Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and, albeit sometimes awkwardly, tie it to a bit of Houston rap. It's five videos and occasional cussing. Send tips to email@example.com.
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.BoBo Luchiano feat UGK, "Get Up Off Me," from Enemy of Tha State (Roggish Life, 2001)
"'Get Up Off Me' is one of the rare UGK/BoBo collabs that has actually seen the light of day. It reminds me of this unreleased track from the Super Tight... sessions called 'High 'Til I Die,' which had a George Benson sample and also had a BoBo verse. I've never heard it, but listening to 'Get Up Off Me' always makes me stop and wonder how it would have sounded. A real banger, I would imagine."
UGK, "Country Star," from Six O'Clock, Vol. 1 (Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic, 2001)
"'Country Star" showed up on a compilation album that Greg Street put out in 2001. It's basically an ode to Bun and Pimp being country boys. It's a nice track, not only because it's pretty obscure, but because the beat isn't exactly something that you would expect to hear from from Pimp C, especially with that squiggly synth thing in the chorus. It's always good to hear Pimp putting a different spin on his country rap tune beats."
Lil' Derrick feat. Pimp C, "Cop Yo' Drop," from Done Didit (Smoked Outt, 2001)
Criminalz feat. Bun B, "N*ggaz Like Us," from Criminal Activity (Realside, 2001)
"With its twangy beat by Pimp (I think), 'Cop Yo' Drop' really has that country rap tune sound down; it's straddling the line between bluesy and country. Interesting story about Derrick: He was the nephew of Baby (Birdman) and was one of the original Hot Boys before he got replaced by Juvenile. While Derrick holds his own on the track, I almost want to hear just Pimp flowing over this beat. It would match him perfectly."
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"Criminalz was a duo made up of Spice-1 and Celly Cell. While I will always maintain that Bun sounds best over country fried production (like the sort provided by Pimp) I think there's something to said for him flowing over some G-Funk style beats. He just sounds so comfortable on this song. It's like you'd be surprised to hear him flowing over anything else. I guess that just shows his versatility as an MC."
UGK feat. DJ Bird, Ganksta C and Ron C, "Texas," from "Use Me Up" 12" single (Bigtyme/Jive, 1992)
"While this isn't a UGK/Bun/Pimp feature, I think it qualifies just because it's so obscure.'Texas' was only available on the 'Use Me Up' 12" and it's special for a few reasons: 1) You get a rare rap verse from DJ Bird; and 2) You can just start to hear Pimp's signature sound starting to develop here and take shape, which he would later perfect on Super Tight... two years later."