Five Spot: Slim Thug is Back

Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and list five reasons why it's either brilliant or dumb-assed. Send tips to [email protected].

Numerous emails from PR people over the last two or so months have informed us that but a scant four years after his first official solo album dropped, Slim Thug is prepping for the release of his sophomore effort. While the inappropriately titled debut left many disappointed (Already Platinum went Gold, which may or may not be ironic), we've always thought Thugga to be one of the most genuinely affable rappers in Houston. We once saw him shrug off an encounter with a man wearing a cape like there was nothing strange about it.

As is standard protocol, the first single from Boss of all Bosses was released online recently and, in case you need us to tell you how to feel about it, it is dope. It's called "I Run," and it incorporates a solid contribution from Chamillionaire, an otherwordly contribution from Z-Ro, and a sample of "I Ran" by Flock of Seagulls(!) It's everything that people said Already Platinum wasn't, with a return to unyielding-down-Southness being the principle achievement.

There is no rapper that we've seen out more times than Slim. He is as persistent a grinder as Pitbull is annoying, and that trait has allowed for him to have contributed to roughly 12,000 songs over the last five years. After the jump, see the five best Slim Thug collabos (that are also available on Youtube). Sadly, no unofficial Chingo Bling remix made the cut.

Z-Ro's "Call My Phone"

Say, here's a three-step recipe for coordinating a successful collaboration:

Step 1. Call Z-Ro. Step 2. Step 3.

In fairness to Slim, he was smart enough to make sure that his contribution here was exactly what it needed to be: simple, relentlessly self-aware, and unintimidated. It's also worth mentioning that of the four emcees who were featured on Crack, Slim was one of two that were able to really hold their own with Ro. And in case you're curious, Paul Wall sure as shit wasn't the other one.

Rick Ross's "I'm A Boss"

When Ricky burst onto the scene with whole "boss" angle, you knew it was inevitable that he and Slim would work together at some point. "I'm A Boss" might not have been the most innovative slant for a song, but it was largely effective.

Lil' Wayne's "The Boss"

(See, told you "I'm A Boss" wasn't innovative.) Any artist's Best Collaborations list will, at one point or another, feature a track from Lil Wayne, so let's just get this out of the way now.

"I Ain't Heard Of That," feat Pharrell and Bun B

They ain't heard of embedding, so you're gonna have to click on through.

The big knock on Already Platinum was that Slim had abandoned his fan base by laying his shaggy and full-mouthed flow over Mr. Williams' spacey synth beats, rather than the dragging thump we'd come to expect from him. For the most part, that criticism was valid ("Too Clean" was just gawdawful). But in "I Ain't Heard Of That," Slim was wonderfully big brother to the diminutively chirpy Pharrell. This is easily the most successfully creative track from AP.

Young Jeezy's "Diamonds"

Slim is always at his best on tracks with other Southern artists, that we know. But when we heard that he and Jeezy were teaming up for a few things, we thought it a bad idea. The wisp of Jeezy's less than erudite flow coupled with Thugga's coarsely cultivated charm? We assumed it was going to be just a little too thick, a little too ad-libby for anybody's good. As evidenced here, we were wrong. Enjoy it, bitches, it doesn't happen often.

Have a good weekend.

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Shea Serrano