The Life and Legacy of Pimp C
Pimp Pimp, Hooray! Pimp Pimp, Hooray! Let the choir and congregation be seated as we all gather around and give homage to the late and great Pimp C himself. Chu’ch!
In his short time here on earth, Pimp C did wonders for the rap game. He, and fellow UGK member Bun B, produced a new sound in a time when we heard nothing but New York swag. The southern drawl creeped up out of Texas like a shiny, new, candy-coated Cadillac with clean white walls. This broke down barriers and opened doors for artists all across the south, many of which we enjoy today. Much of the slang we’ve all come to know and love can be attributed to the pimp (sippin syrup, swangin, trill, etc.) and let’s not forget about the fur coats and mouth full of gold. He introduced us to the extravagant lifestyle of pimping in its truest essence: maximizing what you’ve got in order to make something out of nothing.
UGK debuted out of Port Arthur, Texas in 1987 and became signed to Jive in 1991. A few years later, their third album, Ridin’ Dirty, reached #2 on Billboard’s charts. The tipping point came when the swang of the south combined with the swag of the north and the group released the legendary single “Big Pimpin” featuring Jay-Z. The new wave had begun, and it was hard to miss. Although Pimp C was arrested in 2002 for violating parole on assault charges this did not slow his motion down. He was released in 2005 and immediately swept the scene. Upon his return to rap, he set out an effort to join the forces of the biggest names in Texas. He put an end to feuding from new artists such as Paul Wall and Chamillionaire in hopes of making peace and using music to change lives. In an amazing show of serendipity, while recording their video for “The International Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)” featuring Outkast, nearly every large southern rapper came to the shoot in order to show their love and support – we see faces like T-Pain, 8 Ball, MJG, David Banner, and a collection of others. It would seem the pimp had unified the south.
Though much speculation has surrounded the death of Pimp C it has been officially reported that he died of a combination of sleep apnea and drug overdose from codeine syrup, otherwise known as “lean.” He has been greatly missed; the final UGK album “UGK Forever” is chock full of smooth classics and a post mortem album “Long Live The Pimp” was released in December of 2015. His influence on hip-hop can still be heard through the voices of artists such as T.I., A$AP Rocky, and Lil Wayne, so he’s not truly gone. I guess he’s whipping white walls in an all-white fur coat, in an all-white cloud, surrounded by all-white angels, looking down saying, “They said Free Pimp C, now you see the pimp free.”