSpot and moved The Trill Connection to its own domain at Hopefully I will be hassled less there for trying to provide content to my readers.

Be sure to follow me to the new spot. Tell your friends and spread the word.

…and in case you're wondering: I will be keeping this site up for a little awhile, maybe a couple of months until the new place gets off its feet. After that, I may delete it completely. I'm not sure though.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

While I'm Away...

As I've mentioned on Twitter and in the shout box, I've been having some computer troubles.

I won't bore you with the details, but I will say that I was able to salvage everything off of my failed external HDD, which contained my UGK discography folder. However, I need to replace my computer's motherboard and it will be a couple of weeks before I'm able to do that. Until then, I'm going to be MIA and posts are going to be few and far between.

In the mean time, here is some stuff to tide you guys over. Props to B B S and kuci06.

UGK - "How Long Can It Last?" O.G. Hook | zShare
technically from Underground Kingz, otherwise unreleased (Jive, 2007)

"How Long Can It Last?" from UGK's 2007 self-titled album originally had Pimp C singing the hook instead of Charlie Wilson, but it was changed at the very last minute. I'm torn whether I prefer Pimp's take or Wilson's take.

This is some footage of Bun B in the studio discussing some upcoming collabs with Drake. At least one of those collabs—"Put It Down" I think—should make an appearance on Trill O.G. when it finally drops around June or July.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Singles: "It's Supposed to Bubble" (Promo CDS)

UGK - "Bubble (Clean Remix)" | zShare
from It's Supposed to Bubble promotional CD single (Jive, 1994)

Here is one more version of the "It's Supposed to Bubble" single. The CD version isn't much different from the more well-known vinyl press, except for the fact that the sound here is CD quality, as opposed to the quality you would otherwise get from a vinyl transfer.

The single includes cleans versions of the original and the remix, plus their instrumentals.

Props to Nils from for the .wavs from the single.

(Anybody got a scan of the CD single art, if there is any?)

[UPDATE: Here's some hi-res scans of the single's front label, back cover, and CD.]

Another Day, Another DMCA Violation

[UPDATE: I'm bringing this up to the top because the Killer Mike "Re-AKshon" post just got hit with a complaint. As usual, the post is back up, but without the "offending" links.]

Well, another of my posts just fell victim to a DMCA violation. This time it was the Bun B portion of the UGK/R&B mega-post. I already republished it, sans links, so if you need those tracks… well, you know what to do.

I'm not going to bother speaking on this bullshit any further. I'm not into repeating myself.

Interviews: "Free Pimp C!" (Ozone, May '05)

(Click for slightly higher res)

This interview from the May 2005 issue of Ozone magazine took place while Pimp was still in jail (obviously) and a couple months after the release of The Sweet James Jones Stories. I'll be posting the rest later on in the week.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Guest Spots: "Havin' Thangs"

Big Mike f/ Pimp C - "Havin' Thangs" | zShare
from Somethin' Serious (Rap-A-Lot/Priority, 1994)

"Havin' Thangs" is one of the tracks from one-time Convict, one-time Geto Boy Big Mike's debut album Somethin' Serious. The album was originally released in 1994, through a joint deal between Rap-A-Lot and Priority. Pimp C does his thing here, producing the beat and killing it on the hook, while Mike holds it down on the verses. "Havin' Thangs" also got some play on the soundtrack tip, as it appeared a year later on the soundtrack to Dangerous Minds, that movie with Michelle Pfeiffer trying to teach inner-city kids.

A sequel to "Havin' Thangs" was recorded in 2006—somewhat unoriginally called "Havin' Thangs '06"—which appeared on Pimp's third solo album Pimpalation. As sequels go, it's pretty nice, if only because Pimp actually has a verse on it and because it's one of the few tracks from that album that he actually had a hand in producing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Guest Spots: "Mind on Money"

5th Ward Boyz f/ UGK - "Mind on Money" | zShare
from Recognize the Mob (Underground, 2000)

Here is another UGK guest spot on a 5th Ward Boyz track. Produced by group member E-Rock, "Mind on Money" appeared on the trio's sixth alum Recognize the Mob in 2000. Unlike their previous albums, Recognize the Mob was released solely through Underground Records, the label that discovered the trio originally. (Though it can still be considered a Rap-A-Lot release since Underground's parent label is in fact Rap-A-Lot Records.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Percy Mack's Trill Connection #8" @ Cocaine Blunts

Ain't nothing too special at the Blunts this Wednesday Thursday: just a random (and pretty recent, actually) Pimp C guest spot from my mythical unsorted folder. Check it out here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Tracks: "Countin' Money"

Bun B f/ Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti - "Countin' Money" | zShare
from Trill O.G. (Rap-A-Lot, 2010)

First, there was that snippet from the mixtape that wasn't; then there was the unfinished(?) version with just Yo Gotti's verse on it; now, here is the full version of this DJ B-Do produced banger with an added verse from Gucci Mane. I guess those rumored Jeezy and OJ Da Juiceman verses just weren't right for the final mix?

Props to Nah Right and the DGB fam for the track. Trill O.G. coming soon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Of DMCA Violations and Bootleg .mp3s

(Pic courtesy of BBspot; click for the full hi-res version)

So The Trill Connection got hit with its first DMCA (for the know-nots, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998; click here for more info) violation. Apparently the offending post was the Pimp C portion of the UGK/R&B mega-post from two months ago. However, in the notice they sent me Google didn't bother to tell me which track in that post was the reason for the violation and just took the entire post down instead. I have a back-up copy, but I'm not going to publish it again before finding out which track got somebody all pissy. Fuck it, I just removed all the links from the post and republished it. If you need the tracks, hit the e-mail.

Of course, the funny thing about it is that the tracks from that post were only ever available as singles—promotional or otherwise—that aren't even being sold in retail stores right now. In one case, a track came from an advance CD (from 1998 no less!) for an album that never even saw the light of day. None of them were ever put on a major label album, and even if they were intended to be, those albums ended up not being released any damn way. That's why I figured they were kosher to post. But evidently, I guess one of those tracks wasn't.

