Five years passed between 1996's Ridin' Dirty and 2001's Dirty Money, and in rap, that is an eternity. Rap tastes can easily change from one year to the next, which is why a lot of talented MCs have watched their popularity fade after only two or three albums. At any rate, Dirty Money has no problem picking up where Ridin' Dirty left off; UGK's lyrics are as decadent as ever. In the '90s, the Texas duo epitomized the Dirty South school of rap, and this 2001 release indicates that Pimp C and his partner aren't about to tone down their off-color approach; UGK's music is still a totally unapologetic celebration of promiscuous sex, marijuana, money, and jewelry. In other words, it is exactly the type of album that critics of hardcore rap love to hate. None of the lyrics on Dirty Money are groundbreaking -- the album's subject matter has been covered time and time again by West Coast gangsta rappers and G-funksters as well as UGK's Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Louisiana colleagues in the Dirty South arena. But while UGK's themes were never innovative, the Texans have usually had interesting ways of getting their points across, and that holds true on Dirty Money. The Texans still have clever ways of delivering their sex/money/jewelry/drugs mantra. Another thing that makes the CD memorable is the production; UGK's sleek, keyboard-driven tracks are, for the most part, as interesting as their Texas-fried rapping style. Dirty Money falls short of superb, but those who aren't offended by explicit lyrics will find it to be an enjoyable, entertaining slice of Dirty South rap that is good for some cheap thrills.
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