The dream Pimp C museum is more like a shrine. There are marble floors and walls. The heavenly fragrance of Bond No. 9 will fill the room the moment you enter. Quotes from Chad Butler will adorn the various walls, embossed as if they came from the Ten Commandments. The mink from the "International Players Anthem"? Hanging inside a glass case. The salt shaker he literally tossed on a cow in a UGK video? Boxed in glass for all to notice. In order to gain entry, one must ask why we must take "monkey shit" off.
That's the dream museum. Rice University may not fill out the budget for such deserved extravagance, but it has made some minor accommodations. On Tuesday, the Woodson Research Center at Rice’s Fondren Library will include a collection of handwritten lyrics, promotional documents and more from the late rapper. Part of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning’s Hip-Hop Archive, Pimp C is the first solo rapper to be included.
Five years ago, Swishahouse became the first hip-hop label archived in the Fondren Library. A year later, a vast collection of materials from the late DJ Screw was housed at the University of Houston's main library. Pimp is merely the next launch point for a city that's slowly beginning to archive and appreciate its supremely influential rap culture.
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For nearly a decade since his passing, the legacy of Pimp C has been taken down numerous roads. The estate has been in and out of litigation, and a few albums following his December 2007 death have been released. Last year's Long Live the Pimp came months after Julia Beverly's exhaustive biography, Sweet Jones: Pimp C's Trill Life Story. Yet Chad Butler remains a folk hero, someone who felt larger than life. And in death feels as if he never left in the first place.
To commemorate the addition to the museum, a panel titled "Pimp C: A Trill Legacy" will take place at the Grand Hall in Rice Memorial Center tomorrow from 7 to 10 p.m.; the event is co-sponsored by the Changing Communities Movement Foundation. Panelists include those who knew Butler almost better than anybody. Bun B, his partner and brother in UGK, will be in attendance. David Banner, who Pimp gave a shot as a producer and more, will be in attendance. Mr. Lee, who produced much of the album Long Live the Pimp, will be on board. Michael "5000" Watts, who already is part of the aforementioned Swishahouse exhibit, will take part, as will E.S.G. and Lil Keke. Chinara Butler, Pimp's widow, will also take part in the panel, moderated by KBXX's Madd Hatta.
"We are so excited about this collaboration with Rice University," Butler said in a press release. "Preserving my husband's legacy is my top priority, and through this partnership we can now ensure that Chad's music can be studied for generations to come."
To RSVP visit allthingstrill.com. The event is free to the public; parking will be available in the Central Campus Garage.