Chad Lamont Butler (December 29, 1973 – December 4, 2007), better known by his stage name Pimp C, was an American rapper, singer, and producer from Port Arthur, Texas. He was best known for his work with Bun B as a founding member of the legendary rap group, Underground Kingz (UGK).

Initially Butler and Bernard “Bun B” Freeman were apart of a rap group called 4 Black Ministers. When two members left the group for personal reasons Pimp C and Bun B formed the Underground Kingz (colloquially known as UGK). In 1987, Jive Records signed UGK, making them the first southern rap group to secure a major record deal. That same year they released Too Hard To Swallow, followed by the critically acclaimed Super Tight. The group’s third album, Ridin’ Dirty, reached #2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. UGK’s fourth album, Dirty Money, was released in 2001.

As one of the most respected groups in hiphop, the group was featured on popular singles “Big Pimpin” by Jay-Z and “Sippin On Some Syrup” by Three 6 Mafia in 2000. Pimp C is also highly regarded for his production style. His signature sound dubbed “Country Rap Tunes” featured singing and live instrumentation combined with 808 snares and kicks. His production work was commissioned by many artists and has continued to influence contemporary hiphop culture and artists such as T.I., A$AP Rocky, David Banner and Cory Mo.

In January 2002, Pimp C was sentenced to eight years in prison for violating his probation stemming from an earlier aggravated assault charge. His arrest was widely protested by the hip-hop community. In an effort to keep his name alive, Bun B initiated a grassroots “Free Pimp C” campaign. The campaign helped push Pimp’s name to new heights. While in prison, Rap-A-Lot Records released Sweet James Jones Stories in 2005, most of which consisted of unreleased freestyle recordings. The album peaked at #3 on the US Rap charts.

Pimp C spent the later portion of his sentence at the Terrell Unit in Brazoria County, Texas and was transferred to the Huntsville Unit a week prior to his release. On December 30, 2005, Pimp C was released from prison and placed on parole until December 2007. In 2006 he released his next solo project PIMPALATION on Rap-A-Lot/Asylum records. The album is certified gold and peaked at #1 on the US Rap charts.

Due to Butler’s incarceration in 2002, UGK would not release another studio album until 2007′s Underground Kingz, which included the hit “International Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)”, featuring Outkast and produced DJ Paul and Juicy J. The video was awarded Video of the Year at the 2008 annual BET Hip-Hop awards. “…Players Anthem” was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 2008.

On December 4, 2007, Pimp C was found dead in his hotel room in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles County Coroner, Butler suffered respiratory depression due to an overdose of promethazine and codeine coupled with a preexisting sleep apnea condition.

His legacy has continued to flourish, he is remembered as the King Of Trill. His music embodies messages of quality, integrity, safe sex and above all being TRILL (true to yourself and real with the people that support you.) His contributions to hiphop and popular culture are undeniable. Today his legacy lives on through his children and his Estate, managed by his widow Chinara Butler. His business endeavors include posthumous guest appearances on some of the biggest records of 2013 and a mired of officially licensed products.

 

 

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