If “heavy is the head that wears the crown,” imagine that of one forced to wear it in the king’s absence. Having stood firmly behind the throne of the man largely considered the “Underground King of the South,” for Chinara Butler the 2007 death of Pimp C meant the loss of her better half.
Kind hearted, brash and unapologetic; let’s be clear, there will never be another Pimp C. His sudden passing dealt a swift blow to the industry, leaving a hole that has yet to be filled. Brimming with a refreshing passion rarely seen today, in addition to a treasure trove of music he also left behind a solid reputation of saying exactly what he meant and sticking to it.
In the several years since his death, his wife has worked tirelessly to preserve both his legacy and rightful place in hip-hop lore, bringing artist including 8Ball & MJG, Bun B, Lil Wayne, Nas, Slim Thug, Juicy J, David Banner, A$AP Rocky, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Keke and T.I. together for a posthumous album appropriately titled “Long Live the Pimp.” The first batch of fresh music from the UGK co-founder since the 2006 release of “Pimpalation.”
Speaking exclusively with Houston Style Magazine, Chinara discussed everything from the new album to the possibility of seeing “Sweet James Jones” immortalized o the silver screen.
Houston Style: It’s been a long time coming and the fans are definitely ready for it. Tell us about the process behind pulling this album together.
Chinara: I made up my mind a minute ago that this could be a real solo project. The process was ‘Ok, what other ideas did he want to accomplish before he passed?’ That was sort of my thought process in getting it done. We talked about some of this maybe about six months before (his death.) We worked as a team, I was always involved. I’m private, Chad was out there. So in saying that, I just really wanted to be involved as his partner that’s taking care of business.
There were a lot of things that he wanted to get done. I know he wanted to do projects with Too Short, with Juicy J, etc. Juicy called me like, “Chinara, we ready for some Pimp.” We did something with Wiz, did something with A$Ap, who’s like family, and we put out a few songs. I sat with A$AP again and he said, “Chinara, this project gotta be the s.” So I knew that if I was going to do it, it had to be done right. It was like, “You’re right. This gotta be the s, because this is a real story.” I linked up with Mr. Lee and we just went over ideas back and forth. It was a beautiful process and there were no egos involved. It was a wonderful thing. I came from a fan’s point of view. Chad met me in the studio. I’m a fan of UGK. I’m a fan of Chad. I’m a fan in general.
First published via Houston Style Magazine, December 2015