I'll never forget the first time I heard UGK. It was 1993, and I was 11 years old. Back in those days, movie releases were followed by soundtracks, and those soundtracks sometimes rivaled the films they were made for. Menace II Society dropped that year, and the Hughes brothers' South Central Biopic made Boyz N The Hood look like a Disney movie. So, of course, after sneaking into the theatre to watch it, i immediately headed down to the Wherehouse Music on Lincoln Blvd to snag the soundtrack, which featured names that were already familiar to a budding gangster rap enthusiast: Spice 1, MC Eiht, Too Short, Boogie Down Productions, etc. But there was one name on that soundtrack that I was unfamiliar with at the time: UGK. The first time I heard the "Pocket Full of Stones (Port Arthur Remix)", I was completely thrown off by its crawling tempo, Red Hot Chili Peppers sample, and Pimp C's drawling "I got a pocket fulla stooooooooooooooones" hook. I quickly became a fan of UGK's tales of pimping, pandering, and street life in H-Town, and stayed up on every one of their subsequent releases (full discography here). I quickly realized that Pimp C was much, much more than a rapper: He produced and co-produced many of their biggest songs, was capable of singing the hell out of a hook, and took many an artist under his wing, opening doors for many a southern MC. He was also an unforgettable character, never afraid to speak his mind and tell you exactly how he felt - Who could forget his now legendary Power 107.9 Atlanta Interview (Part 1 & Part 2 )? It was a sad for hip hop the day the world learned of Pimp's untimely passing on December 4th, 2007. The hip-hop community had lost a true pioneer in such an untimely manner, leaving a gaping hole in the southern rap scene, and many unanswered questions. Until Now. Julia Beverly, the former publisher and editor-in chief of Ozone Magazine tirelessly interviewed 250 people (Including Bun B, Snoop Dogg, Three 6 Mafia, Mannie Fresh, Ice T, & The Geto Boys, among others) with the blessing of Pimp's mother and manager, Weslyn "Mama Wes" Monroe to capture Pimp C the artist, Pimp C the legend, and Chad butler, the man. As with any exhaustive posthumous biography, there were dissenters, including Pimp's widow, Chinara Butler. But after years of research and countless hours of hard work, "$weet Jone$: Pimp C's Trill Life Story" was released this past Tuesday, July 7th. I can't wait to get my hands on my copy, and if you're a fan of Pimp C, UGK, or hip-hop in general, you shouldn't either.
Purchase your copy HERE.