While this certainly isn't as bad as what noz went through with the whole Warner Bros./Gucci Mane debacle last year, it's still troubling to me. The thing that pisses me off about it is that whoever sicked Google on my ass could have just as easily sent me an e-mail and asked me to take down the offending track. I'm not hard to find and hell, as long as you're polite, I'm more than willing to accommodate the request.

Here's the tl;dr version: if you have a problem with the content that I post here, shoot me an e-mail and we will work it out like civilized adults. Don't go crying to Google/Blogger about it like a little bitch and have them go above my head, deleting the content that I work damn hard to provide to my readers. That shit just ain't trill.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Guest Spots: "Rollin' Thru"

Cōz f/ Bun B - "Rollin' Thru" | zShare
from View to a Kill (Str8 Game/Ghetto Groove, 1996)

I don't know much about this Cōz dude, other than the fact he is from Oakland, CA. He has two albums to his name: King of Kali from 1995 and View to a Kill from 1996. The strange thing is that apparently King of Kali was only available in Germany. (Of course, that is according to the Discogs entry; correct me if I'm wrong.) Both albums seems to share a lot of the same tracks too, including the N.O. Joe produced "Rollin' Thru" with Bun B, which was called "Rollin' Thru Ya Hoody" when it appeared on King of Kali.

Friday, April 30, 2010

UGK and Rap-A-Lot Records, Part I

(Pic courtesty of Bottom of the Map; click for the full hi-res version)

Welcome to the hundredth post at The Trill Connection. To celebrate, I'm going to pick up where this week's column at Cocaine Blunts left off and hit you guys with some more choice UGK/Rap-A-Lot tracks. Now, some of these tracks might be ones that you have already heard, and some might not be. Either way, they are some of the doper selections from UGK's catalog.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Percy Mack's Trill Connection #7" @ Cocaine Blunts

It's another Wednesday, and another new Trill Connection post is up at the Blunts. Today's track is a rare Memphis/Port Arthur/Compton collaboration from 2002. Give it a listen here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Guest Spots: "Blind and Can't See"

Sho f/ Pimp C - "Blind and Can't See" | zShare
from The Return (Sho-Nuff-Jammin', 1998)

I just realized that I haven't posted any Pimp C guest verses in awhile, so I better fix that.

Sho is a rapper from Houston, TX who has been rapping since 1993, when he released Trouble Man through a joint effort between Wize Up, Wrap, and Ichiban Records. He released the aptly named The Return after a five year hiatus from rapping. The album features Pimp on the soulful track "Blind and Can't See." I'm not sure who produced the beat though. I would guess Pimp, but I can't find production credits for the album anywhere, so it's just that—a guess. You might think that Pimp is singing the chorus too, but apparently it's a dude named Vikta Black.

As far as I know, Sho hasn't been active since 1998; The Return was his last album to date.

(P.S. Thanks for the 15,000 hits. How about we shoot for 20,000 before August? Ha ha.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Videos: "I Miss My Homies"

Master P f/ Pimp C, Silkk Da Shocker - "I Miss My Homies" (No Limit/Priority, 1997)

I ran across this video while digging through the virtual crates on SoulSeek. It's not the best quality (the original file name indicated it was originally from a promo VHS tape) and it is just the explicit audio from the album dubbed over the clean version of the video (peep the blur over people's mouths when they're cussing), but it's still a nice find regardless.

You can check also it out on my (criminally under-used) YouTube channel too, if you want.

…and for more UGK/No Limit goodness, you can check out these two mega-posts from March.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Percy Mack's Trill Connection #6" @ Cocaine Blunts

This Wednesday's track isn't particularly special, but it's still an interesting rarity regardless. I had posted it once before in the old shout-box, but never in any "official" capacity. I figured why not give it some play at Cocaine Blunts then? Check it out here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Singles: "Free" (Promo CDS)

Lil' Sin f/ UGK - "Free (Radio Edit)" | zShare
from Free promotional CD single (BLVD, 1998)

Since Mr. Bionic was asking for the accapella to "Free" by Lil' Sin and UGK awhile ago, I did some looking around. While I wasn't able to find the elusive 12" single (yet…), I did come across this promo CD, which is essentially the same as the 12", except that it's missing the album version. Still, it's got CD quality versions of the instrumental and accapella, so whatever. The radio edit here is a little different from the album version of "Free" as it actually ends instead of fading out with the instrumental playing.

For more information about this Lil' Sin track, check out this post from last November.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Percy Mack's Trill Connection #5" @ Cocaine Blunts

You should know the drill by now, ha ha. Today's track is a little bit different, as it is pretty new. It comes courtesy of UGK affiliates DJ B-Do and Young T.O.E., otherwise known as Da Underdawgz. Check it out here and be on the look out for their new album, coming soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Videos: "It's Supposed to Bubble"

UGK - "It's Supposed to Bubble" (Jive, 1994)

Here is some supplemental material to go along with the previous post.

Singles: "It's Supposed to Bubble" (Promo VLS)

UGK - "Bubble (Clean Remix)" | zShare
from It's Supposed to Bubble promotional 12" single (Jive, 1994)

"It's Supposed to Bubble" from UGK's sophomore effort Super Tight... is pretty unique amongst the album's other ten tracks. One reason is because it's one of two tracks where DJ DMD had a hand in the production: more specifically, he co-produced "It's Supposed to Bubble" with Pimp, while he produced the album closing "Three Sixteens" solo. [Changed the wording a little bit here, as DMD produced "Three Sixteens" without any input from Pimp. Thanks to Tim for pointing that out.]

Another reason is that it's definitely the album's most "radio friendly" track, mostly because of its smoothed out Pleasure sample. Jive must have intended it to be the album's hit single, as it's the only track that had a music video produced for it. While it was a minor hit, we all know that Bun and Pimp didn't get their big radio break until Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" came out five years later.

Finally, it was the one of two tracks ("Front, Back & Side to Side" being the other one) from the album that had a remix done for it. In this case, it was the Pimp C produced "Bubble" which only appears on the 12" single. Well, that's not entirely true: apparently, the cassette single also has the "Bubble" remix, except it has Bun talking through the intro rather than Pimp. Unfortunately, I don't have that particular version.

