“You know how The Pimp be/That n*gga gon’ speak his mind…” — Young Jeezy
If the old adage proves true, “time flies when you’re having fun,” time also speeds by when reminiscing on the loss of a loved one. As crazy as it sounds, next month will mark four years since the death of Chad Butler. Hip-Hop has moved forward, but never forgotten about Pimp C, whose sheer presence helped define not only classic songs and albums, but an entire region and era. Like others before him, an endearing quality to The Pimp’s legacy was his interview presence.
He was funny when he needed to be. Other times he was ignorant, loud and venomous. And then on various occasions, he was insightful, diplomatic, reflective and the man who strived to be the change he hoped to see in his community. Like Tupac before him, a collection of Pimp C interviews showcasing all the sides of Chad will be on full display. Don’t get it twisted however. This isn’t to mourn that Sweet Jones is gone; consider this more of a celebration of what we were all blessed with for two full decades.
You should already know what it is by now. UGK for life.
Notable Quotable: “As much business as we giving this Rolls Royce lot and this Cadillac lot and the BMW lot, what is you mad about? We all living behind big gates, big ol’ houses, having big jewels and getting paid to party. We get paid to party! What is y’all mad about, man?”
Pimp promoted unity for the most part, especially below the Mason-Dixon line where he helped craft his identity. Upon leaving prison, there was rising sense of animosity circulating amongst the South (headlined by the T.I./Flip beef). Knowing this, Pimp C wanted to dead it all. He saw where the money was and it damn sure wasn’t with taking shots against one another on wax.
Like he proposed here – and then on “Knockin’ Doors Down” – if it was really that serious, put on some boxing gloves and he’d have some cranberry juice and watch them handle their differences in the ring. He was right though. Rappers get paid to party? Unless someone really disrespected your family and/or threatened your life, “what is y’all mad about man?”
Sidenote: Everything said about the “yes man” epidemic and the importance of family was the gospel.
Notable Quotable:“I know they don’t like me. They be all on the Internet talking about The Pimp. Pimp rap like he writing nursery rhymes. Pimp this and Pimp that. You know what though, bitch? Until you put yo’ real mothafuckin’ address and yo’ phone number on that shit, you ain’t said nothing hiding behind them e-mail addresses. You a hoe! Know what I’m talking ’bout? Cause I’m in New York every other week on the slab. I’m in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan. Know what I’m talking ’bout? I’m all the way up and all the way around that mothafucka. You niggas friendly as a box of puppies.”
Pimp didn’t actually have a problem with New York. He had love for the city. He even paid respects to Jay-Z, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Dipset in this clip. But he did have a problem with a certain elitist mindset in New York. He had heard and grown tired of the critique throughout the years of the South not being “real Hip-Hop” and decided to use this interview to vent those frustrations. Beyond the cussing and heavy use of “nigga,” there was a point he was trying to drive home. There was good music in the South as there always has been and always will be. And regardless of how non-New York it may sound at times, the pride and creativity used to create the music commands the same respect as it does if it resonated from any of the five boroughs.
Still, “friendly as a box of puppies” is an all-time great metaphor. There’s not a rapper alive right now who could come up with something that hilarious right.
Notable Quotable: “And while I’m talking about it, it’s a whole bunch of you hoe ass rapping niggas that’s in the closet. You in the closet, nigga. Know what I’m talking about? You a homosexual. Know what I’m talking about? I ain’t got nothing against you, but nigga don’t be trying to poison the pussy population witcha ol’ sick dick.”
According to the YouTube description, this took place at SXSW 2007. KB The Kidnappa (one of the greatest rap names ever) knocked some guy out who was trying to get to Pimp C. So upset by the event, Pimp takes to the nearest camera to expose his rapping counterparts who aren’t playing fair. And by playing fair, I mean playing both sides of the fence. And by playing both sides of the fence, I mean gay rappers. This isn’t exactly an interview, more so than it is an extended soliloquy, but it does find Chad Butler addressing a topic which has long been a nasty rumor and urban legend floating around the genre.
While it has yet to be proven, this clip had to have at least played a part in Aaron McGruder creating the character “Gangstalicious.”
Notable Quotable: “I ain’t never been around this much death before out there in the world. Seeing these old guys, they may not even have life sentences, but they dying in prison. That’s a trip to see that. Or you see a guy and you think he strong and everything’s cool with him, he have a brain aneurysm bust in his head and two days later they tell us he’s dead. That’s a trip. So I’m seeing how your whole life can get taken away from you coming back and being in these type of places. I got a different outlook on life now.”
Prison is an eye-opener. It’s a setting where human beings aren’t meant to thrive, but rather to survive in the most meager of conditions. The same way incarceration helped Tupac see the world from a different set of lenses, the same spiritual and intellectual awakening happened with Pimp C. He recognized thoughts he formerly perpetuated had deep impacts on the ears who looked to him for advice – case in point his discussion on light skin and dark skin women – and spoke on the talent which grew up taking life lessons from him who were currently leading the charge in making music. At his most honest moment, Pimp enjoyed being the OG everyone looked towards for guidance. It’s what he and Bun were put in the game to do.
Critics will probably say he only adopted this mindset because of the situation he was in. And it’s true to an extent. But even those same critics will have to admit hearing him speaking about death and how it often times happens so suddenly is eerie. Sometimes we speak stuff into existence unintentionally.
Notable Quotable: “I’m proud of everybody sending records in Atlanta, but everybody ain’t my friend and I don’t like all y’all records. Now if you wanna diss me and get down with me, go on and do it. But the difference between me and them other dudes is this, you gon’ diss me and I’m gon’ come see you jack! You gon’ diss them other dudes and they gon’ play lip wrestle with you. So if you want man, c’mon with it. If you want it with me, leave Bun out of it, and we gon’ see in the end cause you gon’ smell my cologne!”
The interview that needs no real introduction. Pimp lets loose his feelings on Atlanta, its geographic location and time zone, rappers portraying lives on wax not applicable to their own, false drug prices (the birth of his short lived beef with Young Jeezy) and the home of 1,000 quotes saw Chad Butler in rare form. I’m not sure what prompted him to call in that day and fire off at the mouth for damn near 20 minutes, but all I know is this. Hip Hop is a better place because of him doing so.
Bonus: For those looking to further their Pimp C knowledge, check out this interview Noz did with him several years ago. It’s a long read, but very informative as it taps into Pimp and Bun’s earlier years and more. Definitely a must read for any UGK fan.