Friday, December 07, 2007

Pimp C

Pimp C of the Underground Kingz (aka UGK) was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel room a few days back. The rapper was 33. It is especially tragic that he died now as UGK just released their triumphant comeback, the double disc Underground Kingz, a few months ago after years of label drama and prison drama had shanghaied the group. UGK were one of the originators of Dirty Southern music, coming out of Port Arthur, near Houston, in the late 80s. They had some big hits in the 90s with songs like "Pocket Full of Stones". They helped lay the blueprint for Southern hip hop, with its laid back drawl, skittering beats, and lyrics obsessed with cars and drug dealing. No cause of death has been announced yet, although I've heard that there were prescription drugs found at the site. Southern rappers love their codeine, and its possible he either OD'ed or died of some other drug-assisted causes. It's also possible he had a weak heart, or had an aneurysm, or died from any of the million freaky ways perfectly healthy people can die.

In honor of his death (and the fact that rasputin was having a sale) I picked up a copy of Underground Kings today, and it's pretty awesome. I'm not a huge fan of Southern rap, as it tends to be pretty ignorant shit most of the time (and I mean that out of respect, boys..). There are only so many unapologetic tracks about dealing drugs and fucking bitches that a boy like me can take. Still, UGK do it better than most, and this double disc set is definitely a masterpiece in the genre. What they nail here is the funky, laid back drawl that more East Coast rappers can't approach. This is the music of sipping syrup and staying indoors with the AC - lazy, rambling, and smooth. It's a shame that Pimp C went out so young, but no can say he didn't go out strong.

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