The Story of A Underground King

In the hallways of Port Arthur High School (TX), Pimp C started his first rap duo called Mission Impossible. Unlike a lot of high school rap acts, Pimp was the type of dude that was serious about his music, macking and money. Meanwhile, Bun B and his partner started a group called Black Ministers. In 1987, Pimp & Bun combined both of them together forming who we know as Underground Kingz (UGK). At this time, they saw how Scarface and the Geto Boys were doing it for the Lone Star State but they didn't just want to rap.  Instead, they introduce the world to "Country Rap Tunes". Pimp C first released a demo tape titled "Underground King" which didn't feature Bun B on the track. Instead, it featured Pimp C's friend Mitchell Queen. Bun B and friend Jalon Jackson had their own group called P.A. Militia. Both groups joined forces and formed group 4 Black Ministers. Queen and Jackson later left the group leaving Pimp C and Bun B so they decided to revert back to UGK. The demo Pimp C recorded with Mitchell Queen, Underground King, caught the attention of an independent label in Houston called Bigtyme Records. They then released an extended play titled The Southern Way. The release of this record caught the attention of Jive Records.

While recording their debut album, Too Hard to Swallow, many of the songs had content too explicit for the album.  Bigtyme Records released an EP titled Banned before the album was released, including all the songs that were too explicit for Too Hard to Swallow. While it featured several new recordings, it also featured several songs that had been culled from The Southern Way. A popular song from the album "Pocket Full of Stones" was also included on the Menace II Society soundtrack in 1993.

Their sophomore album, Super Tight, was released two years later, on August 30. Unlike their previous album, Super Tight managed to break into the Billboard Hot 200 and ultimately peaked at #95.  Ridin' Dirty, their third album, reached the R&B Charts in 1996 peaking at #2 and the Billboard 200 chart peaking at #15. After releasing their fourth studio album, Dirty Money, Pimp C got sentenced to jail.  

Year 2000 became a breakthrough year for UGK, while making high-profile guest appearances on Jay-Z's smash hit "Big Pimpin'" and Three 6 Mafia's classic "Sippin' on Some Syrup". Both of these collabs greatly increased their reputation as well as fanbase, and helped fuel anticipation for their next projects.
In 2002, Pimp C was incarcerated for an aggravated gun assault charge. Throughout the time of his incarceration, Bun B carried on the UGK name by making numerous guest appearances on songs by other artists, with every appearance either mentioning Pimp C or featuring a "Free Pimp C!" or "Free the Pimp" chant.

Many of the followers of UGK's did the same, mentioning Pimp C in their own songs with or without Bun B. During this period, Jive Records released a Best of UGK album, as well as a Chopped & Screwed remix album. As a result of Pimp C's incarceration, both members of UGK began solo careers out of necessity.

Rap-A-Lot Records released Pimp C's solo debut, Sweet James Jones Stories, on March 1, 2005. Bun B later released his own solo foray, Trill, on October 18, 2005. It opened at #6 on the Billboard Hot 200, and also peaked at #1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-hop Album chart. On December 30, 2005, Pimp C got out of jail and was on parole for 4 years. After the imprisonment, he released his first post-incarceration album titled Pimpalation on July 25, 2006.

On August 7, 2007 the group released their fifth studio album, the self-titled Underground Kingz. This album was a double disc containing 26 tracks featuring guests included Talib Kweli, Too Short, Rick Ross, Z-RO, Three 6 Mafia, Slim Thug, OutKast, as well as hip-hop legends Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane. This album also featured British rapper Dizzee Rascal on the track "Two Types of Bitches", following a guest appearance on Rascal's album Maths + English. This album featured productions by DJ Paul & Juicy J, Jazze Pha, Swizz Beatz, The Runners, Lil' Jon, fellow Texas legend Scarface, and Pimp C. DJ Paul and Juicy J produced the second single from Underground Kingz, "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)" which featured Hip-Hop super rap duo, Outkast becaming the group's only single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts, where it peaked at #70.
Last but not least, this current classic album received a 4-star rating from Allmusic, and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 album charts.  On December 4, 2007, Pimp C was found dead at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California, after Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a 9-1-1 call. They arrived to his sixth-floor hotel room to find him dead in bed three days after he performed with Too Short at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.  RIP 2 THE PIMP, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE WITH US IN SPIRIT!

No comments