Houston Music

The H-Town Countdown, No. 4: UGK's Too Hard to Swallow

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 [email protected].

UGK

Too Hard to Swallow (Jive, 1992)

How cocksure is Bun B?

The first time we spoke with him regarding the UGK albums that made The Countdown -yes, that's "albums," plural, meaning another UGK LP will pop up by the end of this list; aren't you clever for figuring that out? - he didn't ask to know what albums made it, let alone where they ranked. He even went so far as to explicitly ask to not be told what landed where so he could be surprised.

Devin the Dude also didn't ask where he settled in. When we let him know that Just Tryin' Ta Live fell in at the impressive 8th spot, he seemed genuinely and affectionately pleased, responding, "Ah, man, I sure do I appreciate that." He sounds the same way when he talks as he does when he sings, by the way. His words just buzz out in cadence. We kept expecting him to follow up his response with some rhyme about tits and weed. He didn't.

We didn't give Chamillionaire a chance to ask where Get Ya Mind Right landed, instead opening the conversation with how it finished in the Top 20. When we told him that it beat out his official solo albums - even the one that won him a Grammy - he seemed totally okay with that. He also seemed fine with our assertion that Mixtape Messiah was the best work he's ever done, confirming that he too feels he's at his best when he feels he has something to prove.

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Shea Serrano