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Pimp C - The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 6.5
Lyrics 5.5
Production 6
Creativity 5
Lasting Value 6.5
Reviewer Tilt 6
Final Verdict: 61%
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Pimp C - The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones

Reviewed by: Ian Walker (11/17/10)
Pimp C - The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones
Record Label: Rap-a-Lot Records
Release Date: October 5, 2010

Chad Butler, also known as Pimp C, occupied an interesting niche in the hip-hop world. As one half of the legendary Southern duo UGK, he produced a variety of hits throughout their time in the spotlight. He and partner Bun B played off each other incredibly well, using their two very distinctive voices and lyrical style to complement and highlight the other's talents. Unfortunately, an eight year prison sentence stymied UGK's progress, forcing Bun B to head into solo territory as his long-time collaborator sat in a prison cell. While still serving his term, Pimp C was able to release his 2005 album Sweet James Jones Stories, which was mostly comprised of random freestyles and unreleased tracks. His second album, Pimpalation, was more of the same.

After the release of Pimpalation, Pimp C finally began working on a true solo album. The creative process was unfortunately cut short after the artist's death in 2007. A mixture of codeine overdose and sleep apnea, Pimp C's death was a huge blow to the Southern hip-hop community and the genre at large. He was an artist on the verge of finally making a name for himself as a solo act, and it's tragic that it had to end the way it did.

The leftover vocals eventually became The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones, a sort of final send off for a rapper beloved by the community. The album opens with “Down 4 Mine” where Pimp introduces himself. While it begins with a showcase of Pimp's vocal capabilities, it soon degenerates into a constant stream of random non sequiturs. From the get go, it's confusing what direction this album is going to take, and the intro track raises a lot of doubt as to how much material was actually completed before input from the late rapper was cut short.

The next track “What Up?” allays those fears a bit, but mostly because of the lines contributed by Drake and Bun B. Drake is annoying as ever as he tries to transition from uninspired rhyming to less than average vocals at a frenetic pace, but the scale is evened out with Bun B's feature. Aside from the odd inclusion of Drake on the track, “What Up?” carries a classic Southern flair, but unfortunately still feels a bit dated.

The rest of the album doesn't fare any better. With every good decision made on a track, there's an equally terrible one that weighs it down. Bun B is featured again on “Dickies” and “Go 2 War” but has his presence lessened by Young Jeezy's terrible outing in the former and unoriginal production in the latter. “Midnight” is, unfortunately, the only really strong track on the album as well as the most finished after “What Up?” It owes a lot to both Rick Ross and David Banner, who's production is a welcome repose. On an album that is constantly throwing heavy production at limited lyrical content, it was nice to see a more subdued melody matched to competent rhyming.

The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones, which began its life as Pimp C's first true solo album, became a sort of tribute to the late hip-hop artist. Enough material was finished or nearly completed to put together a full-length record, and it currently stands as a proper look back on a rapper that served as a founding father of his region's hip-hop movement. Sadly, the album doesn't do a good job of promoting a positive image of Pimp C's music in a modern world. Because production was cut so short, The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones doesn't show any evolution on Pimp C's part. It's easy to see that the music could have been pushed forward had he lived to see its completion, but the random assortment of half-finished vocals we're left with doesn't do the late rapper justice.

Track List1. Down 4 Mine
2. What Up?
3. Fly Lady
4. Love 2 Ball
5. Since the 90’s
6. Dickies
7. Made 4 Me
8. Midnight
9. Believe in Me
10. Hit the Parking Lot
11. Colors
12. Get Down
13. Go 2 War
14. Massacre


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Displaying posts 1 - 3 of 3.
12:10 AM on 11/18/10
#2
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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weworemasks's Avatar
RIP pimp c, but bun b was always the better UGK member.
06:22 AM on 11/29/10
#3
BensonMurders
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this cd wasnt as good as I hoped but it was great getting to hear new songs from him. best tracks
5. since the 90s
6.dickies
7.made 4
14. massacre this one is just a freestyle over a great beat but they could have put sum features on it and made it great.
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