UGK (Underground Kingz) (Explicit)
Released: Aug 2007
Southern rap pioneers UGK aren't out to change the world on their first album in six years, but the release's lush southern soul and emphasis on lyricism conjures the best aspects of a bygone era in southern hip-hop. Pimp C's rattling, nasal flow contrasts perfectly with Bun B's more austere baritone, and the rappers' themes are equally balanced, with the usual meditations on the drug trade ("Grind Hard") tempered by an underlying sorrow and ambivalence ("Cocaine"). It's the abiding dedication to realism that makes this album one of the best hip-hop offerings from 2007.