In an interview with friend and mentee Samaan Ashrawi on his podcast The Nostalgia Mixtape, Houston’s own Bun B recounted various stories about his lengthy and historic career through five songs. One was the 713 classic “Check On It,” when the rapper linked forces with Beyoncé and Slim Thug. As hip-hop-N-More notes out, the Trill OG discloses on the podcast how Jay-Z decided to kick him and Slim Thug out of the video shoot for “Check On It” for no reason other than Bey’s revealing outfit.
It’s a New York thing.” You can see a lot of women in revealing dresses in the video we’re doing right now because we’re on set filming it. Queenie is there also, so it’s not like I’m there salivating over another woman,” Bun adds, noting his wife’s presence during the shoot. Our initial reaction was one of shock and disbelief. Beyoncé’s dancing in this short skirt and she’s dancing in like a bikini,’ type of stuff, you know.”
Chad Mathew Lamont Butler, best known as Pimp C, was an American rapper and record producer who died on December 4th, 2007. When he and Bun B formed the hip hop combo Underground Kingz, he gained worldwide fame (UGK).
UGK released their major-label debut album Too Hard to Swallow in 1992 after signing with Jive Records. Both of the group’s subsequent Billboard 200-charting albums, Super Tight (1994) and Ridin’ Dirty (1996), were major label debuts. The trio earned national fame in 2000 after being featured on Jay-hit Z’s single “Big Pimpin'”, which peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Rhythmic Top 40.
The group went on hiatus for the early half of the 2000s after Pimp C was sentenced to eight years in prison for a probation violation. During this time both members pursued solo careers, with Pimp C releasing his solo debut, The Sweet James Jones Stories, in 2005, comprising of material recorded before his incarceration.
His second solo album Pimpalation was released in 2006 after his release from prison in December 2005. “International Players Anthem (I Choose You)” by UGK, featuring OutKast, peaked at #70 on the Billboard Hot 100 upon the release of their self-titled fifth studio album in 2007.
Chad Lamont Butler was born December 29, 1973, in Crowley, Louisiana, but was raised in Port Arthur, Texas. As the only child of Charleston and Wesley “Mama Wes” Butler Jacob Monroe, Butler grew up to be a successful businessman. As a result of his prematurity and other health difficulties, Butler’s legs were born with an abnormal curvature that required braces to correct. He also had to be pushed up when he slept owing to intestinal difficulties. After a particularly bad case of pinkeye, his vision had gotten so bad that he was virtually blind. Butler was also hospitalized nine times as a child with pneumonia.
As the son of a trumpet player, Butler had an interest in music since childhood: “I come from a classical background, I brought up singing Italian sonnets, Negro spirituals, and crap of that nature.” Even before studying musical notation in school, he learnt to play various instruments by ear, including piano, trumpet, drums and flugelhorn. As one critic put it, “His voice is as liable to hit you in the face as it is to serenade you a love ballad.” Influenced by Run-DMC, he started synthesizing rhythms to rap over after acquiring a drum machine and keyboard one Christmas.
Career in Music
Butler formed the rap duo Underground Kingz (commonly referred to as UGK) with their closest buddy Bernard “Bun B” Freeman in 1987 in Port Arthur, Texas. Initially affiliated to independent label Big Tyme Recordz, the duo released two EPs, The Southern Way and Banned, in 1992 to minor local success, which lead to the group being signed to Jive Records later that year.
When they signed with Jive in November, they released their first album as a big label, Too Hard to Swallow, which reached the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at number 37. To both critical and financial success, UGK’s 1994 follow-up, Super Tight, debuted at number 95 on the Billboard 200 and number nine on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. When UGK released their third studio album Ridin’ Dirty, it went to number two on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number fifteen on the Billboard 200. It was widely acclaimed critically and commercially, selling 850,000 copies worldwide.
Hiatus and National Attention (1996–2001)
After taking a short vacation from music in the late 1990s, UGK resurfaced in 2000, appearing on Jay-mega Z’s hit single “Big Pimpin'”, which peaked at #18 on the Billboard 200, as well as “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” by Three 6 Mafia, which peaked at #30 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Both of these collaborations considerably elevated the duo’s notoriety and helped build anticipation for their future effort. Unfortunately, Jive Records did not take advantage of the renewed interest in UGK, releasing their fourth album, Dirty Money in 2001 with little to no promotion.
A Decade in Prison and a Solitary Career
After Pimp C was sentenced to eight years in prison in August 2002, UGK was once again forced to go on hiatus, which led to both members pursuing solo careers. It was not until March 2005 that Pimp C’s first studio album, The Sweet James Jones Stories, was released, which featured tracks that had been recorded before he was arrested.
After being released from prison in December 2005, Pimp C released his second solo studio album Pimpalation in July 2006 which peaked at #3 on the US Billboard 200 and topped the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Butler had been working on new music and performing with Too $hort while living at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California, in the early days of December 2007. On the morning of December 4, 2007, he was set to travel back home, where his wife, Chinara, was waiting with his cousin Ed at the airport to pick him up.
After not hearing from him the morning before the scheduled flight, his wife called the hotel and requested that they check on him. Hotel personnel discovered Butler unresponsive in his hotel room, where he was pronounced dead shortly after. He was 25 days away from his 34th birthday.
The coroner’s report purportedly determined that his death was unintentional, attributing it to the effects of Butler’s extensive consumption of “purple drank”, a combination of codeine and promethazine, in conjunction with his pre-existing condition of sleep apnea. Purple drank was a common lyrical allusion for Pimp C, as it was for many of his contemporaries in the South.
According to DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia, he got a call from Pimp C’s manager, Rick Martin, who brought him the news. “He was laying down like he was praying but there was blood everywhere like he was shot,” said DJ Paul about Pimp C’s body in the hotel room. They felt he was shot in the head, but they didn’t know what the hell occurred because there was blood everywhere.
When they arrived, they discovered that he had been shot. They found him knelt in prayer, his candles completely extinguished, and they knew he’d been dead for at least a day because he always lighted them before going to bed. He lighted those large tall lights and they had been burnt down thus he probably was dead for a while. We did the song “Rest In Peace” and that was the last song he recorded