It's also interesting to note that the label for the 12" says that "It's Supposed to Bubble" is from the "forthcoming album Super Tight... P.A. N*ggaz Worldwide." Perhaps that was an early title that was scrapped? Who knows. I haven't heard the album referred to by that title any where else except this label. Coincidentally, part of that title was later used for DMD's second album Twenty-Two: P.A. World Wide in '98.

The single includes clean versions of the original and the remix, plus their instrumentals.

BONUS: Here's the .FLAC rip of the 12". Props to my homie Stew, as always.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mixtapes: The Pimp & The Bun

My homie Justin over at just dropped an exclusive compilation called The Pimp & The Bun. It has a bunch of the rarer and less heard cuts from the UGK catalog. Most of the tracks he got from this very blog, so you know that it will be quality. Click here for the tracklist and download link. Tell 'em Percy sent ya.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Even Mo' Pimp Beats

"Gimme thirty thousand and I'll serve you some heat
I'll write your rhymes, sang the hook, and I'll make you a beat."

-Pimp C, "Life Is 2009" from Underground Kingz (Jive, 2006)

It's time, once again, for another installment of "Pimp C's Beats." (I guess that's what we can call this series as I haven't been able to think of a better name. Any suggestions?) Today's tracks are from The Vinyl Room, a 1998 Bang II Records release from Sleepy's Theme—an alias for the Atlanta, GA production team Organized Noize.

Sleepy's Theme - "Can't Let Go" | zShare
Sleepy's Theme - "Simply Beautiful" | zShare
Sleepy's Theme - "Fallin' in Love Again" | zShare
from The Vinyl Room (Bang II, 1998)

While I'm unsure about the history behind the other two, I do know a little bit about the "Fallin' in Love Again" track. It was supposed to be a part of the unreleased solo double disc album that Pimp C was working on around '98/'99. But like a lot of the tracks from that album, he ended up giving it to somebody else: in this case, Sleepy and Company. But it seems like he only gave them the beat, since he's vocally nowhere to be found on the track.

I know that a lot of the tracks from this series are only worth it for Pimp's production, but I have to say that even if Pimp didn't have a hand in the making of The Vinyl Room, it would still be worthy of your time. The tracks that Pimp produced ("Simply Beautiful") and co-produced ("Fallin' in Love Again" and "Can't Let Go") for it are the highlights in an album packed full of them. The album is just the perfect slice of '70s styled funk and soul.

[UPDATE: I completely failed to mention it (it's what I get for writing posts past midnight) but WhiteTim in the comments brought up the fact that "Simply Beautiful" and "Bump & Grill" share the same Barry White sample. Don't get it twisted though: the beats aren't the same. Pimp produced the former, while N.O. Joe did the latter.]

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Percy Mack's Trill Connection #4" @ Cocaine Blunts

It's a little late in the day, but the newest edition of "Percy Mack's Trill Connection" is up at Cocaine Blunts. Check it out here and have a listen to three legends (two from the south, one from the west) collaborating on one track.

Some Info About .FLAC

Thanks to Tru (what up homie?) from the shout-box, I just realized that when I posted those .FLAC rips of Live From the Harris County Jail and the "Pocket Full of Stones" single, I never bothered to explain what the .FLAC format actually is and what it does. My mistake there, people.

Basically, it's a form of audio compression, sort of like a .mp3, but with no loss in audio quality. For example, that .FLAC rip I posted of Live From the Harris County Jail is essentially the same as if you were listening to the actual CD. You can read more about the format here, if you're so inclined. They probably can explain it better than I can.

Be warned though: due to their nature .FLAC files are much bigger than what I typically post here and downloading them might take awhile, depending on how fast your Internet connection is. As a result, I won't make a habit of posting lossless rips all of the time; it will be reserved for things like hard-to-find 12" singles or special cases like Live From the Harris County Jail.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guest Spots: "Ghetto"

Most Valuable Playaz f/ Bun B, Riff Raff - "Ghetto" | zShare
from Mouthpiece (Bluchippaz, 2001)

Now, here's an obscure track. I had never even heard of these dudes until I stumbled across their album as I was scrounging through some eBay auctions a few weeks ago. The Most Valuable Playaz are (were?) a four man crew from New Orleans, LA made up of Tetter, MV2, Chili Moe, and Lil' Who. Since I know little else about them, I'm just going to make a guess and say that Mouthpiece—released by Bluchippaz Entertainment in 2001—was their debut album.

Bun B and a dude named Riff Raff show up to drop verses on the track "Ghetto" which was apparently self-produced by these MVP dudes. They actually produced most of this nineteen track album on their own, except for two tracks by Steven Da Drummer, two tracks by Tae Dog, and one track by somebody just named Charles. That's about the extent of my knowledge about these dudes, this track, and the album it's from.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Live From the Harris County Jail Artwork

I picked up a sealed copy of Live From the Harris County Jail the other day.

(Front cover: Art by Clyde Bazile, Jr.)

(Inside insert: "To All Fans of Pimp C…")

(Tray insert: "You must don't watch videos…")

(Back cover: "Executive Producer: Sweet James Jones")

For those of you out there who aren't interested in scans of the album's artwork, I also went back to the original Live From the Harris County Jail post and did some much needed updating there, replacing the old (and busted) 192 kBit/s .mp3s with some freshly encoded hi-res ones.

BONUS: Here, have the .FLAC rip too. Just call me Waka FLAC-a Flame, word to noz.

Singles: "Pocket Full of Stones" (VLS)

UGK - "Pocket Full of Stones (C-Mix)" | zShare
UGK - "Pocket Full of Stones (Port Arthur Mix)" | zShare
from Pocket Full of Stones 12" single (Jive/Bigtyme, 1993)

When Jive took the six tracks that made up The Southern Way and re-worked (read: "raped") them for UGK's major label debut Too Hard to Swallow, the label also had the duo record an additional five tracks to fill out the rest of the tracklist. (Jive felt compelled to fuck around with the new tracks too, but that's another post for another day.) One of those five was "Pocket Full of Stones" and in the immortal words of Pimp C himself: "…that’s the savior of that album."

