Is Bun B's Trill OG Really Worth The Source's Highest Rating?
Ed. Note: Unlike The Source, Houston Press style abbreviates "microphone" as "mike."
Bun B's Trill OG has become the first hip-hop album to earn 5 mikes in The Source since 2005. In case you haven't picked up a copy of the magazine since the Clinton administration, here's a breakdown of its designations: 1 mike = Totally Wack; 2 mikes = Needs Work; 2.5 mikes =Average; 3 mikes = Worth Checking Out; 3.5 mikes = Above Average; 4 mikes = Bangin'; 4.5 mikes = Superior; 5 mikes = A Hip-Hop Classic.
That's right, 5 mikes = Classic. Back in the day, a 5-mike rating would have people going "w00t!" These days, you tell an average hip-hop fan that Trill OG got 5 mikes and they'll respond with a blank stare, followed by "The Source is still around?"
Anywho, we'll pretend that the year is 1996 and The Source is the No. 1 rap rag in the business. Now let's compare Trill OG with the five previous 5-mike albums and see how it stacks up.
The Naked Truth will go down in history as the most dubious 5-mike album ever. There were rumors that one of Kim's associates had to give up some booty to a Source editor in exchange for this rating. Musically, Trill OG is superior to The Naked Truth. This wasn't even Kim's best album. Get the fuck outta here with those mikes.
Advantage: Trill OG
Scarface is one of the greatest storytellers in the game. His heightened spiritual awareness and ominous street tales on The Fix made this a street masterpiece. Ghetto gospel for the non-believers, if you will. With Mike Dean, The Neptunes and a young Kanye West behind the boards, 'Face updated his sound without compromising those intriguingly murky rhymes.
Trill OG's uneven soundscapes sound ordinary in comparison to the shimmering production on The Fix. (Trivia: Scarface leads all Dirty South rappers with a total of three 5-mike albums.)
Advantage: The Fix
In hindsight, Stillmatic isn't quite as classic-y as The Source thought it was. Some of the beats were dated and the B-side lacks replay value. Still, it boasts one of the greatest disses in hip-hop history, as well as some of the best rhymes Nas has ever conjured.
It definitely brought back some artifacts of ol'-skool rap - BDP samples, the art of the rap battle and DJ Premier. Stillmatic is several notches ahead of Trill OG in quality of rhymes and innovation (Nas did "Rewind" backwards for fuck's sake).