It's been just over a year since Pimp C passed away, closing the door on the long, tumultuous and sadly underrated career of Port Arthur, Texas hip hop icons UGK and leaving surviving member Bun B to soldier on for their legacy. And though Bun was typically at his best with Pimp C's sharp, guttural sneer to counterbalance his slick-talking verbal agility, his first solo album since Pimp's passing, this year's II Trill (Rap-A-Lot), is one of the more consistently great rap records of the year. He's one of those MCs who can talk about his 9mm-wielding, candy-paint hustle on one track ("Swang on 'Em") and the inequality of inner-city school funding on another ("If It Was Up II Me") with equally truthful conviction, and he deserves a special bonus for being one of the few MCs who could appear on the same track with a top-of-his-game Lil Wayne this year and not get upstaged ("Damn I'm Cold"). Like most of the shows in Scion's Live Metro series, this one'll be backed up by a live funk band -- in this case, North Hollywood's Orgone, who should be well up to the task of reproducing the slow-riding, classic Southern-style g-funk that gives Bun's drawl that extra touch of swagger. With DJ Ayres. For tickets, RSVP at http://www.scion.com/livemetro.
Mon., Dec. 15, 9:30 p.m., 2008