I’d heard through the grapevine years ago that Pimp C had been dissing me every chance he got for the review I wrote of his compilation LP, The Pimpalation, back in an issue of XXL that came out in the summer of 2006. I believe I first got word of it when a friend called and told me he was on Kay Slay’s HOT97 show talking all reckless about me back when that issue first dropped. I never heard it though. I wish I had that audio.
This new thing I got (Pimpalation) probably be out by the time this thing go to press. It’s a compilation record. I just read a review on it and the dude was talkin about it was too many people on the album—you dumb motherfucker, don’t you know it’s a compilation record? You stupid motherfucker, you don’t get compilation from Pimpalation? C’mon, man. It was XXL, too, I’ll go on and tell you, I don’t have the dude’s name right in front of me but he’s an asshole, you know what I mean. He gave the record a large but the motherfucker was like “I’m a guest artist on my own record.” And motherfucker it’s a comp…you dumb motherfucker, how dumb can you get, man? Where do they find these people? Back in the day the people reviewing the albums was really fans of the music.
Now obviously Pimp C has passed on, and I don’t want to belabor the issue too much, because the man has no opportunity to respond, and a record from 2006 is like an eternity ago in the internet era of rap. But I will take this opportunity to address what he had to say, just for the sake of clarity.
First of all, regarding the fact that the LP was a compilation album, appropriately dubbed Pimpalation. Maybe I’m stupid, and I probably am, but he’s right, I actually didn’t get that it was a compilation directly from the title Pimpalation. When I was asked to review the album, it was billed as Pimp C’s solo record. This was his first solo album after being released from jail, bottom line. There was no discussion of the title, or it being a compilation album, although in my review I mentioned that it comes off sounding like a compilation, and I remember being in the listening session for the project thinking, why didn’t he just make this a compilation album? Duh! That’s what it was. But again, it wasn’t billed that way by the people in his camp, people’s whose responsibility it was to provide that information, not assume that it was implied by the title. That’s your publicists job. I’m a writer, not a mind reader, even if Pimp may have thought that it was glaringly obvious what it was.
Secondly, this assumption that “back in the day” people were really fans of the music implies that because I’m of the current generation, I’m not a UGK fan or something. Like I didn’t give Bun B a glowing review and an XL for his album, Trill, a year earlier because it was just that good. Perhaps he’s right; though I’m a fan, I don’t eat, sleep and breathe UGK. Maybe that makes me less credible to review the album. Maybe it makes me more credible, as I can be more objective about it since I’m not a fan that’ll give him a great review just because.
For the most part though, me not just using some common sense about the title of the album was an inexcusable mistake, one I regret quite a bit, considering just how valuable a good review in XXL meant back then. I guess I’m a “dumb motherfucker” then. I can point fingers at publicists and editors all day, but the reality is I take the blame.
The question then is, would the fact that it was a compilation LP and not a proper solo project have bumped the review from an L to an XL? Probably not. Regardless of anything, the project was good, just not great. An L is a good rating in my opinion. An XL just means it’s pretty damn good. An XXL is great. Even an M is not that bad. There wasn’t much taken away from the review of the album because there were so many features on it. It’s not like he lost many points because of that. Maybe a few, but not many. And still, this was his first project since returning home from prison. That was the main sticking point of the review. You’ve been locked up all these years, there’s this big “Free Pimp C” campaign going. What do you have to say about all of that? For the most part, I felt like he didn’t have much to say. Compilation or not, this is your opportunity to speak. So speak!
He never really did. And that’s why the album got an L. People have their own way of twisting words into meaning what they want them to mean, and maybe all he saw was me making that blunder about the project being a compilation, and thought that’s why it got an L. But in reality that was just a small piece of the puzzle. Project just wasn’t great, end of story.
Still, I would love to have gotten the opportunity to speak to him one on one about it. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Bun a few times, real good dude. I know Pimp had a tenuous relationship with the press and whatnot, but I’m sure man to man he would have respected where I was coming from, as I did him.