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  Honorable Mention



  The Brain Trust speaks


No group can be compared to the Wu-Tang Clan. RZA's production is incredible. I can't see how they wouldn't be #1.
                 — Eric, 24
                   Buffalo, NY

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Rank: 10

estimonial
Bun B and Pimp C held court below the Mason-Dixon Line for years with their gritty playa anthems and thuggish tales about their Texas stomping grounds. Having influenced — and collaborated with — every major Southern MC from T.I. and Young Jeezy to their home state's newer titans like Slim Thug, Mike Jones and Paul Wall, UGK's longevity is a testament to their legacy in the way it's shaped the Dirty South's current stranglehold on hip-hop. Collaborations with Jay-Z ("Big Pimpin' ") and Three 6 Mafia ("Sippin' on Some Syrup") boosted their profile at the turn of the century. But the duo stayed rooted to their underground aesthetic, which continues to earn them respect among their peers today. Last year was another milestone. Whether it was T.I. remaking "Front, Back" for his King†album or Bun almost single-handedly cornering the rap cameo market†and championing his partner-in-rhyme with "Free Pimp C" chants, T-shirts and hats during Pimp's recently completed four-year incarceration, UGK have remained a fixture on the scene for 15 years. Reunited last year, Bun and Pimp's next album, UGK: Underground Kingz, the next album by Bun and Pimp — who reunited last year — is one of 2007ís most hotly anticipated projects.

Co-Signer: Scarface, Geto Boys
"I knew Pimp C when he was skinny and Bun B when he had hair! I saw the whole movement. I even had a cousin that used to stand in the mirror and rap Bun's parts. UGK had a huge impact on Texas music. They kept the Southern drawl to their music, they kept a Southern flow to what they were putting out — it didn't sound like it was from anywhere else. Bun B and Pimp C: That's the odd couple. But it's a perfect combination, like Stacy Lattislaw and Johnny Gill. Their flow, their delivery, their vocal tones — amazing. You couldn't hear nobody rapping with Pimp but Bun, and you couldn't hear nobody rapping with Bun but Pimp. I think music has a note that you can hit and make the whole world love it, and that's kind of what happened when UGK hit their note — 'cause there's not a UGK song that I don't love."

100 Percent Proof
"Think I'm playin', b---h, try me, it ain't no thang/ Put them hands up and kiss this goddamn ring/ 'Cause I move tons of dope, 24 hours a day/ Cocaine from Argentina to the 'Frisco bay/ DEA try to stop me, yo, but they sh-- ain't cold/ 'Cause the n---a's got politicians on the big-time payroll." (Bun B, "Cocaine in the Back of the Ride")

"Every drug I sold was for the dirty money/ Most of my n---as is dead because the game is funny/ You could get your life took at the drop of the dime/ But I'mma pimp till the end and keep my money on my mind/ Most of my life I've been broke, trying to save my bread/ I never ask to be hustling, now I watch out for Feds." (Pimp C, "Dirty Money")

Selected Catalog
Too Hard to Swallow (1992), Super Tight ... (1994), *Ridin' Dirty (1996), *Dirty Money (2001).

* = undeniable classic




NEXT: Havoc of Mobb Deep says of this group, 'People search for hits, worry about spins and video play, but [they] were true artists.'
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