Southern Hip Hop: No Longer Immune

I was in 11th grade when both ‘Pac (9/13/96) and B.I.G. (3/9/97) died. I can remember what I was doing both days.

That Friday that ‘Pac passed, I was tired as hell from school. I think I had just gotten back from being suspended, so you know teachers like to bombard you with work and attitude when you comeback, so that shit was tiring. So, when I went home, I just took my ass to sleep on the couch. I was supposed to go to work that night, but I didn’t feel like bagging no damn groceries so I lied and called in sick.

While I was sleep, I remembered having a dream. I dreamed that the BET News brief came on and they said “rapper Tupac Shakur is dead at age 25.” At that time, ‘Pac getting shot was big news, but we all figured that he was just gonna pull through, get up, walk out the hospital and spit on camerapeople again. But then I woke up for real, and saw the news brief again and realized that dude was dead for real…damn. One of my best friends called me a little later screaming about it and then he came to my house saying that he had something that I needed to hear. Evidently, after he had heard the news, he got off work, sped to the record store and bought the Supercop soundtrack. Why? Because it had 2Pac & the Outlawz “Made Niggas” on there. We’d thought that we had the last ‘Pac song to be recorded and released so we spent the whole night smoking and riding up and down Candler Rd. pumping that shit back-to-back-t0-back. Eventually, we’d all learn that wasn’t ‘Pac’s last song, hell, he’s still coming out with albums to this day.

The morning I heard B.I.G. died, yeah, I was sleep again (“grindin’” will do that to you) and contemplating if I wanted to go to work. I did this time though. But, I didn’t really have anyone at work to talk to about his passing and his music. By that time I was working at a Wendy’s waaaaaay out in the suburbs with a bunch of Mexicans who didn’t speak any English. If I would have went in there asking “hey, you heard about Biggie?” They probably would have pointed at the menu. The only thing I remember from that morning was the radio station playing the hell out of B.I.G.’s songs, “Hypnotize” and “One More Chance” specifically. It was as if the DJ’s only had those two songs on them at the time. I also remember the Source printing up emergency Biggie covers, unfortunately getting placed on top of what was supposed to be Scarface’s cover. (ain’t it eerily crazy how Pimp C died the day MADE hit stores too)

Like so many impressionable teenagers around that time, I thought that their deaths was behind that East vs. West shit that the media was drumming up. I remember alot of us going around asking “damn, who’s next?” It seemed like it was in the cards for a Southern rapper to die in 1998.

You may not find it funny, but me and a few of my friends thought it was gonna be Master P. One, because he was the biggest shit at the time. Two, because it seemed like he was kinda setting himself up to become the next Hip Hop matyr. You know, he had just came out with a double-album, just like ‘Pac and B.I.G. did before they passed. Plus he went out and recorded a song with Bone, just like ‘Pac and B.I.G. did before they passed. I’m glad we didn’t lose him though.

Up until yesterday, it seemed like Southern Hip Hop had been immune to losing its stars. When I say that, I’m not downplaying the losses of Soulja Slim and key Screwed Up Click members over the years. I’m saying, the South had never lost a poster boy, representative, icon, media figure on the level of ‘Pac and B.I.G. We saw how the world reacted to the passings of ‘Pac and B.I.G., which made us cherish ‘Face/Geto Boys, UGK, Ball & G, ‘Kast, Goodie Mob, 3-6 and countless others even more. Ain’t no telling what direction Southern Hip Hop would have went in if Pimp or any of these guys would have passed 9-10 years ago.

So to seee Pimp die yesterday, yeah, its on that ‘Pac and B.I.G. level, plus some. As a teenager, yeah, you get upset and whatnot, but in your youthfulness you still look forward to the next thing. But hearing that news yesterday, I kinda know how it feels when my pops might open up the paper to see one of his favorite artist during his formative years passing away. I makes you feel a certain way, not necessarily old and scared, but, you know, a little more cautious.

I’m gracious that as a fan and follower, I got to see Pimp C grow in a sense. As ‘Pac and B.I.G.’s fans, we got robbed early. They had careers that didn’t get to even live for more than 5 years. As sad as Pimp’s passing is, we at least got roughly 15 years of what he had to offer. At least people who grew up on his music got to grow up along with him and see his life (as short as it was) develop into another level and actually see him get to enjoy the spoils of all of the hard work and musical trailblazing he did. What Dr. Dre did for West Coast production via-P.Funk elements, Pimp C did the same via-Blues elements.

It probably sounds like I’m rambling now, I guess what I’m trying to get across is that, knowing that Pimp C is gone keeps jumping up and hitting me in the face. Perhaps its harder to grasp because he, like so many of the other forefounders of Southern Hip Hop seemed more touchable than most rappers. If you were a UGK fan, it felt as if you actually knew dude, even if you had never met him at all.

