Pimp C‘s legacy is well-established. As one-half of the legendary UGK, C helped establish the South’s viability in hip-hop in the early and mid-1990s. But also as a producer, Pimp C is one of the Dirty South’s sonic architects.
The sound of southern hip-hop has always been more indebted to slow-rolling southern soul and lazy wah-wah guitars, and those trademarks are always prevalent in Pimp C’s best productions. C’s production work was prominent on albums by his fellow southern mainstays like Big Mike, Master P and others.
In recognition of Sweet Jones’ stellar resume, we picked 10 of our favorite tracks produced by Chad “Pimp C” Butler.
“Can’t Let Go”
In the late 90s, Sleepy Brown and Organized Noize dropped an underground classic with The Vinyl Room, and for “Can’t Let Go” they worked with an underground king. Pimp C’s touches perfectly complement the stoned-out funk of the track, further proof of his sonic connections to 70s sounds.
“It’s Supposed To Bubble”
Pimp C’s productions gifts were evident early on but it was on Super Tight that he really began to come into his own. On this classic UGK track, he flips a stellar sample of Treasure’s “Thoughts of Old Flames.”
“Murda Man Dance”
Spice 1 w/UGK
Pimp C worked with Bay Area legend Spice 1 on his 2000 album The Last Dance. At the start of the millennium, Spice 1 was forging a new path in his career as an independent artist. The two had been labelmates on Jive throughout the 1990s, and P laced Spice 1 with one of his slickest grooves.
“Playaz From the South”
Master P w/UGK, Silkk the Shocker
Before their relationship famously soured, Pimp C frequently worked with Master P’s No Limit crew. One of the first was this classic posse track from No Limit’s 1995 Down South Hustlers: Bouncin’ and Swingin’ compilation.
Another groove that’s melodic and still gritty, Pimp C’s sound had evolved over the course of UGK’s run. Things were a little more polished by the time the duo released Dirty Money, but UGK was still UGK. Over a sample of Staple Singers’ “Love Comes In All Colors,” Pimp C and Bun B delivered one of their best late-90s tracks.
It’s one of UGK’s most iconic songs. The vibe is menacingly funky, and Bun B’s rhymes are the stuff of legend. Pimp C really delivered bangers throughout Ridin’ Dirty and one of the album’s most memorable tracks was this banger.
“Havin’ Thangs” (1994)
After a short stint in the Geto Boys, Nawlins rapper Big Mike branched out on his own, debuting in 1994 with Somethin’ Serious. One of the standout singles was this laid-back classic, which featured a trademark Pimp C groove and a hook from the man himself.
“Front Back & Side to Side”
With the drums from Eazy E’s “Boyz N the Hood” and a loop of The Meters’ version of “Rigor Mortis,” Pimp C produced one of UGK’s most definitive tracks. An ode to tricked-out Chevys and Impalas, it became a Down South cruising anthem.
“Break ’em Off Something”
Master P w/UGK
One of the true gems from Pimp C’s collaborations with Master P was this classic from P’s 1996 album Ice Cream Man. The argument between P and Pimp C’s mom caused strained relations between the two rappers just prior, but C begrudgingly worked on the track.
“Diamonds & Wood”
UGK has a lot of classic songs, but this laid-back track from 1996s Ridin’ Dirty epitomizes everything that Pimp C did well as a producer; the syrupy bassline and druggy guitars from Bootsy Collins’ “Munchies For Your Love” keep things mellow like a balmy Sunday in Texas.
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