Roughly 84,000 rap albums have been released in Houston since 1989. We're counting down the 25 best of all time every Thursday. Got a problem with the list? Shove it. Just kidding. Friendship. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Pimp C Pimpalation Asylum, 2006
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As fun as it is for us music writers to pick obscure or obviously lacking albums by artists and lionize them when we make these types of lists, everybody in the world knew this album was getting a spot here. Worry not, naysayers, there are a few of those picks higher up on the list that you're sure to disagree with. It's weird to think about because they've been around so long, but Port Arthur's favorite sons only have four solo albums between the two of them - Bun's Trill and II Trill and Pimp's Sweet James Jones Stories and Pimpalation. One more from each is scheduled for release in 2010. Out of the four, Pimpalation is hands down the strongest of the group, which goes Pimpalation > II Trill > Trill > SJJS, if you're curious. SJJS, Pimp's solo debut album, was solid, and there was a nice little buzz about it, but ultimately it felt a little too much like a "Biding Time Until This Artist is Released From Prison" album - similar to Z-Ro's comp Tha Omega, though the situations weren't exactly the same. Pimpalation was the "I Was Locked Up For Way Too Long And Now I'm Going To Crash Every Song On This Bitch" album. From the self-explanatory Tom Petty-sampling jumpoff "I'm Free" (he sounds light as air) to his grandfatherly "Knockin' Doors Down," which was all about rebuilding all the bridges that were burnt between Southern artists, to the thump of "Rock 4 Rock," arguably the LP's strongest hip-hop track, with a phenomenal verse from Willie D playing the role of d-boy, Pimpalation rarely misses a beat. Each song, save for the skippable "Cheat On Yo' Man" and "On Your Mind," seems designed to make a point (and was perfectly placed, which is important). The album tells a clear story. Even Jazze Pha managed to sound somewhat consequential, and that's not even mentioning Z-Ro's utterly bananas album-closing verse in the Aaron Hall "I Miss You" interpretation where he tells the story of his mother passing. Pimpalation is great. Pimp was great. And now he's gone. Damn. Previously No. 25: Big Moe, City of Syrup Read the rules of The Countdown here.