If you are under the age of 20 or are a new-genre rap fan, you might not be familiar with the legend that is Pimp C of the almighty UGK. Luckily for you and fans alike, Complex and Mass Appeal have teamed up to bring us a mini documentary, Long Live The Pimp.
Pimp C passed away in 2007, but is still highly regarded as one of the most influential figures in rap. He left a real legacy and an impact on hip-hop that is still felt today. The documentary explores the life of Pimp C, from his humble beginnings in Port Arthur, Texas, to becoming a star with his rap group UGK and his unique ‘trill’ sound.
Long Live The Pimp features interviews from former UGK counterpart Bun B, Nas, Pimp’s wife Chinara Butler, Paul Wall, Michael “5000” Watts, DJ Paul, David Banner, and plenty more all reflecting on Pimp’s legacy and what he meant to hip-hop and the South.
Bun B details why Pimp C was so important to the hip-hop of the South by arguing: “For many years, Southern contributions to rap music and hip-hop had been pretty much overlooked. Like, if you weren’t from New York making hip-hop at the time, then you weren’t real and you weren’t original. So he was like ‘they don’t want us to be a part it. Why should we be a part of it?’”
Devin the Dude backs this up, saying, “There wasn’t really a signature sound coming out of the South, and nobody seemed to be lookin’ for sound coming out of the South, and that’s what kinda really made him say, ‘let’s make these people hear us.’”
The documentary also details how UGK almost ended before it ever started. Bun B explained that he and Pimp C had a mindset of giving rap a go for one year before moving on if nothing came of it. Just four weeks away from calling it quits, UGK got a record deal and embarked on their legendary career.
Funnily enough, a similar thing happened with their fame-boosting feature on Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin’. DJ Greg Street explains: “A lot of people don’t know that Pimp C didn’t want to do Big Pimpin’, that’s why his verse is only eight bars.” When Pimp C first heard the beat, he reportedly called it a “garbage-can ass motherfuckin’ beat.” However, rather than turn it down, he apparently said “I’ma just rap the countriest shit that I can rap on this motherfucker and send it right back to him.”
The documentary is a must-watch for any fan and a good medium for new fans to gain an insight into the great Pimp C, so check it out below. Long live Pimp C.