Bun B closes his Trill series superbly: “It’s over, it’s over!” Why you ask? “‘Cause the best is back… b**ch!” That’s right, veteran MC Bun B has released the fourth effort of his Trill series, Trill O.G.: The Epilogue, which follows Trill (2005), II Trill (2008) and Trill O.G. (2010). The highest profiled effort of the series was Trill, which arrived at a time when there was a resurgence in Texas’s rap scene. Bun B’s impact commercially as a solo artist was never huge, but B remains an important fixture in hip-hop history and as a collaborator in my eyes. Trill O.G.: The Epilogue is by no means ‘the second coming’, but it is a a well conceived rap album by all means.
Opener “The Best is Back” lives up to its titular bravado as well as Bun B’s consistency as an MC. Initiating with incredible confidence on the intro (“Guess who’s back in the mother f*ckin’ house? / the King of the trill b**ch, you guessed it…”), vet Bun B easily back up his ‘trash talk’. He certainly ‘goes off’, including memorable moments such as “Ladies and gentlemen, you already know that it’s him again / lettin’ ‘em hang, non-feminine, crunk like I’m gone off Ritalin / chopped off top, there’s no middle and throwed on that load again…” He confirms his rap royalty status on the hook: “Guess who’s back? Me / There’s no competition…shut ‘em down / hurt-hurtin’ boys / it’s over, it’s over / cause the best is back b**ch.” Unapologetic, further inspired by banging, malicious production work, Bun’s on autopilot.
“Cake” doesn’t let up off the gas, featuring his late, great UGK partner Pimp C on the catchy, electrifying hook: “Boss get cash money, smokin’ the vapors / don’t chase the cake, chase the paper / them thighs come with that shake / b**ch in yo mind, ho I got cake…”. In that old-school, lush and luxurious rap style (produced by Big K.R.I.T.), “Cake” is certainly a gem. Bun B continues to flex his rap muscles – what else does he have to lose? “When I see you lickin’ your lips, you wanna blow my whistle / but I got that harmonica, you can play it like Stevie / they say that pimpin’ ain’t easy, man it is if you be me.” Now that’s O.G. Throw in sound guest verses from Lil Boosie (“I get cash in duffle bags, I don’t chase the cake / let ‘em ride, get ‘em high as I pay for cake…”) and Big K.R.I.T. (“The type of dick that run a chick some sh*t that she could bill for … I break her off ‘cause she bring it back to daddy”), and “Cake” is among the album’s best.
“Fire” caps off an exceptional trio of cuts for Bun. Serani covers the hook: “When the heat is on we burn hotter than fire / people will burn up on, we burn hotter than fire / turn my enemies to dust, burn them up with fire / whether life or death, guess we’re far from fire”. Following a similar format to “Cake”, Bun B sets the tone on the first verse (“Mother f*cker beware ‘til I retire or expire / cyanide in them, know that we are coming with more fire…”), while Rick Ross and 2 Chainz lend their ‘expertise’ on the second and third verses. The results? Top-notch, did you really expect anything less?
“No Competition” continues consistency, featuring Raekwon and Kobe. The sound cut doesn’t achieve the same grandeur as the opening trio, but it certainly gives up little quality. Bun B excels as he compares himself to everybody and their brother: “…I am Mike Jordan, Mike Tyson, Mike Phelps / Michelangelo with the flow bro and the mic helps / Ha! The mic stealth, that’s for the mikes health…” As always, Raekwon is nothing short of a ‘beast’. Pimp C once more plays a vital role, even if it is posthumously on “Don’t Play With Me”. Solid, I prefer its follow-up “Gladiator” (featuring Truck Buck), which is dedicated to the late MC. The truly gladiator-fueled lyric? “They thought it was over, they thought that I was done / they said I wouldn’t last, I’m the last one / I’m “Still Standing” like the Goodie to the Mo-B / In a black hoodie, it’s the O.G., you know me.” Riled up, Bun B definitely lives up to his ‘gladiator’ status.
Bun B ‘don’t play’ with another all-star cast on “Stop Playin’”, which brings in Redman and Royce Da 5’9”. Brash with no bullshit, the tail-end of the hook best sums up this number: “… it’s not the sh*t you say, it’s the sh*t you not saying / you know better, show better, step it up and stop playing / stop playing”. Hard as ever, both Redman and Royce Da 5’9” accentuate the edgy MC. Kirko Bangz adds some ‘R&B swag’ on “Triller”, though with plenty of bite as he proclaims to be a “mother f*cking killer / H-Tow in this b**ch / and you know it’s for real.” As for Bun B he spits nothing but truth: “P***y n***as need to stay off in they lane / sitting sidlines, want to quarterback the game / backseat drivers get to taking too much / but now when I’m around, cause they know they get touched…” Well, at least we know who’s “triller”.
What’s better than two bangers in a roll? Three! “Dippin’ & Swervin’” is arguably the strongest of the three, giving Bun B something even the younger generation can bump. I mean, what wrong with B “…dippin’ through the city, fresh fitted on my dome / comin’ down candy and I”m sittin’ on chrome…”? Additionally, his “pockets stay swollen, money [he] be holdin’…” He follows up the freshness with the smooth “On One” (featuring Devin the Dude and Gator Main), which favors “Cake”. It’s not as polished mind you, but it’s solid. Penultimate cut “The Legendary DJ Screw” is more notable, featuring numerous guest MC’s and paying ode to DJ Screw. The closer “Bye!” could’ve been scrapped, but I suppose Bun B wanted to make sure you know what it is and who makes it do… or something OG and illy like that. LOL.
Ultimately, Trill O.G.: The Epilogue is a solid close to the Trill series as well as a close to a chapter of Bun B’s career. Save for the questionably included final cut, …The Epilogue is incredibly enjoyable and consistent. It may not woo or compel the new generation of hip-hop fans, but this effort should certainly please Bun B, UGK fans, and the old-school.
“The Best is Back”; “Cake”; “Fire”; “Gladiator”; “Dippin’ & Swervin’”
Bun B | Trill O.G.: The Epilogue| Rap-A-Lot | US Release Date: November 11, 2013