Classics / Canon edition of the DiS Hip-Hop Listening Club


Nice choice! Haven’t listened to this in ages but got it on now. It is all about the production for me. Enjoy Phonte and Big Pooh, but don’t like the sing-songy hooks they occasionally do that sound a bit too much like Black Star.

Whenever there’s a new post in here I find it interesting to look at Wikipedias ‘Year in Hip Hop’ to jog my memory about what I was listening to at the time, and the mix of stuff that was out there.

Couple of brilliant MF DOOM projects, loads of good nerd rap (love the Aesop Rock and Semi.Offical albums), Grime in the UK, stuff from 50 and Ja Rule that I studiously ignored, and also stuff like this, Jaylib and the Gang Starr album that were a little more rooted in the 90s stuff I loved. Never think of 2003 as a vintage year but there was a ton of brilliant albums.


been a while! looking forward to checking with some distance between the last time. i like the new phonte album from this year.


first time listening to this, kind of have a weird dismissive thing about artists that go out of their way to sound like they came from an earlier era but nonetheless, this is good. the rapping is solid despite the occasional preachiness, the production is good, very pete rock I think (might just be because that troy sample is in my head now?). listened to it a couple of times and there’s not really been any single track that has leapt out at me, but enjoyed the album as a whole. suspect the radio show gimmick might get tiresome on repeat listenings though


their minstrel show was album of the year in hip hop connection, glad you picked this one because had not heard and really like it, maybe denser production. don’t think the music is particularly old-timey, sounds similar to the soul-y stuff Kanye was doing at that time. the sing-songy rapping is arguably ahead of its time- drake sounds a lot like phonte to me, especially on ‘away from me’. some of the lyrics are for sure corny old style


Total newcomer to this album but I must have listened to it about 10 times this week. Golden classic hip-hop, and it sounds phenomenal. Lyrical content and delivery mostly excellent even if the typical cringeworthy prejudices rear their head too.

Suspect I’ll be listening to this for years and years to come, so a genuine thank you for the introduction.


agreed, never heard this before but I love it


Ah glad you’re enjoying it! As nice as it is for the old fans to revisit, this thread was also made with the hope that some of us would be introduced to a new favourite so I’m chuffed if there’s some new UGK fans :smiley:


What’s their next best album to try?


Super Tight is very much in a similar vein and to be honest, it changes from day to day which album I prefer between that and Ridin’ Dirty.

Underground Kingz is just a tad too long to recommend as the next step but once you’re already an established fan, it’s one of raps best double albums… and of course it has :heart_eyes::heart_eyes:


Thanks @littlebirds ! Just loading up Ridin’ Dirty again :ok_hand:t2:


Had The Listening on a couple of times. Love this record and between this, The Minstrel Show and Foreign Exchange’s Connected these guys can be pretty proud about what they achieved. All low key classics for me. Phonte is a decent rapper and his singing ability sets him out from the boom bap crowd a bit. Bits of his latest album hint towards directions where he could still be relevant in the rap landscape today. Rapper Big Pooh wouldn’t have a career without 9th but he’s pleasant to listen to.

As everyone says, the production is the major selling point. Like a warm bath the whole way through, or like the memories of a sunny afternoon chilling with a bunch of mates digging through a crate of old soul records. Love the way he chops, clips and layers his samples. Seems he’s had some renewed interest in his production with credits like those on DAMN. and Malibu. Let’s hope he continues to work with some more interesting new voices than make another album with Murs (as good as the first one is, no one needed half a dozen of them).

Over time I’ve come to prefer The Minstrel Show. For me it just has a bit more character, playfulness and pop sensibility. But yah both records are lovely.


Also from 2003 and will resonate well with Little Brother fans :wink:


More related listening


The lack of an uncensored version of it on Spotify has prevented me from going back to it properly. It’s irksome.


Think this album really hits a comfortable stride in the middle section.


i’ve got an extra room for you if you want to come out to the states strictly to listen to this album uncensored.


absolutely super tight


Ridin’ Dirty is a big classic, very happy to see it get a nod.

Never listened to The Listening before, got the two albums that followed both of which I like but don’t love. Going to give this a fair hearing this week and report back


Sorry team I was gonna post the pick yesterday but some stuff went down at work. I will post the next pick next wednesday and give everyone an extra week to catch up.