A shining star in the Hip-Hop sky tragically went dark yesterday morning. The talented and outspoken Chad “Pimp C” Butler, one half of Texas duo UGK, was found dead in his Hollywood hotel room. He was 33. A legend in the South long before hits like Big Pimpin or the more recent International Player’s Anthem pushed him to the forefront of mainstream rap, Pimp and partner Bun-B pioneered a unique blend of hardcore rhyming and country-vibed soul that put their hometown of Port Arthur, Texas on the map- and inspired many of Houston’s modern day artists. Heavy in his car knowledge and swagger, C tipped on Vogues back when they didn’t want Mike Jones- pressed diamonds against wood wheels before Slim was rollin’ – and was “ridin’ dirty” when Chamillionaire was just a minor.
May God be with his family, Bun, and the many friends and fans out there that are mourning his passing.
Below is the official statement from Jive Records:
It is with great sadness that Jive Records announces the passing of Chad “Pimp C” Butler, a member of the celebrated rap duo UGK (Underground Kingz). Jive Records’ President and CEO Barry Weiss states: “We mourn the unexpected loss of Chad. He was truly a thoughtful and kind-hearted person. He will be remembered for his talent and profound influence as a pioneer in bringing southern rap to the forefront. He will be missed and our prayers remain with his family and Bun B. I’ve known Chad since he was 18, and we loved him dearly and he was a cherished member of the Jive family.”
Born in Port Arthur, Texas, Butler’s father was a trumpet player who played professionally with Solomon Burke. Outside of his father, the 33-year old rapper’s influences varied, ranging from Bobby Bland, Jimmy McGriff, the 1960’s Motown artists to Run DMC. Butler met his inseparable partner Bernard “Bun B” Freeman in high school where they formed UGK. In 1992, the duo signed to Jive Records and went on release a total of eight albums for the label. They earned their highest achievement earlier this year when their most recent album, UGK (Underground Kingz), debuted in the number one position on the album pop chart. According to the New York Times, UGK “helped inspire a generation of Southern hip-hop stars, from OutKast to Lil Wayne.”
Bun B is not available for comment at this time.
Rest in Peace, Pimp C.