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CD Review: Bun B 

II Trill

The Deal: One half of the legendary Dirty South duo UGK (Underground Kings) releases his first album after the death of his partner Pimp C and proves why even the most critical hip-hop heads can't hate on his Southern swag.

The Good: II Trill, much like his prior album Trill, features a diverse group of artists who all somehow blend beautifully with Bun B's classic Texas flow. Lil Wayne justifies his consideration for best rapper alive on the track "Damn I'm Cold" with lines like "Now if you ain't help me make it/don't tell me how to spend it/and yes I know the rules/never marry Robin Givens" and "Friday the 13th/that's the day hell raise/But y'all niggas too weak/like 14 days." Lupe Fiasco shines on the marching band "Swang on 'Em" proclaiming "Speak on/how he on the song Bun B on/completely 180, how crazy has be gone." Rick Ross, David Banner and Southern hip-hop royalty 8Ball & MJG pledge their dedication to the South on "You're Everything," a track that samples Jodeci's "Cry For You." "Angel In The Sky," a dedication to Pimp C, flips Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon in the Sky" and is easily the most personal and emotional song on the album. "Keep It 100" is just hot, and if "City of the Swang" isn't Chevy ready, I don't know what is. Expect to hear it booming from any car with an amp and kickers.

The Bad: Not enough Pimp C! This album could have been cut down four or five tracks and been just as good. "Pop It 4 Pimp" and "I Luv That" aren't good for your car or iPod, but will be great for the club. "If I Die II Night" with Lyfe Jennings is forgettable. "Good II Me" with Mya had a lot of potential, but it didn't live up to the S.O.S. Band sample. The whole "II" theme was beaten into the ground, and as cool, laid back and respected as Bun B's flow is, it can get stale.

The Verdict: Knowing that UGK will never rock again, it's good to see Bun B can put together a solid solo project minus the Pimp. Rarely do you see a 20-track ode to the South that can be respected across the board.

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