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UGK (short for Underground Kingz) was a Grammy Award-nominated hip-hop duo from Port Arthur, Texasmarker formed in 1987 by the late Chad "Pimp C" Butler. He then joined with Bernard "Bun B" Freeman who became his longtime partner. They released their first major label album, Too Hard to Swallow in 1992, followed by several other albums charting on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, including the self-titled Underground Kingz album which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in August 2007. The group has also been featured on hit singles by other artists, such as on "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z and "Sippin' on Some Syrup" by Three 6 Mafia. On December 4, 2007, Pimp C was found dead in a Hollywood, California hotel room. Pimp C also founded UGK Records in late 2007.

History

In 1992, UGK was signed to Jive Records under a five-album contract, releasing their major label debut album Too Hard to Swallow. While it featured several new recordings, it also featured several songs that had been culled from The Southern Way., however; several songs that had been intended to be included on the album were excised at the last minute, apparently due to their overly explicit content. Five of these songs would surface two months before the release of Too Hard to Swallow, on an EP distributed by Bigtyme Recordz; appropriately enough, the EP was titled Banned. A popular song from the album "Pocket Full of Stones" was also included on the Menace II Society soundtrack in 1993.

Their second 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; their third album, Ridin' Dirty, peaked at #15. Ridin' Dirty would also be UGK's last album for the time being, as they went on a five year hiatus not long afterward.

The year 2000 became a breakthrough year for the group. UGK made a high-profile guest appearance on Jay-Z's smash hit "Big Pimpin'" and also appeared on Three 6 Mafia's hit "Sippin' on Some Syrup". Both of these collaborations greatly increased their reputation, and helped fuel anticipation for their next project . Jive Records failed to capitalize on this new-found interest in the duo, as their sixth album, 2001's Dirty Money, came and went with little fanfare.

Further problems arose when Pimp C was incarcerated for an aggravated gun assault charge in 2002 . 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 UGK's peers did the same, and mentioned 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 was released from prison and was to be on parole until December 2009,. He released his first post-incarceration album, titled Pimpalation, on July 25, 2006.

On August 7, 2007 eponymous Underground Kingz containing 26 tracks and spanning two discs . Featured 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 on a Marley Marl-produced track titled "Next Up". The album featured production by DJ Paul & Juicy J, who produced the second single, "International Player's Anthem ", worth mentioning is that a similar beat had been used on Project Pat's Cd titled Layin Da Smack Down from 2002, Jazze Pha, Swizz Beatz, The Runners, Lil' Jon, fellow Texas legend Scarface, and Pimp C. The album also featured Britishmarker rapper Dizzee Rascal on the track "Two Types of Bitches", following UGK's guest appearance in Rascal's own album Maths + English for the track "Where's Da G's".

Death of Pimp C

On December 4, 2007, Pimp C was found dead at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, Californiamarker, after Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a 911 call. They arrived to his sixth floor hotel room to find him dead in bed. This was three days after he performed with Too Short at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.

On February 4, 2008, the Insite received a call from the Los Angeles County Coroner's office with the cause of death. Officials there say the Houston rapper died from a Promethazine/Codeine syrup overdose combined with sleep apnea. His death was ruled an accident.

Bun B was interviewed a few days later by radio DJ Madd Hatta, and an audio recording has been posted online.

Bun B recently stated in an interview that there will be one last UGK album released, before he permanently becomes a solo act. "We were heavy into the meat of the album before Pimp passed," says Bun. "The dedication song-the night I wrote it, I wanted it to be one of the last records recorded for this album after what happened."

"Yea, we’re still putting together this last UGK record too, because there’s a lot of music that we’ve already recorded for it," adds Bun B. "I think that album itself is going to be a little bit weird."

Discography

Year Album US 200 US R&B U.S. Sales

1992 Too Hard to Swallow 37
1994 Super Tight 95 9
1996 Ridin' Dirty 15 2 500,000
2001 Dirty Money 18 2
2002 Side Hustles 70 10
2007 Underground Kingz 1 1 500,000+
2009 UGK 4 Life 6 2 137,075


Awards

  • BET Awards
    • 2008, Video of the Year ("International Players Anthem") with Outkast (Won)
    • 2008, Best Group (Won)


  • BET Hip-Hop Awards
    • 2007, Video of the Year ("International Players Anthem") with Outkast (Won)


  • Grammy Awards
    • 2001, Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group ("Big Pimpin") (Nominated)
    • 2008, Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group ("Int'l Players Anthem ") (Nominated)


  • Ozone Awards
    • 2006, Living Legends Award (Won)
    • 2008, Best Rap Group (Won)
    • 2008, Best Rap Album (Underground Kingz) [Nominated]
    • 2008, Best Video ("International Players Anthem") with Outkast (Won)


References

  1. Bush, John. UGK biography. Allmusic. Accessed December 9, 2007.
  2. Jeffries, David. Too Hard to Swallow. Allmusic
  3. UGK Billboard Album Chart Positions. Allmusic. Accessed December 9, 2007
  4. Harris, Chris. UGK's Pimp C To Be Released From Prison Within A Month. MTV News: December 6, 2005.
  5. Jeffries, David. Pimp C biography. Allmusic. Accessed December 9, 2007
  6. Jeffries, David. Jive Records Presents: UGK Chopped and Screwed. Allmusic: 2004
  7. Rapper Pimp C Released from Prison. Associated Press/Billboard: December 30, 2005.
  8. Rodriguez, Jayson. Ex-Con Pimpet C Juiced For UGK Album, Says He Has Lessons To Teach. MTV News: November 13, 2006.
  9. Jeffries, David. Pimpalation. Allmusic: 2006
  10. Jeffries, David. Underground Kingz. Allmusic: 2007
  11. Cohen, Jonathan. UGK Dropping Double Album In December. Billboard: October 25, 2006
  12. TMZ.com - Rapper Pimp C Found Dead(R.I.P.) in Hollywood Hotel Room (December 4, 2007)
  13. BillBoard.com - Report: UGK Rapper Pimp C Found Dead In L.A. (December 4, 2007)
  14. HHWorlds.com - Breaking News: Pimp C Death Attributed To Accidental Overdose
  15. Bun B Interview
  16. Bun B Says Another UGK Album Is Forthcoming | Hip Hop News > HipHopDX.com


External links




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