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Bun B Keeps It Trill But Loses Some Energy On ‘Trill OG: The Epilogue’

It’s often said that hip-hop is no country for old men. It’s a statement that’s been put to the test this year as more and more of rap’s biggest stars have started to grow old with grace, releasing albums that touch on the importance of legacy while still trying to forge new ground. Despite the success of projects like Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, hip-hop is still seen as a young man’s game. Whether that’s due to most rappers not being able to sustain their careers past an “all gold” single, or because the genre is intrinsically skewed towards younger audiences, or both, it’s a discussion that a college professor might be able to get to the bottom of. Maybe someone like Bun B.

The part-time distinguished lecturer at Rice University, UGK legend, and full-time gate-keeper to all things Texas and hip-hop, recently tied up his four-part installment of the Trill-titled album series with his latest release Trill O.G.: The Epilogue. And while it’s impossible for anyone who appreciates hip-hop to say anything negative about Bun’s immeasurable legacy as a truly influential and original Southern artist, as a project, Trill O.G.: The Epilogue leaves much to be desired.

Sonically speaking, the production and feel of this album doesn’t differ very much from what listeners have been getting on the past couple Bun projects. In large part, that’s due to familiar, yet talented, faces like Big E and Steve Below, who work well with Bun’s signature voice, flow and delivery. Though the three have worked wonders in the past, the new album offers little in terms of evolving a sound that was already beginning to lose traction over some of Bun’s previous efforts. There’s a disappointing lack of cohesiveness and consistency to The Epilogue, something that was so admirable about Bun’s UGK days and even his earlier step-out-on-the-scene solo projects. The two biggest highlights, other than the Big K.R.I.T.-produced and Pimp C-featured “Cake,” which sounds like Bun (and Pimp) passing KRIT the keys to the proverbial car that is Southern rap, are the few fond reminders to yesteryear like “The Legendary DJ Screw,” and “On One.”

The fact that so many of the album’s tracks are feature-heavy helps distinguish some of the otherwise-similar sounding songs, and adds to the overall playability of the project. While a lot has changed since his UGK days, and even from his first Trill album, The Epilogue does make a couple things clear: Bun B can still rap very, very well, and cares about proving it, too. While this won’t be his most successful album and probably his least memorable, it’s a welcome reminder that as a genre, hip-hop is infinitely better off with Bun B still involved. David Inkeles

  • Clondyke Classic

    like I’ve always said xxl has ZERO credibility

  • Taskforce Taylor

    c’mon son. nevermind you guys gave lil b’s mixtape a XL your reviews don’t mean shit.

  • BulletProof

    I could’ve sworn that Bun B said that this tape was mainly consisting of throw-away tracks. If that is the case XXL should have taken that into consideration, but this is XXL so its no surprise that they wouldn’t.

    • SS87

      Pretty much. I read that it’s considered a compilation and that the official album will be out in the middle of next year

  • HipHopHead999

    Bun B’s a southern rap legend. But his material is played out. Every song starts to sound the same, trap beat, monotone flow rapping about how trill he is, the money and hos he gets, and his cars.

    • Clondyke Classic

      cuz that’s what Trill niggas wanna hear him talk about.. we done heard Bun talk about everything it is to talk about now he on his OG status flow.. if you a true Bun fan you get it

      • HipHopHead999

        There’s a difference between being a true fan and a stan who worships everything he puts out. I’m a fan of Bun but I prefer his guest appearances nowadays since an entire album of the same subject with the same flow and beats once again got old. Plus he keeps working with wack rappers, if dude could just work with dope emcees I’d probably like the album a LOT more.

  • chaz

    Has anyone heard Bun B’s feature on Easy Lantana’s “All Hustle, No Luck”? It’s super dope. Can’t wait to hear whaat Lantana has in store next. This collabo is insane! http://smarturl.it/EasyLantanaRemix

  • Emily Meyer

    couldn’t have put this review better myself

  • Michael Dean

    Album never should have been released.