This particular 12" single was released when "Pocket Full of Stones" was placed on the Menace II Society soundtrack, though the version that appears there is the "Port Arthur Mix." As for the "C-Mix," I don't think it ever appeared anywhere else other than the 12" until Side Hustles came out in 2002. The single also includes a radio edit of the album mix, as well as its instrumental, which is always a welcome addition.

I have to give a huge shout out to Stew Kuhlo (a good friend of the blog) who was kind enough to do a transfer of the 12" and then send me the resulting high quality .wavs, so I could encode them however I please. Stew will be supplying me up with more hi-res vinyl tranfers in the future, so be ready for them.

BONUS: For those of you who are into this sort of thing, here's the lossless .FLAC rip.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Percy Mack's Trill Connection #3" @ Cocaine Blunts

Another Wednesday, another new column at Cocaine Blunts. If you know your Pimp C tracks, you can probably guess the one that I posted by the above cover. If not, check it out here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some Mo' Pimp Beats

"Gimme thirty thousand and I'll serve you some heat
I'll write your rhymes, sang the hook, and I'll make you a beat."

-Pimp C, "Life Is 2009" from Underground Kingz (Jive, 2006)

…and now for the (probably long overdue) second installment in a series of posts where I try my hand at chronicling Pimp C's non-UGK production work. If you forgot—and I don't blame you if you did; it has been awhile—the series' first post focused on Pimp's work with Miami's own 3re Tha Hardaway. But, today the spotlight is on another trio: CC Waterbound.

CC Waterbound - "Hood Card" | zShare
CC Waterbound - "Playa Haters" | zShare
CC Waterbound f/ Aldon X, Shorty - "4 Real N*gga Posse" | zShare
from Critical Condition (Starvin' Artists, 1997)

I've already posted one Pimp C produced CC Waterbound joint ("Bout 2 Go Down") in an earlier post, so here are the rest of Pimp's contributions to the Morgan City, LA trio's one and only album. Well, okay, that's not entirely true. I didn't post all of them: I had to leave out "Creepin'" with its choice verse from The Pimp, since UGK features are no-no for this particular series of posts. But don't worry, I will put it up in another post at some point.

Oh, and in case you're wondering: Dolby D is the one working the turntables for these tracks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Singles: "Use Me Up" Promo CDS Tracklist

This promo CD of UGK’s "Use Me Up" is the only place you’ll find the elusive Chris Trevett mix plus the instrumentals to the Ghetto Jeep and Hip-Hop remixes. It’s probably one of the rarest UGK-related discs out there. I know I’ve never run across one; not even a crappy 128 kBit/s rip on Rapidshare.

(via Discogs, cross-posted from Tumblin' Erb)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Percy Mack's Trill Connection #2" @ Cocaine Blunts

It's Wednesday again, and you know what that means: another new edition of my column at Cocaine Blunts. On the docket for today are the two tracks that Pimp and Bun did for the Houston, TX based group D.O.W.N., or "Doing Only What's Necessary." While I'm not going to spoil anything else about the column here, just know that both tracks are heavily steeped in that country rap tune sound and are definitely a required listen. Check them out here.

[UPDATE: Here's some supplemental info for the column: D.O.W.N. is made up of A-Day, Lou, and DA Black; the track "What U Slang?" was produced in-house by group member Lou; and finally, contrary to what I said in the column, Pimp C isn't even on the version of "What U Slang?" that appears on D.O.W.N.'s self-titled debut. The version with Pimp is actually from their second album Southern Slang.]

Monday, March 22, 2010

Singles: "Front, Back & Side to Side" (Promo VLS)

UGK - "Front, Back & Side to Side (Extended Clean Remix)" | zShare
from Front, Back & Side to Side promotional 12" single (Jive, 1994)

Since I talked about the T.I. and Mannie Fresh's version of "Front, Back & Side to Side" last week, I suppose it's only right that I talk about the UGK original from Super Tight... this week. It will make it look like I plan these posts out more than a day or two in advance, at least.

"Front, Back & Side to Side" is one of the best known and popular tracks from UGK's second album. Its popularity probably has a lot to do with the fact that Pimp C managed to craft the perfect summer cruising track by just using a "Boyz-N-Tha-Hood" sample1 and an organ. Hell, the track was popular enough to warrant inclusion on the A Low Down Dirty Shame soundtrack, making it the second (but not the last) time Bun and Pimp would appear on a movie soundtrack.

Besides the soundtrack appearance, the track was notable for a couple of other reasons too. For one, it served as one of the few on wax appearances of (former?) UGK affiliate Smoke D. It was also one of only two tracks from Super Tight... that received the remix treatment. (In case you were wondering, the other track was "It's Supposed to Bubble.") This "bass" remix appeared in both extended (a little over seven minutes!) and shorter radio edit forms on the 12", but never anywhere else.

The single includes the two aforementioned edits plus the instrumental of the "bass" remix, along with the dirty and clean (in the form of a slightly shorter radio edit) versions of the album mix.

1 In what was probably Pimp's nod to the "Boyz-N-Tha-Hood" sample, the unreleased O.G. mix included Ice Cube samples in place of Pimp's iconic refrain of "Never let hoe ass n*ggas ride!" That line was sorely missing on the O.G. of T.I.'s version, so I think it was ultimately a good thing that it was changed for the retail release.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Videos: UGK Live in San Antonio, TX circa 1994

Here is some really rare concert footage for y'all. This video was recorded during a concert in San Antonio, TX in 1994 which featured K-Sam, Twice the Power, and UGK. Pimp and Bun were new on the scene at this point, having only debuted two years earlier. In fact, they were just about to release Super Tight... the very same year this footage was recorded. It's not exactly the best video quality, but it's great to hear these dudes rip a show at such an early stage in their career.

Feel free to check out the rest of the concert here: part 2, part 3, and part 4.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

UGK and R&B, Part II

[UPDATE: Links removed due to a DMCA complaint. Check these posts for more info.]