So, just like ‘Pac and B.I.G., I’m gonna remember what I was doing when I heard that Pimp passed. Nah, I wasn’t sleep. I was actually about to post a blog about something that almost seems trivial now. Instead, I just put up a pic of him and linked to one my favorite UGK songs, which unfortunately, is feeling too real right now.

Peace.

(I pray that we won’t have to go through all of this again for Spice 1. Keep him in your prayers.)

  • j

    excellent post.

  • TMB

    Rest in Peace Chad “Pimp C” Butler

    “One Day You’re Here…”

  • http://www.myspace.com/djwallysparks CRUNKITE

    Hold up….. smoke something beeeyatch.

    RIT

  • Mr.Wang

    Rest in peace Pimp C

  • Mac Sleepy

    Beautifully worded and written! True talk… he opened doors 4 ni66az like me and I respect the shyt outta him and Bun 4 dat! can’t 4get about Outkast, Geto Boys, 8-Ball & M.J.G, 3-6 and 2 Live Crew…. But it’s about U.G.K. 4 Life! Thanks 4 the Blog cuz the south is hurtin right now… R.I.P. Pimp C

    http://www.myspace.com/macsleepy66

  • http://www.MySpace.com/LarryBrite Larry Brite

    But hearing that news yesterday, I kinda know how it feels when my pops might open up the paper to see one of his favorite artist during his formative years passing away. I makes you feel a certain way, not necessarily old and scared, but, you know, a little more cautious

    -

    I asked my pops that same shit yesterday – fuckin sad,
    Get Well Spice 1
    R.i.P. Pimp C

  • ThingAlec

    I know what you mean by feeling cautious. I felt the same why when Ol’ Dirty Bastard died.

    Hopefully Spice 1 will pull through. It reminds me of when Cassidy got in that car accident a year ago. I think Spice 1 will recover and put out another album just like Cassidy did. But hopefully I’m not wrong.

  • youngz

    Great post dawg, he´s truly gonna be missed!!!
    R.I.P

  • Stuckfresh

    Hell yeah!! Pimp c did just as much for hip hop as BIG and Pac! R.I.P Sweet James a.k.a Tony Snow!!!!

  • ONE lOVE

    great post….man one day you hear and the next day you gone….PIMP was right. RIP PIMP C… Man hold your head BUN B. First Sean Taylor now Pimp C. Get well Spice 1. Its been a terrible week. My prayers are with all three families during this time. and one more thin STOP THE VIOLENCE!!

  • Pingback: Writer’s Block Media

  • KillaPat

    Pimp C was one of my favorite rappers and, along with Bun B, was a true pioneer and legend in the south, and around the world in general. He will truly be missed, and I recommend that everyone that hasn’t already go pick up Underground Kingz and all other UGK/Pimp C albums. RIP Chad Butler!

  • Silky Johnson

    Great post…Pimp will be missed and I don’t think he will ever get the props he truly deserves which is sad

    Pimp C PA Trill! RIP

  • nixs

    I’m sorry that Pimp C is dead but I still can’t put him in a class with 2Pac or B.I.G. Sorry, but thats just my opinion.

    • http://enternetexplorer li pupu

      damn this shit hurt like a motherfucka. man i been down wit this shit since day one. from when we first heard them bros on a spanish fly mixtape(memphis shit)back in like ’86 or ’87 to their last studio album. DAMN DAMN DAMN. to the brother who took what the guy said out of context, he wasn’t comparing pimp c to pac and biggie lyricaly or sales wise. he was talkin bout the impact he had on the south as to pac(west coast) and biggie(east coast)

      • big nick digga

        i remember that mixtape too. it was bumping.

        R.I.P. CHAD!!!

  • Cuban Link

    Good post, but i think u exaggerated.This isnt as monumental as Pac and Bigs death.They were in the limelight and had the whole world watching every move they made when they were killed.They were murdered in their prime.

    As much as I loved Pimp C, he wasnt in his prime.Although this is truly tragic and wont be forgotten, it wont affect hip hop nearly as much as Pac and Big did.Pimp had done his time and contributed to hip hop as much as he probably would.His music today wasnt to revalutionize hip hop as his did back in the day.If he was killed in, say, the late 90s, things would be a lot different.

    Also, he wasnt murdered.Pac and Bigs death were so important because they were both shot down in cold blood, in the middle of the biggest hip hop beef to date.Pimp C died peacefully and clear of any controversy, as far as we know so far

    Its still tragic and a terrible loss, but wont affect hip hop nearly as much as Biggies and Tupacs.

    • Mo-Gunn

      For you to say sumn like that, you cant be from the south and probably never set foot in the south. UGK laid the groundwork for southern artists, they took those bruises and cuts tryna get their music played on national radio when New York and Cali wasn’t showin us no luv. Pimp C and Bun B can go anywhere in the south and lay their heads like its their home, because they were truly real. Pimp C was our voice and he will be remembered like Pac and Biggie down here, we hold him closer to us because he is us! Watch ya mouth mayne and show some respect to a legend patna, one-hunned!

