Houston Music

Long-Awaited Pimp C Album 'Long Live the Pimp' Comes to Light

To be honest, a terrible tag is associated with the word “posthumous." It refers to any life after death situation, the release of works or acts after one has gone. It also means the possibility of said work being unspectacular or failing to live up to its creator's legacy. Posthumous projects haven't fared all that well in rap, save for possibly a couple Tupac albums. Yet, when you ask Chinara Butler about the one she’s involved in, you know she’s dedicated the last two years of her life seeing it through.

That project is Long Live the Pimp, the fourth solo album from Pimp C and the one that comes with the odd tagline of being released on Mass Appeal Records. Butler is the widow of Pimp C, the one entrusted with his legacy and the woman who held court during a massive listening session at Washington Avenue haunt Social Junkie on Tuesday evening.

Butler, big hat and even bigger personality, greeted many as if they were longtime family friends. DJ Superstar played the album, a 17-track collection of unreleased Pimp C verses carefully manicured and pieced together with the help of Juicy J, Cory Mo and more. In short, it's an album littered with some of the same soul influences Pimp C carried in his own production, almost as if he sat in with Cory, Juicy and others in crafting the perfect sound for the records.

“Me and Juicy sat down and vibed out first,” Butler said of the creation of the project. “We agreed that if you can’t sit with me in the studio, you can’t be on the album. If you respect Chad, you’ll respect this vision.”

As it stands, Long Live the Pimp has a wide range of guests, all of whom have either recorded with Pimp C during the middle or later stages of his career or have been vocal in citing him as an influence. “Wavybone,” the UGK feature from A$AP Rocky’s At.Long.Last.A$AP release was slotted onto the project, along with the tape’s second single, “Friends,” which features Juicy J and Nas. The expansive guest list for Long Live the Pimp features T.I., David Banner, 8Ball & MJG, Ty Dolla $ign, Devin the Dude, Lil Keke, Slim Thug, ESG and others all either pay their respects or jump on a track with Pimp.

Considering the large amount of well-wishers who packed into Social Junkie, listening to Long Live the Pimp felt like part family reunion, part gathering to hammer out ideas and let bad vibes go. DJs from The Beat and The Box appeared, all huddled together as a show of unity for the fraternal order of breaking and spinning records. Rappers interacted with fans and hugged various spacious, taking complimentary drinks and bullshitting since the spotlight wasn't about them for a change. As the music blared over the speakers and attempted to drown out every conversation around, I realized what Long Live the Pimp meant. The listening session wasn’t just about an album of well-thought-out records and concepts from Butler and company. It was another watershed moment to take into account the legacy and scope of a man who accomplished more in 33 years than most do in a lifetime.

Butler laughed when discussing “3 Way Freak," the album’s lead single. “Who can I get that likes to talk nasty?” she pondered before pointing to the sky and laughing. “Lil Wayne!”

What can easily be gathered is that Long Live the Pimp, from “Friends” on is a large collection of country rap tunes, all from one of the forefathers of the genre. People brought out their Pimp C memorabilia and nodded like bobbleheads at the grind and gloss of “Bitch Get Down,” where UGK & 8Ball & MJG come together in Southern-rap matrimony. Bun B of course made the introduction of the track, on behalf of his baby brother.

Who better than him to let that royal Southern rap union be known?

Long Live The Pimp will be released on December 4 via Mass Appeal Records.

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Brandon Caldwell has been writing about music and news for the Houston Press since 2011. His work has also appeared in Complex, Noisey, the Village Voice & more.
Contact: Brandon Caldwell