Pimp C was an American rapper born on December 29, 1973. He is also a songwriter and record producer who formed the famous hip-hop duo Underground Kingz (U.G.K) with Bun B. The group signed to Jive Records in 1992 and released their massively successful label-debut album “Too Hard to Swallow.” Pimp C released his solo debut in 2005, “The Sweet James Jones Stories.” Together with Bun B, the U.G.K released their fifth studio album in 2007, named after their duo, Underground Kingz. The album contained their single hit, ‘International Players Anthem (I Choose You),’ which was 70th on the Billboard Hot 100. The rapper passed away on December 4, 2007, allegedly due to complications from heavy consumption of “purple drank” and his sleep apnea. Today, we invite you to revisit this talented rapper’s story and his amazing works to celebrate his special day.
Chad Mathew Lamont Butler, widely known by his stage name Pimp C, was born in Crowley, Louisiana on December 29, 1973. He was the only child of Weslyn “Mama Wes” Butler Jacob Monroe and Charleston Butler. He grew up in Port Arthur, Texas. Because his father was a trumpet player, he found his interest in music at a young age. He was part of a choir in his teens and played several instruments at school. His earlier music was mostly influenced by the hip-hop group Run-DMC. His stepfather, Bill Monroe, encouraged him to write and make his music. Soon, he met his best friend, Bernard “Bun B” Freeman due to their shared passion for music, and formed the rap group Underground Kingz or U.G.K in 1987. The duo signed to an independent label, Big Tyme Recordz, and released two E.P.s in 1992, titled “The Southern Way” and “Banned.” Both E.P.s amassed moderate success and U.G.K later signed to Jive Records. In November 1992, they released their first major-label album, “Too Hard to Swallow.” It placed 37th on the U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. U.G.K’s next album, “Super Tight,” was released in 1994. It was both a critical and commercial success, placing 95th on the Billboard 200 and grabbing ninth place on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Their most successful album was the 1996’s “Ridin’ Dirty.” It became a runner-up on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and placed 15th on Billboard 200. Thus far, the album has sold more than 850,000 copies.
Following a brief hiatus in the late 1990s, the duo returned as a featured artist in Jay-Z’s smashing ‘Big Pimpin’ and Three 6 Mafia’s ‘Sippin’ on Some Syrup’ in 2000. U.G.K’s reputation soared sky-high after and they launched their fourth studio album, “Dirty Money,” in 2001. Unfortunately, the group had to go on hiatus once more after his arrest. He released his debut solo album, “The Sweet James Jones Stories,” in March 2005. It contains songs that he recorded before his incarceration. He released his second solo album about half a year later in July 2006, titled “Pimpalation,” which became a huge commercial success by grabbing the third spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 and peaked the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
The U.G.K reunited on August 7, 2007, and released the fifth studio album titled after their group, Underground Kingz. It debuted first on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts and the Billboard 200, featuring their universally acclaimed hit single ‘International Players Anthem (I Choose You).’ He was found dead by hotel staff in West Hollywood’s Mondrian Hotel on December 4, 2007, just a mere 25-days away from his 34th birthday. The cause of his death, according to the coroner’s report, was alleged over-consumption of “purple drank” combined with his pre-existing sleep apnea. Not long after, his body was returned to Port Arthur, Texas. His funeral was held on December 13, 2007, at the Bob Bowers Civic Center.
Butler and his best friend, Freeman, form the hip-hop duo, Underground Kingz (U.G.K), as Pimp C and Bun B.
The U.G.K releases two E.P.s and two major-label albums, finding their place on famous charts.
“Ridin’ Dirty” becomes the U.G.K’s most successful album with over 850,000 copies sold.
He releases "The Sweet James Jones Stories," his debut solo album.
He launches his second solo album, “Pimpalation,” which becomes a huge commercial success by grabbing the third spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 and peaking on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
The U.G.K releases their fifth studio album titled, “Underground Kingz,” debuting first on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts and the Billboard 200.
Why We Love Pimp C
He was a fighter
He was not the healthiest kid when he was young. He was born prematurely and had a lot of health issues, including a severe bout of pinkeye and suffering from recurrent pneumonia. However, this did not extinguish his spirit to live and pursue his passion for music.
He was a self-taught musician
He was able to play multiple instruments before he learned musical notation in school. Among them were the piano, drum, trumpets, and flugelhorn which he learned by ear. He also came from a musical background.
He was a prolific artist
Throughout his career, Butler has launched six studio albums, five compilation albums, one mixtape, two E.P.s, and 13 singles as a lead artist with U.G.K. He also released two albums and five singles as a solo artist.
5 Surprising Facts
“Purple drank” in the lyrics
He has referred to “purple drank,” the alleged cause of his death, several times in his lyrics like many other Southern rappers.
A tribute from friends
In the wake of his sudden passing, numerous rappers have paid tribute to him through their music including Bun B, Lil’ Flip, A$AP Rocky, and Megan Thee Stallion.
A speech by the mayor
Aside from Freeman and his mother, the Port Arthur Mayor, Deloris Prince, was among the speakers during his funeral.
His posthumous works
Three studio albums were released after Butler’s death: “The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones” in 2010, “Still Pimping” in 2011, and “Long Live the Pimp” in 2015.
His grand estate
When he was still alive, he had an estate in Port Arthur that was valued at $309,000.
Pimp C FAQs
Was Pimp C married?
He married his girlfriend, Chinara, in 2003 while he was still serving his prison terms.
Did Pimp C have any children?
He had two sons from his previous relationship, Chad Lamont Butler II and Dahcory Butler. He and Chinara were blessed with a daughter named Christian.
Where was Pimp C buried?
The rapper was buried in Greenlawn Memorial Park, Texas.
Pimp C’s birthday dates