      • Cuban Link

        You completely missed the point of everything I said. I realize everything you said, and I have tons of respect for Pimp C, but that has nothing to do with what I said.

  • Ali

    that’s a good point about feelin’ like u knew em even if ya never met em….I just recently started to like tha man but yea feels like I heard everything he ever made, which isn’t even close

  • CHAMP

    Yo I got love for pac and biggs but in all honesty the one who lives what he rapped about the most was Pimp C. You go and see the documentary about Pac and Biggs and you got Biggies mom talking about he never went hungry and went to privarite school. Pac did go thru poverty but was more of a follower than a leader. Come to the south and then you would understand what the man did for hip hop. Oh yeah and the movement Pimp started is still alive in hip hop dont belive me check the soundscans!!!If you from the West or East and got love for pimp and the south then you are an open minded motherfucker if not then fuck off and try to revive your coast.

  • http://XXL drop

    that was 1 of my favorite rappers,and he’ll be missed deeply

  • fArUk

    Pimp C is my dude, and he is a legend in the south. But Biggie and Pac where legends to the entire hip hop world. I dont know if you can put them in the same bracket. Neither bracket bad, but they fa sho aint in the same. But I did listin to Pimp C and he made hits so Rest in peace Pimp C. The south will remember you.

  • Mark Ward

    Usually the bloggers on rap sites epitomize hatred. Fotunately you have been graced with perspective, thanx for the insightful post.

    p.s. speculating who’s going to die next is morbid and falls under the hating umbrella.

  • http://XXLMAG.COM BEN L

    R.I.T.

  • Erwin

    What about DJ Screw? Wasn’t that a high profile artist the south lost?

    • http://XXLMAG DUNFIYA

      HE WAS A PIONEER BUT NOT AN “INTERNATIONAL STAR” AND “PIONEER OF THE SOUTHERN RAP MOVEMENT” LIKE 2 LIVE CREW,GETO BOYS,OUTKAST, ARE KNOWN AND LOVED IN THE UK

  • Ghostdog

    You put his death into perspective, thanks for the
    post.

    R.I.T. You’ll be missed Pimp C.

  • niggafrommemphis

    Pac was and still is #1 of all time,but what makes Pimp passin away worse,for me,is that the doctors said pac wasn’t gonna make it a few days before he passed.So when he died,I was more angry than shocked.Biggie was a shock,I was coming home like 4 somethin in the morning and my motorolla pager told me he was dead on arrival,so that was a shock,to get hit and die that quick.But in hindsight,I would like to think he’d be livin if it wasn’t for that trip out west.But me and my people were just bbumpin Ugk,like we do everyday when we get together and to hear somebody say that shit,not since a buddy of mine was killed at the denim and diamond night club a few years back have I ever been this shocked to hear that someone I didn’t know (But I grew up with paul and lord infamous and went to Middle college High with Ball and G so atleast them niggas got to know him)hurt me just as bad as hearin a love one was gone.Unfortunately,He is up there now with Pac and Biggie.But remember,they were legends when they were alive,fuck a dead icon,no such thang!

  • Flo23

    Good article. Im glad to see that the people realize what a major part of hip hop history we just lost. R.I.P. Pimp C

  • ahaha

    You:”You hear about biggie dying?”

    Mexican: “Que? Biggie Size?”

    You: -sigh-

  • Clint Southwood

    That’s real when I heared the passing of Pimp C I was in total shock. It seemded unreal we are talking about “Sweet James Jones” The first Southern hip hop pimp don’t get me wrong Too-Short did his thing but Pimp C made seem more realistic. “F*ck N*ggas watch the “Mack” and try to pimp on my flooses but see my b*tches know the diffrence from real pimpin and movies.” The co-creater of the term “TRILL” for you new heads that thought Big Pimpin was their first song it means “True and Real”. The producer of “Country Rap Tunes”. If I got on talking about how UGK impacted hip hop this reply would never end RIP PIMP C

  • P-Stine ryda

    yo hard shit…
    R.I.P tupac & Biggie

  • JKeith734

    U.G.K 4 LIFE AND DEATH

    PIMP C
    2PAC
    B.I.G.
    EAZY-E
    SOULJA SLIM
    MAC DRE
    BIG PUN
    BIG L
    BLADE ICEWOOD
    WIPEOUT
    PROOF
    YELLA OF U.N.L.V.
    STACK BUNDLES
    ODB
    JAM MASTER JAY
    MC TROUBLE
    MR C AND HITMAN OF RBL POSSE
    YAKI KHADAFI
    DJ SCREW
    FAT PAT
    HAWK
    BIG MOE
    MAUSSBERG
    PIMP DADDY
    KILO G
    RAPPIN RON

    THAT IS A CRAZY LIST OF HIP HOP ICONS WE HAVE LOST AND THE CRAZY SHIT IS ALL OF THESE INDIVIDUALS WERE TALENTED AND HAD IN IMPACT LOCALLY AND NATIONALLY.

    IM DONE WITH HIP HOP

  • jerel day

    you can*t give up on hip hop it is our cultutre our life what we live for!!!!!!!! we as fans of hip hop must stay strong!!! rappers are human too!!!!!!!!! i pray for the walker family bun-b rap-a-lot god rest pimp c and don*t give on hip-hop 1love god bless the kings of the south!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • RYDE OR DIE

    I feel this shit!!
    R.I.P Pimp C

  • gang green

    ayy im sorry about this niggas death he was big in the rap game

    but no way this nigga is even on the same level as biggie and tupac no way

    R.I.P

  • SOUTHERNBREED

    yo,i’m feeling this blog.
    i remember what i was doing when pac and biggie died.
    I had just turned 13 on sept.12th and the next day we was at school talking about how pac would come out the hospital stronger then ever.
    then i get home and go to mtv and the news comes on about pac,the funny thing is,i was listening to pac’s all eyes on me cd on the way home.
    now biggie,we had just moved to dunn,north carolina and we was staying at my grandma’s house.
    i had been playing basketball all day and listening to “Hypnotze” and i came in the house and they had it on the news.
    i use to didn’t like to watch the news but this night i did.
    i felt the same way,i thought someone from the south would die next and i thought it would be master p too.
    that same year master p did “I Miss My Homies” with Silkk tha Shocker and Pimp C.
    Now The Song Reflects Pimp’s Passing.
    I Got That Video On My Mysace Page.
    I was just coming home from work and i was actually listening to UGK’s New Cd and then i get home and hear that Pimp is dead!
    R.I.P. Pimp C, UGK 4 Life!

  • http://www.bunbonline.com Bun B

    Thanks Maurice man. Thank all of you for the love. I see it and feel it, and I know Pimp does too.

  • Husslinni

    We used to scream “Free Pimp C” but now its see the Pimp free.

    Now you really are free.

    UGK for life

    R.I.P.
    Chad (Pimp C,Sweet James Jones,Tony Snow,) Butler

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    Of course, it takes a real southern dude to pay proper written respects to Pimp C. And to think, a resident of Decatur, of all places.

    If Pimp could read what you wrote, I’m sure he’d altogether disavow earlier statements about Atlanta not being the south. We knew what he meant.

    I couldn’t have said it better. Good post, pimp.

    R.I.T.P.C.

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    Keep it TRILL Bun!

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    I mean, damn.

    Life is fragile as fuck. Can you believe this shit?

    I mean – God knows I don’t want to see another rapper die before they reach retirement (not Jay-Z) age.

    But what if Lil’ Wayne passed right now? What the fuck else does the south have?

    T.I. may go to prison, Mystikal is locked up, Master P ain’t doing it anymore, J. Prince is under investigation, Purple Ribbon folded, Organized Noize is low-key (to a fault).

    The South needs a champion right now. And ringtone rappers need to sit the fuck down and work on making something that won’t be a joke in the next five years.

    It’s like this shit is going to kick in heavier as time goes by and we don’t hear Pimp and Bun slaughtering one of those Caprice Classic beats – live – from the studio.

    Damn, we all lost. The only solice is that Pimp C was really a spiritually-grounded dude. It’s unimaginable that he’s not sitting on a throne somewhere beyond the stars.

    Let’s start living like we could all be gone tomorrow. And let’s start making music like it will be around after we’re gone, like Chad Butler did.

    DAMN!!!!

  • Amerikan Nightmarez

    Man wut the fuck is u talkin bout.Lyrically There’s no comparison and da Face of Da Mufuckin Texas,R.I.P. but that’s a stretch honestly.What da fuck u smokin i mean he paved da way and all but dat’s not the levels of the others we have mentioned.R.I.P Pac R.I.P. B.I.G.!!!!!!!!!!!4 Eva

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    To answer my own Q, I’d have to say I’m cheering for Ludacris right now.

    Not that I wasn’t before, because I was, but this is a dude who can carry the flag into the future.

    Tell me I’m wrong, because I care.

  • http://www.myspace.com/deadresurrellthegreat deandre surrell(east oakland)

    i feel like pimp c died for hip-hop sins.

    i mean….jesus died at age 33,pimp did to.

    i think pimp was havin a dream when he passed away.

    i think he fell off a cliff,and if somebody woulda woke him up before he hit da bottom
    he probly would be alive today.

    if u think im lyin ask sumbody if u could die in yo sleep and see what they tell ya