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.