Nowadays everybody is a pimp. Snoop Dogg has the pimp curls, Nelly has the pimp juice and Lil Jon has the pimp cup. Even Nick Cannon wants to be a gigolo. But there can only be one, and his name is Suga Free. With pimping as his real life job, not just an act, Suga Free has been respected and revered ever since his 1997 debut Street Gospel. Along with the legendary DJ Quik, the two have constructed classic West Coast anthems over the years, only to be ignored by the mainstream media. Now after seven long years, the king of Pomona is back with his long awaited sophomore release The New Testament: The Truth (Bungalo Records). And with DJ Quik back again for the ride, Suga Free shows no sign of rust and delivers the type of album only he is capable of producing.
For those who have never had the pleasure of hearing the Pomona pimp in action, you can expect to hear some funky production, clever wordplay and pimp slang that will have you laughing for days. And while Suga Free may not be the most creative emcee, he certainly knows how to be entertaining, and here lies the beauty of The New Testament. The album starts on the right foot with Free popping his collar over Quik's moody keys on "Why U Bullshittin Part 2". Free lets everyone know he has not gone anywhere the past seven years, even though emcees have continued to bite his style.
While the aforementioned track finds Suga Free in attack mode, most of the album sways away from such an aggressive nature and sticks to the funk Free has been known to produce. Quik's breezy Cali melody on "Thinkin" combines with Free's underrated flow and wordplay for an amazing effort. Similarly, producer Big Saccs takes a page out of Morris Day's book for "Get Loose", a captivating 80's throwback that finds Suga Free is vintage pimp mode. Speaking of Morris Day (of the Time), the legend himself lends his vocals on "She Get What She Pay Foe", a classic example how you can bridge the best of both worlds.
With DJ Quik producing most of The New Testament, satisfying production can be found throughout. However, there are a couple of production efforts that falter when Quik is not involved. Fastlanes irritating synthesizer production on "He's Pimpin' She's Hoein'" goes everywhere and nowhere all at once, making for a rather awkward effort. In addition, Crawford's plotting beat on "Just Won't Stop Talkin" fails to keep up with Free's rapid-fire flow, sounding completely misplaced.
Even though everyone is sporting a pimp cup nowadays, Suga Free is still able to separate himself from the imposters with The New Testament. His flamboyant personality and take no sh*t approach has been severely overlooked the past decade, but has always been embraced by West Coast fans. It is just time for the rest of the world to take notice. Don't fight the pimpin'.