It's time for part two. Here are some R&B songs featuring Bun Beata.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cocaine Blunts, now featuring Percy Mack

It was probably an inevitability, but I finally linked up with noz at Cocaine Blunts and will be doing a weekly column there about—what else?—obscure UGK features and rarities. My first column focuses on some collaborations between Bun B and Too $hort, including a rare alternate mix to "Cigarette" from $hort's Nationwide 2: Ghetto Pass compilation. Peep it here.

Be sure to check out "Percy Mack's Trill Connection" every Wednesday, only at Cocaine Blunts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guest Spots: "N*ggaz Down South (O.G. Version)"

Killer Mike f/ Bun B - "N*ggaz Down South (Original Mix)" | zShare
from Ghetto Extraordinary promo CD (Columbia, 2005)

You can consider this a bonus track to yesterday's "Re-AKshon" post. This particular version of The Beat Bullies produced "N*ggaz Down South" with Bun B only ever appeared on a promotional CD for Mike's shelved sophomore album Ghetto Extraordinary. While the track does appear on the version that was "leaked" by HipHopDX, Bun's verse is nowhere to be found on it.

Props to the homies scjoha and SNK for reminding me about the track in the shout-box, and of course, I have to give props to noz for posting the track originally on his site, even though that was quite a while ago now.

UGK and R&B, Part I

[UPDATE: Links removed due to a DMCA complaint. Check this post for more info.]

[UPDATE II: My homie Doxx put the tracks up at his site, so you can get them there.]

How about another mega post? Be forewarned though: it will probably be the last one for awhile, especially given the new gig I have coming up. (What gig is that? I guess you will just have to wait and find out.) After all, I don't want to spoil you guys too badly.

Anyway, this time we're going to focus on collaborations that UGK did for various R&B acts. For this part of the post, it's all verses that Pimp laid down for some R&B songs. The running theme for a lot of them? They're from albums that never ended up getting released.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Guest Spots: "Re-AKshon"

[UPDATE: Links removed due to a DMCA complaint. Check these posts for more info.]

Killer Mike f/ Bone Crusher, Bun B, Lil' Jon, T.I. - "Re-AKshon" | zShare
from AKshon (Yeah!) CD single (Aquemini/Columbia, 2002)

Originally released in 2002, "AKshon (Yeah!)" was the first single off of Killer Mike's debut album Monster. "The Whole World" by OutKast had just dropped the previous year, which had a guest verse from Mike on it. The strength of that verse helped him to build a pretty decent buzz; it's probably why his first single follows the same beat pattern and stutter stop flow as "The Whole World." You know, why go and fuck up something that has been proven to work?

Also included on the single (and eventually on Monster too) is "Re-AKshon," a remix by Lil' Jon that goes in a totally different direction from the original Earthtone III production. Rather than being "The Whole World" on acid and with dirtier sounding drums, Lil' Jon turns the track into something you would expect to find on Kings of Crunk or something. Bone Crusher does his yelling thing for the chorus, putting his own spin on the "That-new-new, that-new-new..." part from the original's outro. T.I. and Bun B show up for guest verses, and Bun pretty effectively murders it, talking about how dudes will get "twin towered" for fucking with him.

The single includes dirty and clean versions of "AKshon (Yeah!)" as well as the dirty, clean, and instrumental versions for the Lil' Jon remix. The only thing that the single is missing is the accapella, though I do know that the 12" version of the single does include that particular tidbit.

Unreleased/Guest Spots: "Front Back (O.G. Version)"

T.I. f/ Bun B - "Front, Back, Side to Side (No DJ Version)" | zShare
technically from The Leak, otherwise unreleased (Grand Hustle, 2006)

In 2006, a bunch of tracks that were supposedly going to be on T.I.'s fourth album King were leaked. T.I. decided to take the ones that leaked and put them and some other tracks on a mixtape hosted by DJ Drama called, well, The Leak. One of those tracks was the Mannie Fresh produced "Front, Back, Side to Side" which featured Bun B. Of course, most of you probably know it by the later version which did appear on King: it had the shortened title of "Front Back" and featured Pimp C as well as Bun.

The mixtape version of "Front Back" has a few subtle differences from the later album version. Since it was recorded while Pimp was still in jail, it has has T.I. saying "Free Pimp C!" during the intro and talking about what he and Bun are going to do "when Pimp walk out that courthouse." The last part of the song is also interesting, as it has Bun and T.I. trading short verses back and forth. Obviously, this was removed from the album version, no doubt to make room for the Pimp verse.

"Front Back" was also one of the first songs that Pimp worked on after he got of jail (I've heard he was working on it two or three days after his release) and I'm actually rather glad this track was re-recorded to feature him. The chorus part in this version is sorely lacking his "Never let hoe ass n*ggas ride!" line.

A "No DJ" version of the track was never leaked, so here it is. Props to Mr. Bionic.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some Questions for The Bun

Since I started The Trill Connection, I've often found myself pondering all sorts of different questions about UGK and their catalog of music. The following are some of those questions: some of them I've had since I started this blog, and others are a little more recent.

1.) While I have some favorite verses of my own, I've always wondered what some of Bun's favorite verses that he laid down for other people's tracks were? And for that matter, what acts did he like working with the most?

2.) I've jammed more than a few of the unreleased tracks that were aired on the Damage Control tribute shows for Pimp. What are some of Bun's favorite unreleased UGK tracks that people might have never heard before?

3.) Since I did my little retrospective on UGK/Cash Money and UGK/No Limit, I've been wondering what it was like working with those labels. I'd be especially interested in stories about Cash Money, since Bun was appearing on their records while the label was still fairly young.

4.) This might just be a pipe dream on my part, but hell, I'll ask it anyway: What are the chances of a box-set of UGK material being released, in a similar vein to those box-sets that have been put out for bands like The Beatles and Nirvana? I think any UGK fan would be on-board for something like that. I know that I would be, for sure.

