Bun B has managed to remain a viable commodity in a game full of sharks, silly trends and rapid re-invention. Through it all, he’s engendered a lofty respect from the entirety of a youth obsessed genre that thrives on what’s next. A feature from Uncle Bun can be found on songs from Alabama to Alaska and is undoubtedly going to catch a track some attention, even if only for 16 bars.
A hot verse though is like pressing the easy button when compared to a hot album. Taking 16 bars of heat and spreading it over an hour is tough business, but Bun B is a tough guy. He’s done it before, but the question today is… did he do it this time? Does Trill OG validate his vaunted Hip-Hop Godfather status?
Of course it does. This is Bun B baby, but Trill OG is not without its flaws.
“Chuuch!!!” with its undulating organ and backing choir is an almost flawless start. Bun tosses you right into the sermon’s crescendo, reminding you of who he is, where he is and how he got there. He acquiesces a few seconds to Drake’s rise to fame via J. Prince and that’s quite noble, but the placement is odd. Bun doesn’t need to stand on the back of Drake’s buzz.
The album rolls on with a heaping dose of vanity with the T-Pain assisted, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League crafted “Trillionaire” which also hosts Faheem’s vocoder. Jeezy pitches in with either a sinus infection or a bad James Cagney impersonation on “Just Like That.” It’s a trap tune you’ve heard plenty of times before but the bass will attract anyone with thump in their trunks.
Tupac’s resurrected verse on “Right Now” fits well, but Pimp C steals the show on this one. Her eyes, ears, nose and toes can get it? Even the hardest hard core feminist should find the humor in this verse that puts a new spin on Lil Boosie’s call to get wiped down. It’s tawdry times ten but worth every giggle-filled moment. Trill OG’s first single, “Countin’ Money All Day” knocks with the type of Southern bump that put bounce on the map. Bun grinds his way through with money on his mind, but Gucci and Gotti just can’t hang; especially Gucci.
The second single and Drake’s first of two collaborations, “Put It Down” finds Bun relaxing his gangsta so he and Drake can find some common ground. Drake amps up his G over the simmering organ and easy strings, but it’s not enough of a temperament flip to have the Hip-Hop emo police screaming shenanigans. “Speak Easy” is an updated stab at electro blues. It takes a minute for Bun to find his comfort on this track but he does. Twista is grand, but Cedric the Entertainer wasn’t necessary, at all.
Guru gets a shout out on the perfectly smooth, Primo produced “Let Em Know.” The solemn string loop is joined by a mid-tempo bassline and tambourine. Bun brings more aggression than you would think the track could handle, but it’s perfectly balanced.
There is some pandering to mainstream (“All a Dream”) and stuff that should have been saved for the Cutting Room Floor EP (“Lights, Camera Action,” “Snow Money”) but the who’s who production team put together a wide array of heaters for Bun to flip his couplets over. There are a lot of features, but that’s less of an issue for established artists than newbies attempting to carve out a niche.
The bottom line is it’s good, not great but definitely worth the funds for Buns fans. If you haven’t liked him for the last 20 years, this album won’t change that. However, I’m sure flipping the script to acquire new fans is the last thing on Mr. B’s mind. He’s already a legend in this game and Trill OG does a good job of echoing that sentiment.
Bun B Feat. T-Pain-”Trillionaire”
out of 5
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