Pimp C in mid-2006.
|Chad Lamont Butler|
December 29, 1973|
Crowley, Louisiana, U.S.
December 4, 2007 (aged 33)|
West Hollywood, California, U.S.
Chad Lamont Butler (December 29, 1973 - December 4, 2007), better known by his stage name Pimp C, was an American rapper and record producer. He was best known for his work with Bun B as a founding member of the Underground Kingz (UGK).
Butler formed the rap group Underground Kingz (colloquially known as UGK) with best friend Bernard "Bun B" Freeman in 1987 in Port Arthur, Texas. In 1991, Jive Records signed UGK and 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, and their momentum was continued with features on the popular singles "Big Pimpin'" with Jay-Z and "Sippin' on Some Syrup" by Three 6 Mafia. UGK's fourth album, Dirty Money, was distributed in 2001. Due to Butler's incarceration in 2002, UGK would not release another studio album until 2007's Underground Kingz, which included the hit "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)", featuring Outkast.
In January 2002, Pimp C was sentenced to eight years in prison for violating his probation by ignoring his sentence to community service stemming from an earlier aggravated assault charge. His arrest was widely protested by the hip hop community, who along with Bun B, immediately initiated a grassroots "Free Pimp C" campaign. While Pimp C was in prison, Rap-A-Lot Records released The Sweet James Jones Stories in 2005, most of which consisted of unreleased freestyle recordings.
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.
On July 11, 2006, Pimp C released his second studio album, Pimpalation.
Pimp C was found dead in a hotel in West Hollywood, California, on December 4, 2007, 26 days before his 34th birthday. The coroner's report ruled that his death was accidental. The cause of death was attributed to the effects of promethazine and codeine in conjunction with other factors that remain unknown. Promethazine and codeine are active ingredients in a recreational drug called "syrup" or "purple drank" that Pimp C, like many other Southern rappers, referred to in his music. It has been conjectured that these drugs exacerbated his existing breathing problems: Pimp C was known to suffer from sleep apnea. The funeral was held at the Bob Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur, Texas on December 13, 2007. Port Arthur Mayor Deloris Prince, Pimp C's mother Weslyn Monroe, and Bun B were among the speakers at the service.
Bun B continues to pay tribute to Pimp C through his music, including the tracks "You're Everything" and "Pop It 4 Pimp" on his 2008 album II Trill. Bun B released the final UGK album, UGK 4 Life, in 2009.