I know Bun reads the site, so maybe I'll get an answer or two? Who knows? Maybe Peter Rosenberg will come through and be gracious enough to ask him some of these questions. After all, he would have a great opportunity to do so, since he'll be interviewing Bun at the Noisemakers show at SXSW on March 18th at 7:00 PM at Aces in Austin. I'm just saying, ha ha.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guest Spots: "Dirty Dirty (Remix)"

Mil f/ UGK - "Dirty Dirty (Remix)" | zShare
Mil f/ Bun B - "The Game" | zShare
from Street Scriptures (Jive, 2001)

From what I've been able to find out, Mil (but not the same dude as Meek Mill… at least I don't think he is) is an emcee from Philadelphia, PA and was a one-time protégé to Beanie Sigel. I've read that people have said that he even kinda sounds like Beans, but I hear way more Sheek Louch in his voice than I do Beans. Apparently he was able to parlay guest verses on other people's records into a major label record deal.

Of course, it seems like his deal didn't last too long. In 2001, Mil released his debut album Street Scriptures through Jive Records, but it turned out to be his only album, at least as far as I know. As it came out through Jive, I think the label is largely responsible for getting UGK to appear on some tracks—they were label mates after all.

UGK shows up on the remix to the album's single "Dirty Dirty" and it's probably the only instance of Pimp and Bun rapping over a Ty Fyffe beat. (Well, other than the unreleased "Money on My Beeper" track that was meant for the self-titled double disc.) Besides the remix, Bun also turns up for a verse on the Franklin "Livin' Proof" Crum produced track "The Game."

Both the remix to "Dirty Dirty" and "The Game" appeared again a year later on the cash-in UGK compilation Side Hustles, but I just thought I'd hit you guys with rips from the album they originally appeared on.

Guest Spots: "Feel My Choppa"

Mafioso Click f/ Pimp C - "Feel My Choppa | zShare
from Feel My Choppa (Mafioso, 2000)

In what seems to be an unfortunate recurring trend at this blog, I don't have much info on these dudes. I'm not even sure of their rap names, though I do know that their government names are Reggie Moss and Ralph O'Neal III. I also know that Mafioso Click was a duo from Nashville, TN. But the keyword there is "was": Reggie was shot and killed in 2005 and Ralph is currently facing drug charges along with a murder indictment. Before that though, they put out a few underground albums, including Feel My Choppa, which was released through Mafioso Entertainment in 2000. Pimp C shows up to drop a verse on the album's title track, but I have no idea who produced it; like many underground releases, the album has a one page liner note sheet and it only mentions the album's guests.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Videos: Pimp C's Hardknock TV Freestyle

Courtesy of Hardknock TV, here's a rare accapella freestyle from The Pimp.

Props to Methlab for the video.

Guest Spots: "No Cheese"

Mafia Style f/ Pimp C - "No Cheese" | zShare
from Unpredictable, Vol. 1: Working With Something (Mafia Style, 2000)

Mafia Style was a duo out of New Orleans, LA (I think) and made up of Lil' Miller and Valentino. I don't really have any other information about them outside of that, beside the fact that their album Unpredictable, Vol. 1: Working With Something came out in 2000 through Mafia Style Records. I'm not sure if this was there only album; I did find a picture of what looks like the cassette release of an Unpredictable, Vol. 2, but judging by the guest list, it's probably just a re-release of Vol. 1. Anyway, Pimp C shows up for a guest verse on the track "No Cheese" but he doesn't produce it; instead, some dude named Gambino does the beat. Thankfully, this album actually has some liner notes, so I don't have to be in the dark about who produced what.

Also, I gotta laugh at the dude who is selling an opened copy of this album for $40 something on eBay, when I picked up an unopened, brand-spanking-new one at Amazon for a little under $10. #noshots, but step your game up homie!

The Tracks That Could Have Been

…and speaking of "High 'Til I Die": we came so close to being able to hear it. As I've mentioned previously, due to issues with the George Benson sample, "High 'Til I Die" was taken off of UGK's sophomore album. But, as illustrated by this review in the October 1994 issue of The Source, the track was removed at the last minute, probably just before the album dropped. It's a shame because I've heard nothing but great things about it.

Five Spot @, featuring Percy Mack

The homie Shea Serrano got in touch with me yesterday and asked if I wanted to do a little feature for his Five Spot blog at the Five Spot is a weekly column where Shea throws up whatever tracks that he likes to listen to. Of course, since I'm featured on this Friday's post, the theme was obscure UGK tracks:
"Yo, maybe you heard, maybe you didn't, but there's some concerts and whatnot going down in A(wf)u(l)stin soon. As part of the celebrations, Bun B will be headlining this year's Noisemakers showcase.

In an interview with Peter Rosenberg, the man behind the show, Bun name-dropped Trill Connection, a blog run by Percy Mack dedicated to cataloging the vast, vast history of UGK features. For any fan of the Port Arthur twosome, it's an absolute necessity. Mack has spent the better part of a year and a half making accessible some of the rarer UGK features.

Mack isn't a Houstonian, so we tagged him with an email interview to get his thoughts on five of the more obscure UGK features. Hit the jump to see which songs made the cut."
If you're interested, you can read the rest of Shea's post here and see what five tracks I decided to talk about. I will say that I mentioned "Get Up Off Me" by BoBo Luchiano and UGK (admittedly, I talked more about how it reminds me of BoBo's unreleased UGK collaboration "High 'Til I Die" rather than the track itself) but the other four can be a surprise.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Interviews: Bun B on Real Late w/ Peter Rosenberg

Bun B on Real Late w/ Peter Rosenberg - Part 1 and Part 2

Okay, so this post might be some more self-congratulatory bullshit on my part, but fuck it.

Bun B was doing an interview on Real Late with Peter Rosenberg before their big show at SXSW on March 18th, and after Rosenberg asked him about being one of the most featured dudes in the game, Bun gave The Trill Connection a pretty huge shout out for, well, having a ton of those features. If you want to hear it, it starts at about six minutes into the first part of the interview.

I just want to give thanks to Andrew from Fake Shore Drive for turning Bun onto the blog in the first place, and to Bun himself for the checking and shouting out what I'm doing here. I also have to say that I was as floored to hear that he was jamming the dirty version of "Ain't That a Bitch" as he was when he saw that I had posted it. Oh, and by the way: I'll also look into getting something a little better than LimeLinx, ha ha.

