Sweet James Jones

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‘You ain’t never seen, how a pimp be oh so clean’

When you can be hailed as a legend at the age of 33, it says a lot about you and the contributions you have made to your craft. Though the masses may only know Pimp C., for his contributions to Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’,” and more recently, the single “International Players Anthem” with Outkast, southern rap enthusiasts know him as the main producer and most charismatic member of legendary southern rap duo, UGK. Before the mainstream caught on with “Big Pimpin’” those of us born in the Texas and other parts of the South were long reciting lyrics to “Take It Off,” “Diamonds and Wood,” “Front, Back & Side to Side” and “Pocket Full of Stones.”

I discovered UGK through my older sister and looking back, I was probably too young to be listening to them, but ahh well – I turned out alright. If you’re not up on UGK, know that they are pioneers, understand the fiery duo proved that not all southern hip hop is created equal, and realize without Pimp C. there would be no T.I. and a number of other southern emcees enjoying the mainstream success that UGK helped paved the way for, and was only recently able to partake in themselves. I’ve never embraced all of their lyrical content, and I’ve even written about Pimp’s sometimes nonsensical, possibly drug-fused rants like “Atlanta isn’t a part of the south,” but at the core, he’s a talented rapper and a pioneer.

It’s really odd timing to learn of Pimp C.’s death, since I was only reading the homie, Jason’s [interview with Bun B.] the other night. Bun spoke fondly of his friend, and revealed the two were planning to release another album next year, which would have marked their twentieth anniversary. The duo was also due to be featured on LeToya Luckett’s first single from her sophomore album. But, I suppose when it’s your time, it’s your time.

R.I.P. Pimp C. and R.I.P. to one of the greatest groups in hip hop, North and South.

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