UGK's first Jive release, the gold-certified Ridin' Dirty, entered Billboard's Top 200 at #15. Their long-awaited sophomore release. Dirty Money, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Rap Album Chart, #2 on the R & B Album Chart, and #18 in the Top 200 chart, scanning almost 100,000 units in its first week. What makes this even more impressive is that UGK had not released a record in 5 years a real testament to the loyalty of their fans. While the fans clamored or more, in 2000 UGK made a high-profile guest appearance on Jay-Z's smash hit 'Big Pimpin' and also appeared on Three 6 Mafia's hit 'Sippin' on Da Syrup' later the very same year. It's been a while, and IGK has a lot to say! Underground Kingz is a special 2 CD set! Not only that, folks celebrating UGK's return are a veritable who's who of the inner circle, and they lined up to lend their talents for UGK's eighth. They include Three 6 Mafia, Lil Joh, Scarface, Mannie Fresh, Too Short, T.I., Rick Ross, Slim Thugz, Sleepy Brown, Young Jeezy, Charlie Wilson, Swizz Beatz, Andre 3000, and more! Key cuts include 'Like Dat,' produced by Lil Jon, 'Back on the Slab,' produced by Jazze Pha, and 'In the Past,' featuring Charlie Wilson! In 2006, UGK is free and pimpin' again, just like you wish you could. Their self-titled, highly anticipated, star-studded, and no holds barred release is simply put the perfect stocking stuffer!
For starters, some props. Thanks to Scarface and especially Joshua Lopez, the pair of overly indulgent discs on UGK's 29-track opus boasts the best hip-hop guitar work since the turn of the millennium. Almost to the last track, Texans Chad "Pimp C" Butler and Bernard "Bun B" Freeman coax deeply visceral, classic soul-funk mojo from their collaborators on the six-strings. UGK once helped put the Houston rap scene on the national map, circa albums like Super Tight
(1994) and Ridin' Dirty (1996), but Underground Kingz celebrates Pimp C's release from a three-year incarceration. Fittingly, a various and pedigreed roster of guests drops respectful cameos, including Talib Kweli ("Real Women"), Too Short ("Life is 2009"), Outkast and Three 6 Mafia ("Int'l Players Anthem"), Big Daddy Kane ("Next Up"), and Dizzee Rascal. Lyrically, most of this double-hammer drops in verses short on skill and long on cliché. But there's an awful lot here, and moments really stick. The choral harmonies of "The Games Belong to Me," for example, move in impeccably languid cool, sashaying across the stereophonic spectrum in rock-solid testament to UGK's continued provincial dominance. --Jason Kirk