Anyways, enough of that. Props to FWMJ for posting the audio.

Unreleased/Guest Spots: "Get Throwed (Video Version)"

Bun B f/ Pimp C, Young Jeezy, Z-Ro - "Get Throwed (Video Version)" | zShare
technically from Trill, otherwise unreleased (Rap-A-Lot/Asylum, 2005)

"Get Throwed" was the street single from Bun B's 2005 solo debut Trill and was produced by Mr. Lee. Jay-Z, Pimp C, and Young Jeezy all show up for guest verses, with Z-Ro coming in for the chorus. It was definitely the big "event" track of the album, mostly due to the recently "retired" Jay dropping a sixteen on it. Bun even explained in an interview that the reason that Jay's verse was put last was so that radio DJs would be forced to play the whole song through. (That's pretty clever actually.) But, another reason why the track was an "event" was because it was the sole appearance by Pimp C on the whole album.

The biggest difference between the video version of "Get Throwed" and the one that appeared on Trill is the fact that Jay-Z's verse is missing from the video. It was speculated that they couldn't afford to have him appear in the video, or that they thought he would overshadow the re-emergence of UGK, as Pimp had just been released from jail not too long before they filmed the video. But whatever the reason, instead of Jigga, we get an extra verse each from Bun and Pimp, so I guess it sort of evens out.

As far as I know, this particular version of "Get Throwed" was never actually released—not even on the track's CD or vinyl singles. Because of that, I ended up having to take the audio from a DVD rip of the video that I had lying around and combine it with the album version in order to keep the cussing intact.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lyrics: An Excerpt from "Here They Come"

"Here they come, here they come
Here the motherfuckers come, but a trill ass n*gga won't run
I got too many guns cause my n*ggas got my back
And we like to smoke pigs just for motherfuckin' fun
So I sit back and watch 'em come up
Take a hit of that fry and pick my gun up
They there go, there they go, to the back of my home
Put my clip in my chrome, shoot him dead in his dome
Bloody murder, bloody murder, watch him bleed, watch him bleed
Go back to the pack, taste that seed, taste that seed
I know that them laws comin' to get me
But I don't really think I'll let them hoes get with me
So I go to the back and I grab a grenade
Die motherfucker, die motherfucker, fade
You ain't about to take "C" cause I ain't the fuckin' one
So tell them hoe ass laws: Bring they ass! Let 'em come!"

-Pimp C, "Here They Come" from the Super Tight... sessions (Jive, 1993/94)

Guest Spots: "Show Rippa"

Big Rich f/ Bun B - "Show Rippa" | zShare
from Money Talks (Eye 4n Eye, 2002)

Like the dude Tuck from yesterday, I don't have much info on Big Rich—I'm not even sure where he's from, but I'll guess Louisiana? Anyway, according to his Discogs entry, he's been around since at least 1996, showing up on the Original Gangstas soundtrack that was put out by Noo Trybe Records. [Wrong Big Rich. I guess apparently the one who put out Money Talks didn't start rapping until around 2000-2001. Props to Jordan for pointing that out.] He was also on the title track to Vicious' 2004 album Walk Like a "G".

Money Talks, like Walk Like a "G" after it, was put out by Eye 4n Eye Records in 2002. The track "Show Rippa"—Rich's duet with Bun B—is a definite highlight, with its swampy N.O. Joe beat. Joe actually did a lot of work for the album, producing another track for it ("I Got It") and doing some of the engineering and mixing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Videos: "The Sweat Shop"

Kodak f/ Pimp C - "The Sweat Shop" (Sweatshop, 2007?)

I'm starting to think that there should be a sub-genre of UGK features called "The Video Only Pimp C Guest Verse." Man, if you have the .mp3 of this joint, you know where to find me.

Props to Purple Mud & Purple Bud for the video.

[UPDATE: …and props to PM&PB for hittin' me with the audio.]

Guest Spots: "Big Thangs"

Tuck f/ UGK - "Big Thangs" | zShare
from Struggling (RapBall, 2005)

Tuck is a rapper from Flint, MI. According to the blurb from the Amazon entry for Struggling he was robbed at gun point, had two brothers who were shot and killed and two other brothers who are serving 20+ year jail sentences for drug charges, and used to love 2Pac and Snoop until they played snitches in some movie, apparently. Other than that, I don't know much about him. I don't even know if Struggling is his first album or not.

"Big Thangs" is a pretty obscure collab with UGK, and it's the primary reason why I picked the album up. While Bun and Pimp sound fine over the beat, I think something was fucked up with the mixing for Tuck's verse; it sounds like he was dubbed over the track, which makes me think that the collab may be less than legit. Bun and Pimp have good verses though, so I guess that's all that matters. I also have no idea who produced the beat, as the album has no liner notes or production credits to speak of—just some shout outs and contact info on a one page insert.

[UPDATE: It seems that I was right about this collab being less than legit. Methlab points out that Bun and Pimp's verses are the exact same ones that appear on Sambow's "Time to Ball" track. I guess it's a good thing that I only paid $2.00 for this album then, ha ha.]

Lyrics: Another Excerpt from "'93 Mac"

"Yeah, '93 mac style
Macadamia nuts, n*gga, rollin', strollin'
Foldin' n*ggas over with what I'm holdin'
Throwin' up my set, they trippin' with me
Get with me? Never n*gga
Cause a street n*gga is a clever n*gga
Fuckin' average n*ggas over(?) all day
Whether n*ggas wanna try to run or not
If I'm packin' my G-L-O-C, bitch, you gettin' shot
Check the knots in my pocket, paper stacks stayin' thick
Cause it takes a "G" to respect the "G" so bend over bitch
Cause I'm layin' dick to hoes and n*ggas any way you wanna fake it
If I see a money makin' bitch opportunity, then I take it
And break that bitch back
Yeah, the '93 trill n*gga Port Town Cadillac mac's back
Cause some of these wanna-bes got these hoes thinkin' they're special or something
When they need to break a bitch nose
Cause we live it like that and we give it like that
Bitch, so get on your back for the '93 mac!"

