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Pimp C was a pivotal hip hop artist from Port Arthur, Texas who formed the iconic duo UGK with Bun B. With his distinctive vocal style and pioneering production, Pimp C played a key role in cementing Southern rap’s identity and paving the way for future generations of Texas rappers.

Introduction

Pimp C was born Chad Lamont Butler on December 29, 1973 in Port Arthur, Texas. Alongside partner Bun B, Pimp C formed the seminal duo UGK (Underground Kingz) in the late 1980s. With their gritty lyrical realism and funky beats, UGK rose to prominence and helped put Texas hip hop on the map.

Tragically, Pimp C passed away on December 4, 2007 at age 33 due to an accidental overdose of codeine and promethazine. But in his short career, the rapper left a huge legacy through genre-defining albums like Super Tight and timeless tracks like “Big Pimpin’”. With his distinctive vocal flow, producer ear, and commitment to Southern roots, Pimp C pushed the sound of Houston hip hop forward and inspired the next generation like no one else.

Discography

With Bun B as UGK:

  • Too Hard to Swallow (1992) – Debut album, Southern hip hop classic
  • Super Tight (1994) – Breakthrough album featuring hits like “Pocket Full of Stones”
  • Ridin’ Dirty (1996) – Magnum opus featuring “Big Pimpin'”
  • Dirty Money (2001)
  • Underground Kingz (2007) – First album after 6 year gap, featured hit “International Players Anthem (I Choose You)”

Solo Studio Albums:

  • The Sweet James Jones Stories (2005)
  • Pimpalation (2006)
  • The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones (2010) – Released posthumously

Notable Collaborations and Features:

  • Producing tracks for Jay-Z like “Big Pimpin'” and “C.F.W.U.”
  • “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” with Three 6 Mafia
  • “Gamblin'” with Raekwon
  • “Like a Pimp” with David Banner

Musical Style and Influences

Pimp C was known for his deep, resonant vocal tone that commanded attention and exuded Southern swagger. As a producer, his beats were built on funky, soulful samples and bluesy melodies reflective of his Texas roots.

Pimp C was heavily influenced by fellow Southern rappers like Scarface and Outkast, who inspired his down-home flavor. His production style – dense and melodic – helped shape Southern hip hop alongside fellow pioneers like Mannie Fresh.

Lyrically, Pimp C touched on quintessential Southern themes and tropes – hustling, pimping, cars, and drugs. But he always gave it a thoughtful spin, highlighting systemic inequality in the process. His words demanded respect.

Collaborations

Throughout his storied career, Pimp C worked with hip hop heavyweights far and wide:

  • Bun B as UGK – legendary partner dating back to childhood. Their chemistry built the Port Arthur sound.
  • Jay-Z – produced his smash “Big Pimpin’” and appeared on “C.F.W.U.”
  • Three 6 Mafia on “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” – definitive Southern anthem
  • Tupac Shakur – linked up before Pac’s death on unreleased tracks
  • Tech N9ne on “Cocaine” – Midwest/Texas all-star collaboration
  • Raekwon of Wu-Tang on “Gamblin'” – joined East and South rap royalty
  • David Banner on “Like a Pimp” – two pillars of the Dirty South
  • Slim Thug on “3 in the Mornin'” – brought out Boss Hogg in the next generation
  • Outkast on the remix of “International Players Anthem” – Andre 3000 cited Pimp as an influence

Touring and Performances

As UGK and solo, Pimp C toured extensively bringing his lively showmanship worldwide:

  • Packed hometown shows in Texas – legendary sets in Austin and Houston
  • Multiple runs on the Warped Tour from 1997-2004 – bringing hardcore Southern rap to rock crowds
  • Europe/UK tours in 2001 and 2007 – showed international appeal
  • Rock the Bells festival in 2006 – iconic hip hop festival
  • Appeared on 2005’s Scream Tour headlined by Omarion
  • Sets at the world-famous House of Blues venues in LA, New Orleans, and Vegas
  • Performed hits at BET Awards 2008 just months before passing
  • Posthumous celebrations like Bun B’s “Long Live the Pimp” tribute show in NYC 2008

Even after his death, Pimp C’s music lives on in fiery live performances by Southern successors.

Personal Life

  • Born Chad Lamont Butler in 1973 in Port Arthur, TX.
  • Childhood friends with partner Bun B – bonded over music.
  • Married wife Chinara Butler in 2002, had son named Chad Butler Jr.
  • Struggled with addiction – spent time incarcerated on drug charges in 2000s.
  • Died tragically young on December 4, 2007 at age 33 from overdose.
  • Survived by wife, son, mother and siblings – brother Ricky was also a rapper.
  • Remembered for humor and showmanship on stage. Big, bold personality.

Pimp C poured his hopes, wisdom, and weaknesses into his relatable music before his life was sadly cut short.

Net Worth

Pimp C accrued an estimated net worth of $3 million during his career stemming from:

  • Music sales – As UGK, Pimp moved over 5 million records independently.
  • Solo album earnings later in his career.
  • Production work and credits for Jay-Z, Too $hort and others.
  • Extensive touring over 2 decades – UGK performed nonstop from the 1990s onward.
  • Feature money – made up to $30k per guest verse at his peak.
  • Merchandise and clothing brand – launched “Pimp C No Prisonwear” line.

Despite periods of financial strife and incarceration, Pimp C carved out a respectable net worth and hip hop empire.

Legacy

Pimp C leaves a monumental legacy on Southern hip hop and Texas rap through:

  • Founding UGK, the seminal Port Arthur duo who pioneered the region’s sound.
  • Crafting the identifiable Southern production style – dense, funky, melodic.
  • Earning status as an elder statesman and mentor for next generations of Texas artists.
  • Hits like “Big Pimpin’” and “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” which boosted Southern rap’s popularity nationwide.
  • Mashing up blues, funk, DJ scratching, and pimptalk into his innovative sound.
  • Fearless incorporation of social commentary into his lyrics, demanding justice.
  • Passion for keeping Southern rap independent and artist-owned.
  • High-profile collaborations uniting scenes, eras, and styles.
  • Directing 106 & Park, amplifying new Southern voices.

Though gone too soon, Pimp C’s legacy echoes from Port Arthur to the nation and beyond through his iconic music and impact on the culture.