If you want to talk about bittersweet, this posthumous album begins with the voice of the late great Pimp C himself, proudly declaring that this is his real debut solo album, as the other two were put together while he was in prison. The Pimp didn’t get to finish The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones before he passed, so this final version arrives courtesy of executive producers/Rap-A-Lot president J. Prince and the Pimp’s wife, Chinara Butler, along with a well-chosen set of guest stars. Some tracks sound entirely Pimp, like the street-life soul number “Love 2 Ball” which features a Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling reference, plus a beat from UGK’s secret weapon, producer Steve Below. Other cuts sound more like their guest stars with “What Up?” sounding like a cousin to the flashy style one might associate with Drake, while “Midnight” is the kind of slick-and-thug hybrid you’d expect when crossing the styles of Rick Ross and producer David Banner. The highlights are numerous, the rotating vocalists keep things interesting, and the UGK for Life spirit is present throughout. The Naked Soul winds up sounding like a mixtape of the Pimp’s unreleased features, but for anyone who sported a “Free Pimp C” T-shirt back in the day, that’s still a desirable proposition.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries