Eight years to this very day, Pimp C would go to become a Hip-Hop martyr due to his untimely death at the age of 33. As one of the most trill, outspoken and talented individuals to ever grace the music scene, it truly is no surprise that his legacy his strong as ever even going on a decade in a world without Chad Butler in it.
Which us brings us to the new album release, Long Live the Pimp, which was handily put together by the late UGK star’s widow, Chinara Butler and Texas production legend, Mr. Lee.
Hip-Hop Wired spoke to the both of them on the heels of the album’s rollout and got the inside track on the making of the album, A$AP Rocky’s recent praises and all misconceptions on the lean culture.
Hip-Hop Wired: The guest features on Long Live the Pimp seems to be a pretty good mix of artists that Pimp C would actually work with opposed to the hottest rappers of today.
Chinara Butler: That was something definitely we wanted to accomplish by mixing something old with something new. We wanted it be authentic to want Chad would deal with as possible.
HHW: One of those artists specifically–A$AP Rocky–went on record to say he felt it was “his duty” to support your family and the legacy of Pimp C.
Chinara Butler: Let me tell you. We actually spend birthdays together; he threw me a surprise birthday party this year; I surprised him in [Austin, Texas]. When his movie Dope came out, he was doing the movie premiere in Austin and he actually left the party and jumped in my truck and listened to music with me. Not too many people can put fire up under me because I’m already turnt up already but he sat down with me and was like, ‘Chinara, this project got to be the sh*t. You got to go in!’
And I just appreciate all the pep talks and him listening even with his busy schedule. Even when he’s out of the country, I can still get ahold of him for opinions. A$AP Rocky just shows so, so much love. He’s just a genuine person.
HHW: Where did all these verses come from? I remember back when the final UGK album was released (2009’s UGK 4 Life), it was kind of billed as the last rollout of Pimp C material.
Chinara Butler: I think anyone who knew Chad knows that he breathed and lived for music. That was his job. And it wasn’t just a job–that was his lifestyle. So whoever said he didn’t have any more music, it wasn’t me. It’s been a minute since [that album came out] and we’re already on the next project.
HHW: What was the depth of your involvement, Mr. Lee?
Mr. Lee: I produced like 80 percent of the project along with a few other producers; did some recording and it we all just gelled together. I came initially as being a producer and I just started vibing with Chinara a lot on different records and she opened the doors for me to be an executive producer on this album.
HHW: What is your earliest recollection of meeting Pimp C?
Mr. Lee: I met Pimp C when I first started producing man, in the 90s! I did a record with him and Scarface and met him then. I was always a fan of UGK and I think it may have like 1995 in the studio.
HHW: By releasing this album on the anniversary of his death, is that a new memory to create a new memory of Pimp C?
Chinara Butler: Actually starting after the year Chad passed, we’ve done the Chad Butler/Pimp C Health Hip-Hop Event in Port Arthur, TX. And basically this album is to keep his legacy alive and give back to the community. We’re not going to mourn, we’re going to celebrate what he’s given to the culture. And I’m not one of those wives who want to remember my late husband in a club. So it’s just not the album. I remember the first year, it was the talk of Twitter–we called it the ‘Tony Snow Day’ because it actually snowed in Port Arthur.
HHW: Seeing that Pimp C was a popular advocate for lean in Hip-Hop, how do you guys feel about so many rappers bigging it up in their music in the present day.
Chinara Butler: Well, for starters let me say this: They do not make lean any more! I don’t know what people are buying or using it but the company that used to supply it, took it off the market. They changed the entire formula.
Mr. Lee: And you know also, Pimp C wasn’t the only rapper in Texas that drank or rapped about lean. Pimp C didn’t rap about lean all the time. He may have touched on it in a few songs and everyone want to make a speculation on what he died from but Pimp C had other health issues that didn’t have anything to do with drank.
Chinara Butler: He did not die from drank. Unless you can say you kill yourself twice. If he died from sleep apnea, did how did he die from an overdose too? You know what I think it is? That [Three 6 Mafia record] “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” that did it. But he don’t have an album cover holding lean or nothing like that. I’m the only one with his death certificate.
HHW: So outside of the music, what was the real Chad Butler like? Fans only know what they were able to learn from the music.
Chinara Butler: He was like a regular, loving husband and father. He was very supportive and loved to be at home, watch movies, cook and do normal things. We had a normal life. I still have a normal life. I still go to work everyday. Nothing crazy; no police, we didn’t fight each other. Our kids went to the same school that me and Chad went to.
HHW: On the musical front, would you guys say Long Live the Pimp will be a good introduction for newer fans who may know of Pimp C but not necessarily his music?
Mr. Lee: I think it would be a good introduction but it also represents his legacy. It’s trendy in its own respect but it’s nothing on this album that you’re going to hear on somebody else’s album. It’s just a perfect balance to keep people intrigued. I think Juicy J added a lot of color to the records he brought it. I’m anxious for people to see all the hard work me, Chinara and the whole team put in.
Chinara Butler: I think my objective was to introduce kids to real music. That’s why I brought in producers like Mr. Lee. It’s not a bunch of keyboards and pushing buttons. Real music can not denied. So we’re trying to teach the younger kids and even the younger artists that when you have some substance, your skill can not be denied.
Pimp C’s new album, Long Live the Pimp is currently available now courtesy of Mass Appeal Records and features an impressive guest list of Nas, Bun B, Lil Wayne, T.I. Ty Dolla $ign, Juicy J, Devin the Dude, 8Ball & MJG, David Banner, Slim Thug, Lil Keke and course, A$AP Rocky. Stream it below and click here to support the effort.
Photos: Mass Appeal