Despite some mild fuckery on Amazon’s part, my pre-order of The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones finally arrived. I’ve given it two listens so far: once in the car with the bass cranked and the windows down and once with my headphones. That said, I think I’m ready to share my thoughts on Pimp’s final solo album.
1.) “Down 4 Mine”
I was pleasantly surprised to see the album not start off with a weak-ass intro skit, like so many other rap albums often feel the need to do. This is probably my favorite track off the album, mostly because of the combination of Pimp’s singing and the beat. Though I have to wonder how much better this shit would have sounded if they had left the original Scarface produced beat intact.
2.) “What Up?” f/ Bun B, Drake
Oh, no. No, no, no, no. I am not listening to this garbage again. Fuck that.
3.) “Love 2 Ball” f/ Chamillionaire
I’m not really feeling the beat on this track. The harps and chimes do absolutely nothing for me and it doesn’t really seem to match up with Pimp’s hook very well. It works as an album cut though, and at least it’s not that shit with Aubrey, so it has that going for it.
4.) “Fly Lady” f/ Jazze Pha
I’m usually not the biggest Jazze Pha fan in the world, but he and Pimp always did quality work when they got together and this track is no exception. I could honestly see this as a single, if I believed for an instant that this album was going to get any sort of significant radio play.
5.) “Since the 90’s” f/ E-40, The Gator Main
The beat is okay, but like I said before, this track kills just by virtue of being a track featuring Forty Water and Sweet Jones. The hook is a little disappointing, because up until this point it was Pimp rapping or singing them—here, he’s reduced to just one line.
6.) “Dickies” f/ Bun B, Young Jeezy
As I mentioned in the post about the album’s tracklist, an older version titled “Dickies On” with a different beat (produced by Shawty Redd) leaked back around 2006 or so. Unfortunately, it was tagged the fuck up and the quality wasn’t the best either. The new version’s beat has been redone by DJ B-Do and I think it fits a whole lot better.
Sidenote: I find this track hilarious because seeing Pimp and Jizzle on a track together reminds me of how badly C ended up dissing him for making up dope numbers.
7.) “Made 4” f/ Too $hort
It’s really good to hear Pimp and $hort on a track together again. The extended two minute long instrumental outro is pretty cool too. I would love to hear the original Mike Dean version of this joint though. From what I’ve heard, it murders this one, which is quite a feat.
Sidenote: Also, is that Broad Street Playaz collaboration album between Pimp and $hort ever gonna see the light of day, or did I just imagine that shit?
8.) “Midnight” f/ Rick Ross, Slim Thug
For the sake of my sanity, I’m just going to assume that this track was recorded around the time that Pimp was doing songs with Ross ($hort’s “Money Maker” for example) instead of the alternative of him being shoehorned into this album just because it might sell a few extra records. I also don’t need to hear Ricky’s fat ass talking about eating pussy. That shit is so not cool.
9.) “Believe in Me” f/ UGK Posse
This is a posse cut with a bunch of artists (BankRoll Jonez, Big Bub, Cory Mo, DJ B-Do, Hezeleo, Ivory P, and Young T.O.E.) from Pimp’s UGK Records label. It’s not bad for a posse cut, though I have to admit that the middle section drags a bit with short verses from dudes I don’t immediately recognize.
10.) “Hit the Parking Lot” f/ Lil’ Boosie, Weebie
This is another older track which made the mixtape rounds a couple of years ago. Back then it was billed as “Swerve Pt. 2” by the V-12 Boyz, which was basically a trio consisting of Boosie, Webbie, and Pimp. As far as I can tell, it sounds basically the same as the mixtape version and doesn’t have a revamped beat or any new verses.
11.) “Colors” f/ DaUnderdawgz
I don’t have much to say about this track: it’s another album cut and it does what it does well. I rather like the beat too, but I can see how it could possibly turn some people off, as it has the same kind of techno vibe to it as “Haterz” by B.o.B.
12.) “Go 2 War” f/ Bun B, J-Dawg
Despite a similar title and one line in the hook, this isn’t the same as the Crime Mob track “Go to War” that Pimp appeared on. I like the beat too, as it really fits the verses by Pimp, Bun, and J-Dawg well. I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed that Scarface was swapped out for J-Dawg though.
This is another old track, which appeared on XVII’s Certified album. While I’ve heard it plenty of times, it’s still a pretty good diss track. (In case anybody is wondering, I’m pretty sure that Pimp is dissing Lil’ Troy.)
Overall, this album is about as good as one could expect it to be. Personally, I think it’s a shame that Pimp has no production on this album at all, despite it being his solo album. Maybe I’m just selfish, but I would have loved to hear some “new” Pimp beats.
I’m also a little disappointed that I’ve heard three of these tracks already years ago (“Hit the Parking Lot,” “Massacre,” and technically “Dickies”) but I guess that kind of recycling is to be expected with a posthumous rap album. And hell, at least the recycled tracks are good.
As for the new tracks: “What Up?” is still aural gonorrhea to me, but “Made 4” and “Down 4 Mine” pretty much make for that massive error in judgment. The rest of the tracks all range from decent-to-good, and even a decent Pimp C track is better than most dude’s whole albums.
While it’s definitely not as good as The Sweet James Jones Stories or even Pimpalation, The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones isn’t going to tarnish Pimp’s legacy. Could it be better? Yeah, no doubt. But I think the only way we would know for sure is if Pimp was still alive. If anything, I think this album just serves as a reminder of what the rap game lost when Pimp died and what could have been.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to discuss them in the comments.