My walk to work yesterday morning reminded me of why this may be one of the greatest rap songs of our generation, if not ever. Jay-Z and UGK (made up of Bun B and the now deceased Pimp C) put on a masterclass of how to be larger-than-life pimps, and yet somehow as a skinny white kid from southern Ontario I can relate to it.
I think this is mostly because the song is so smart. These aren't just pimps, these are educated pimps. Listen to Bun B as he mispronounces the word "scenario" in order to make it rhyme with the previous couplet, then retreats and apologizes for being so grammatically incorrect. Then he delivers the single most amazing diss ever recorded in rap music: "Read a book you illiterate son of a bitch / Step up your vocab". Motherfucker just insulted your ability to READ, bitch! AND he's going to steal your ho! The joy I get from this is indescribable.
Jay-Z and Pimp C also give epic verses, where they discuss bitches and money, respectively. This sounds pretty standard, except that this is like, the king of all bitches and money songs, and that a few years later you see Jay-Z is dating Beyonce, buying NBA franchises, and just generally being paid. Then there's the beat, which makes me want to be on a boat more than "I'm On A Boat".
You can disagree with me over this song's greatness or its place in the pantheon of rap history, and that's fine. My response: I dare you to find me a rap song today that is this intelligent about its misogyny and obsession with money. And when you're done your futile search, you can go read a book you illiterate son of a bitch and step up your vocab.
Jay-Z Feat. UGK - "Big Pimpin" (Download)