Tuesday, November 13, 2012

UGK's Too Hard To Swallow Turns 20 Years Old and I feel old but thankful

Young Sama'an Ashrawi comes correct with this one for sure!

This video means a lot to me, it literally took me back in time to the daze when I was working for Murder Dog Magazine. Yes, for a few years my main gig was with a magazine, the best magazine in the history of hip-hop in fact, and my main job there was to travel from city to city, hood to hood, and interview up and coming rappers, DJs and producers for features that may or may not have ever come out. It was a crap shoot for sure, but it was the time of my life.

This was in the late 90's to the early 2000's, and I'd literally get a call from the editor, Black Dog Bone, and he'd tell me that he wanted me to go to a city and find out what is going on rap music wise out there. I literally went to Pittsburgh, Miami, Gary Indiana, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Honolulu, Kansas City, Minneapolis and way more towns, all through both the Carolinas, etc, just pulling up and getting with some key players and would photograph and interview rappers. From big to small. It was a dream job for me.

I was always a big supporter of UGK. I first heard them when their first EP dropped (Banned!) and saw them right around when Too Hard to Swallow came out (many, many times, when they'd show up lol). I used to tell editors at lesser magazines how important they were to us in Texas, and they'd always tell me to shut the fuck up. One big time magazine editor even once told me, right around when Dirty Money came out, "Nobody cares about UGK." This went on for years.

But in the streets, one thing that always stood out to me was 99% of the rappers I would interview from the east, south, west, midwest, Canada, etc, 99% of them would mention UGK as a major influence on their careers/music. 8Ball & MJG came up a lot too. I'd talk to straight hood dudes, backpackers, nerds, playas, whatever, and when I'd ask who influenced them, UGK came up more times than they didn't.

So seeing this video is really amazing. From obvious choices like Killer Mike and A$AP Rocky, who you already know for sure were influenced by UGK to not so obvious ones like People Under the Stairs and Brother Ali, everyone on this video gives it up to the men who made some of the most compelling and soulful and meaningful rap music of all time, UGK. Makes me miss Pimp C so much. Rest in Peace to the Pimp, Long Live Bun B, and big ups to Sama'an and to everyone who takes documenting the real within our culture seriously. Every hip-hop head needs to see this.

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