-Bun B, "'93 Mac" from the Super Tight... sessions (Jive, 1993/94)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Guest Spots: "Southwest"

Lil' Bigg, Pimp C, Yukmouth - "Southwest" | zShare
from Platinum Thugs: Straight Ghetto (Zereh, 2002)

Like those Jahari and Big Boys tracks I posted earlier this week, "Southwest" is yet another example of Pimp working with rappers from out west. It originally appeared on the 2000 album/compilation My Cape is in the Cleaner's put out by Captain Save 'Em, a member of T.W.D.Y. ("The Whole Damn Yay"), which was a group founded by West Coast legend Ant Banks in 1999. However, the track appeared as "Representin' South West" on that album. Two years later, it appeared on the Platinum Thugs: Straight Ghetto compilation, but with the shortened title of "Southwest."

Appearing on the track along side Pimp are Yukmouth, one time member of the Luniz, and another guy named Lil' Bigg, who I don't really have the first clue about. The beat is provided by the team of Clint Sands and Todd Brown, and it has a very classic West Coast vibe to it. Though Pimp was always at home rapping over some country rap tunes, it's always nice to hear him rapping over a different style of beat.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Super Tight... Double Disc Tracklist

Ever hear about a different version of Super Tight...? A double disc version? Yeah, me too.

Originally, Super Tight... was meant to be a double album called Soul 4 Life, with its second disc being called Super Tight. Jive said no to the idea, so it was scrapped pretty early on. Luckily, some of the tracks that were meant for Soul 4 Life—such as "Chrome Plated Woman," "Heaven," "Living This Life," and "Shattered Dreams"—all found a home on the 2007 self-titled double disc.

Now, while the following tracklist isn't officially for Soul 4 Life—it's actually for a compilation of tracks from the Super Tight... sessions that the homie B B S put together for his own personal use—it still gives us an idea of what a double disc version of the album possibly looked like, and what songs had been recorded during that era:
01.) Return [5:12]
02.) Underground [3:17]
03.) Pocket Full of Stones Pt. 2 [4:58]
04.) I Left It Wet 4 Ya [4:29]
05.) Mack the Knife [3:38]
06.) Feds in Town [5:29]
07.) Front, Back & Side 2 Side (featuring Smoke D) [4:17]
08.) Protect & Serve [4:35]
09.) Smooth Slangin' [6:09]
10.) Ménage à Trois [6:20]

01.) Here They Come [3:41]
02.) Stoned Junkee (featuring 3-2) [6:40]
03.) Rat-Tat-Tat [1:21]
04.) It's Supposed to Bubble [4:26]
05.) Weed Weed (featuring 3-2, Mitchell Queen) [6:40]
06.) '93 Mac [5:14]
07.) Pussy Got Me Dizzy (featuring 3-2) [4:51]
08.) How Long Can It Last? [3:53]
09.) Three Sixteens (featuring DJ DMD) [4:38]
10.) High 'Til I Die (featuring Big Mike, BoBo Luchiano) [4:16]
Here is what I know what about some of these tracks: "Smooth Slangin'" and "Ménage à Trois" are Bun and Pimp solo tracks respectively; "Ménage à Trois" was also intended to be the album's first single, but Angela Winbush wouldn't clear the sample the track used and it was scrapped; the version of "Front, Back & Side 2 Side" featured here is shorter and has some Ice Cube samples in place of Pimp saying "Never let hoe ass n*ggas ride"; "Return" is about three minutes longer here than it is on the retail release; and finally, "High 'Til Die" features a George Benson sample, but much like Winbush, he wouldn't clear it and the track was also scrapped.

Props to B B S for posting the tracklist originally, and to Methlab for linking me to it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Unreleased: "Play Hard (O.G. Version)"

Pimp C - "Play Hard (O.G. Version)" | zShare
technically from Pimp's Untitled Solo Double Disc Album, otherwise unreleased (N/A, 1999?)

Despite UGK's close relationship with No Limit Records, the duo pretty much stopped appearing on the label's releases around early 1999. It's rumored that the reason was because of a conflict between Master P and Pimp C. Apparently, P had bought some beats from Pimp, but he didn't pay for them. [I did a little more research, and it wasn't beats that P didn't pay for, but rather the guest verses that UGK had done for No Limit. P also added Beats by the Pound as co-producers on some tracks that were apparently purely Pimp productions, such as "Playaz From the South," "Meal Ticket," and "Ghetto Life."] Pimp wasn't going to let that go, so he kept trying to get the owed money, dissing P and No Limit all the while. It got to the point where P had to send some dudes after him to put a stop to it. Whether it's true or not, I have no idea—most of the info I have regarding the situation was culled from various message boards.

Whatever the cause, P and Pimp had beef. At least two of the tracks from the double disc album that Pimp was working on at the time were focused on dissing P and No Limit. "Play Hard" was one such track, and the other was called "You Ain't Pac" which had a feature from Pastor Troy—an excellent choice for a guest, since Troy was beefing with P at the time as well.

(If you remember back to the first part of my UGK/No Limit retrospective, I mentioned the track "Break 'Em Off 2002" with Bun and Three 6 Mafia, and how it might be a sequel to "Break 'Em Off Somethin'" from P's Ice Cream Man. Looking at it in context with these other two diss tracks, it could also be viewed as yet another diss to P. Of course, there's no way of knowing that for sure without hearing it.)

While Pimp doesn't explicitly call P out by name on "Play Hard," he does calls out a "fake Tupac" that "could get hit in [his] Bentley or [his] purple Impala," which is probably as direct a reference to P that you could get; Pimp went on to say "Fuck No Limit!" and called him a "Tupac wanna-be ass n*gga" and a "grave stealin' ass n*gga" in the song's outro.

The O.G. version of "Play Hard" is the only one that retains the original outro, complete with the "Fuck No Limit!" exclamation. The version that appears on Ghetto Stories and the later remix "I Know U Strapped" from The Sweet James Jones Stories remove the offending part of the outro.

As far as I know, their beef lasted until after Pimp returned home from the pen. He mentioned in the last line of his verse on the UGK remix to Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty" that he "just got off the phone with Master P" so hopefully that meant that they were able to resolve their differences, what ever those were.