EDITORIAL: Long Live The Pimp (Five Years Later The Legacy Of Pimp C)
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the passing of hip-hop legend Chad “Pimp C” Butler. As a member of UGK with Port Arthur, TX native Bun B, the duo helped create a blueprint for what southern hip-hop should sound like.
Refusing to make generic music sell records, they stayed true to themselves and created timeless music for future generations to consume. While Bun is universally considered the better rapper, Pimp C was no slouch and was the mastermind behind their production. The way he would use organs on some of the group’s records, it made them seem like they were rap pastors spitting the gospel of the projects. Maybe it isn’t so ironic that the group’s original name was 4 Black Ministers. The person that inspired him put soul in his music was his step-father. In an interview Butler did with Fader Magazine in 2006, the former boss of Trill Entertainment said “He told me put some music and that was one of the best things he coulda told me, cause that’s what I did and it worked, man. It worked for us at least. That’s where I get the organ influence, the live bass and the live guitar and the real acoustic pianos and shit like that. That’s where I get the way I make music cause I always remember what he told me.”
The Legacy of Pimp C explored after the break.
A perfect example C’s musical talent is the Big Mike record “Havin’ Thangs” where Butler did the beat and sang the hook.
What resonated with me the most about Pimp C is that he seemed that he made a conscious effort to be more cocky and braggadocious member but he always gave you both sides of the story instead just glorifying the streets. One song that showcase’s this skill is “Diamonds and Wood” on the legendary 1996 album Ridin’ Dirty.
On his second verse, he kicks the rhymes “My conscience fuck wit’ me so much that I can’t eat or sleep/ The other side of sellin’ dope, and out there runnin’ the streets/ And even though I’m gainin’ street fame, comin’ from this rap game/Lustful thinkin’ and compulsive drinkin’ is a normal thang/
Some get erased and misplaced, tryin’ to win the race.”
Unfortunately, Butler never got the chance to do a proper solo album. The first record with Pimp C’s name on it only was the 2006 Sweet James Jones Stories. It was released while he was incarcerated and was previously unreleased records that were fixed up to make a profit off of the publicity he was getting. The second was a compilation titled Pimpalation that was recorded after he was out of jail. Either way, his legacy is solid and was he truly was an original artist who helped make hip-hop a better place.