December 4th, 2007 marks the day legendary rapper Pimp C passed on to greater pastures and left the hip hop game hurting with his absence. Before making his heavenly transition, the UGK emcee left behind a collection of his work not only including that of which we’ve already heard, but enough unreleased material to keep his legacy alive for years after his passing. To celebrate the 8th anniversary of his departure, Pimp C’s Wife Chinara Butler teamed up with long-time friend/producer of Pimp’s Mr. Lee and rapper Juicy J to compile a project that allows the southern artist to breathe some new life into hip hop titled, Long Live The Pimp. Featuring such artists as Nas, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, Ty Dolla $ign, T.I., 8Ball and MJG, and more, Pimp C is definitely delivering a posthumous mixing of some old with a little bit of new on this album. Giving RESPECT. Magazine an exclusive look into the late Chad Butler‘s life and work, Mrs. Butler and Mr. Lee recently took the time to speak on the upcoming project.
RESPECT. Magazine: Long Live The Pimp comes out on December 4th. What was the importance of releasing the project on the 8th anniversary of Pimp C’s death?
Chinara Butler: Well, normally every year recently after Chad passed, I started doing Chad ‘Pimp C’ Butler Hip Hop, Health & Wellness event. Me and him had a daughter together, and…her birthday is also on the 15th (of December). When he died, her birthday was a day after the funeral. After that, I felt like we should honor him and it should be–I didn’t want it to be a sad situation. We still do the Chad Hip Hop Health event, but I thought this would be the perfect time to celebrate him as an artist and why not do it on the day he passed?
RM: What was the significance of the artists you chose to feature?
CB: The whole process was basically to broaden Chad’s audience to keep his legacy alive so I wanted to mix a little old with a little new so, I feel like, what UGK and Chad had already done in his career. We have a little A$AP, 8Ball and MJG, got a little Nas; I probably went different directions people wouldn’t expect Chad to, but I’ve always been through the process so this wouldn’t be foreign for him.
RM: Mr. Lee, being one of the co-executive producers, what was your vision behind putting this project together?
Mr. Lee: The biggest agenda I had was making sure that it was something that Pimp C would have wanted to do. Also, having the mindframe of kind of seeing the future a little bit to being able to move into the future of what Pimp C would have wanted and not stay where he was…He didn’t believe in doing things that he did yesterday. He always thought ahead. That’s why his verses and the music that he’s done during the years before he passed is still relevant because he was out the box and he always thought ahead. So, I had to stay in the mindframe of that. We use to always talk on the phone all the time about music…It was really a blessing for me to even be a part of the project. Also, even being an executive producer is an honor for me and it’s a pleasure working with his wife because I feel like Pimp C was reborn in her again because of the way she talks; she’s just like Pimp C to me. It was a real good thing for me. I enjoyed every moment of it.
RM: Mrs. Butler, everyone has their own view on Pimp C being the legend he is. How would you describe him?
CB: Oh god. The truth. Trill. Also, I don’t feel ‘trill’ is just a word, it’s a lifestyle. To wrap it up, the truth, trill, trill shit (laughs). Yeah, that’s the best way I can wrap it up all the way. The real definition of trill.
RM: In spite of Pimp C’s passing, the use of codeine (for recreational use) has seemed to increase in popularity. Do you have any message for those out there who use lean being that you’ve dealt with losing a loved one using it first hand?
CB: I try to talk about stuff that’s relevant. I really do a lot of research. I educate myself on anything I’m about to do or even say and they don’t even make drank anymore so it shouldn’t be affecting anybody because it doesn’t exist.
RM: A lot of artists cite Pimp C as being a legendary influence when it comes to rhyming. How do you feel about Pimp C still having an influence on current artists in hip hop and just hip hop in general today years after his passing?
CB: It’s funny you ask that because I see it in a lot of different artists. I still see it in [Lil] Wayne. That’s probably the last part of the process for me in picking people, unbeknownst to myself. I see it in A$AP. I think it’s a beautiful thing. I think Chad really stood for, he always said, “Fuck the clone,” and it’s not to say, “Fuck somebody that’s trying to be like me.” It’s really saying God created everybody different. We all have something else to bring to the game so do you. I think that’s a beautiful thing to do. If you’re gay, be gay. If you’re straight, be straight. Whatever, just do you. Be proud of you and go in for you.
RM: What is the importance of keeping Pimp C’s brand relevant in the genre for you?
CB: It’s vital for his legacy. Just doing this project it means a couple of things. I, also, want to inspire other widows and wives to actually take control of their families and their late husbands or loved ones’ legacy. I’d like to think I’ve created another lane for myself and, like I said, other widows. I don’t think widows and wives get any credit in this business. I definitely feel like that’s what I’m doing, as well. Definitely inspire (widows) to be resilient. I think it’s super important to understand everybody has their strengths, everybody’s here for a reason and really, you should inspire other people. I think Chad’s whole story is inspiring. You know, we’re coming from Port Arthur, TX; there’s not even 100,000 people in the city. From everybody in the world knowing your name to going to jail to coming out; as soon as you get out of jail, going in, working hard, and grinding hard. I think just doing this whole project and keeping Chad’s legacy alive is to inspire people.
RM: What’s coming up next?
CB: What’s next is the new single featuring Nas and Juicy. The video [for it] is next. We’re going to be shooting a few videos. We have such a cool concept that we’re about to run with, as well. We’re going to do Player’s Ball album release party, which is going to be really dope. We also have an exhibit with Rice University, which will be doing archives of some of Chad’s stuff. Also, we have the Chad ‘Pimp C’ Hip Hop Health event in Houston that’s coming up. We have a short film special with Complex, as well. More music. This not the last project either! Also, I’ll be doing a book too on how to boss up.
Official Long Live The Pimp Track List:
- Long Live The Pimp
- 3 Way Freak (feat. Lil Wayne)
- Ain’t Said Shit (feat. Ty Dolla Sign and Devin The Dude)
- Wavybone (feat. A$AP Rocky, Juicy J and Bun B)
- Spittin’ Game (Interlude)
- Trill (feat. A’Doni, Slim Thug, ESG and Lil KeKe)
- Bitch Get Down (feat. Bun B, 8 Ball and MJG)
- PayDay (feat. Juicy J)
- Slab Music (feat. Lil KeKe)
- True To The Game (feat. David Banner)
- Triflin’ Hoe (Interlude)
- To Lose A Whore
- Friends (feat. Juicy J and Nas)
- Butta Cookies
- Country Thang (Outro)
- Twerk Something (feat. TI) [iTunes Exclusive]
Long Live The Pimp releases December 4th via Mass Appeal Records.
Listen to Pimp C’s new track, featuring Nas and Juicy J, “Friends” below: