UGK has churned out tons of hits over the last couple of decades, with more promised. Still, there's a bunch of notable songs that never gained the recognition they deserved. In the second installment of our Southern Way celebration, behold UGK's most underappreciated cuts.
We decided to keep this one short and sweet, but you're welcome to add to the list.
Album:College Park Kingpin
This is fight music. This is knock-your-face-in-with-a-rubber-tire music. We never want to be around when this bad boy comes on in the club. That would be our cue to take a cigarette break, even though we don't smoke. It's also a testament to Pimp and Bun's versatility. We're used to hearing them on those piano-driven, soul-sampling tunes, but this one shows their ability to mix things up.
Too bad Mr. Bigg Time is only about as famous as our rapping cousin. This one is simply underexposed by association. Big time.
Album: Dirty Money (2001)
"They don't know what that star 'bout/They don't know what that bar 'bout/ They don't know what that candy car 'bout/ Or smokin' that joint 'bout." That was Bun B keeping it one hunnid at the turn of the century. "Wood Wheel" is the ultimate just-got-paid-so-i'll-go-ahead-and-drop-20-grand-on-these-new-spinners-without-thinking song. There's a pull and tug battle between the steely drums and the subdued flute. The drums are in a celebratory mode.
The ominous flute? Not so much. All that flute wants to do is go home and smoke a spliff in the bathtub. If the boasts seem effortless and authentic, that's because Bun and Pimp were intoxicated by new money at the time. Keep in mind that "Big Pimpin'" was still in heavy rotation when their Dirty Money LP dropped. They were looking to build on the buzz. But they would only do it UGK-style: big, bold, unapologetic pimp shit. This one should've won a Grammy.
Album: Last of a Dying Breed (2000)
Remember when Facemob and UGK jacked KRS-One's "Still Number 1" and turned it into a Texas anthem? If the East Coast wasn't too busy tossing barbs at the south when this one came out, it would have dominated every radio station in the land.
Album: In Real Life (2000)
This sinister UGK-assisted gem was recently unearthed by Percy Mack, whose Trill Connection blog is something like a digital museum of obscure UGK tracks. It's a travesty of justice that this joint never blew up.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Album: The Last Dance (2000)
December 2007 was a rough month for Hip-Hop Nation. Spice 1 was shot in the chest on December 3. Pimp C died the next day. We kept this here "Murda Man" on repeat thinking it would ease the pain, but it only reminded us of how how much we lost.