Long Live <b>Underground Kingz</b>

BY Luke FoxPublished Mar 26, 2009

With Pimp C passed, Bun B soldiers on, keeping the UGK name alive with UGK 4 Life, the Texan rap duo's sixth and final album. Chad "Pimp C" Butler, an accomplished and outspoken rapper-producer, died on Dec. 4, 2007, due to complications from his sleep apnea condition. He had already begun recording verses and laying beats for UGK 4 Life, which features Mannie Fresh, Eightball & MJG, Too $hort and E-40.

Shards of Pimp's vaulted material will surface on a posthumous solo CD, but Bun, whose own verses were recorded partly before but mostly after his friend died, asserts that UGK 4 Life will be final LP from a group that famously collaborated with Jay-Z on "Big Pimpin'" and was honoured by T.I., who covered UGK's "Front Back" in tribute. Though he had help from producers familiar with the UGK sound, Bun B says putting the record together was emotionally challenging. He struggled with "mentally coming to terms with the fact that he's gone and these were his last words put to music.

"UGK has had a 17-year career as far as Pimp and I putting albums out together," says Bun, who will continue his solo career. "The UGK movement still lives on in the streets with people backing me up. It's bittersweet, but I have to admit, we did have a good run. Every day I see people wearing UGK shirts, always coming up to me and telling me how they miss Pimp C. And they tell me all the time, especially when it first happened and I was kinda down: 'You gotta keep doing it. You gotta keep repping because nobody else is gonna do it the way y'all do.' I understand what UGK stands for and what we mean to people."

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