UGK (short for UNDERGROUND KINGZ) was an American hip hop duo from
Port Arthur, Texas
Port Arthur, Texas , formed in 1987, by Chad "Pimp C" Butler and
Bernard "Bun B" Freeman . They released their first major-label album
Too Hard to Swallow , in 1992, followed by several other albums
charting on the
Billboard 200 and Top R appropriately enough, the EP
was titled Banned . A popular song from the album "Pocket Full of
Stones" was also included on the Menace II Society soundtrack in 1993.
Their second album,
Super Tight , was released two years later, on
August 30. Unlike their previous album,
Super Tight managed to break
Billboard Hot 200 and ultimately peaked at #95; their third
album, Ridin\' Dirty , peaked at #15.
Ridin' Dirty would also be
UGK's last album for the time being, as they went on a five-year
hiatus not long afterward.
The year 2000 became a breakthrough year for the group.
UGK made a
high-profile guest appearance on
Jay-Z 's smash hit "Big Pimpin\' "
and also appeared on
Three 6 Mafia 's hit "Sippin\' on Some Syrup ".
Both of these collaborations greatly increased their reputation, and
helped fuel anticipation for their next project.
Jive Records failed
to capitalize on this new-found interest in the duo, as their fourth
album, 2001's Dirty Money , came and went with little fanfare.
Further problems arose when
Pimp C was incarcerated for an aggravated
gun assault charge in 2002. Throughout the time of his incarceration,
Bun B carried on the
UGK name by making numerous guest appearances on
songs by other artists, with every appearance either mentioning Pimp C
or featuring a "Free Pimp C!" or "Free the Pimp" chant. Many of UGK's
peers did the same, and mentioned
Pimp C in their own songs with or
Bun B . During this period,
Jive Records released a Best of
UGK album, as well as a Chopped & Screwed remix album. As a result of
Pimp C's incarceration, both members of
UGK began solo careers out of
Rap-A-Lot Records released Pimp C's solo debut, Sweet James Jones
Stories , on March 1, 2005.
Bun B later released his own solo foray,
Trill , on October 18, 2005. It opened at #6 on the Billboard Hot 200
, and also peaked at #1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-hop Album chart.
On December 30, 2005,
Pimp C was released from prison and was to be
on parole until December 2009,. He released his first
post-incarceration album, titled
Pimpalation , on July 25, 2006.
On August 7, 2007, the group released their fifth studio album, the
Underground Kingz . It was a double album , containing 26
tracks and spanning two discs. Featured guests included
Talib Kweli ,
Too Short ,
Rick Ross ,
Three 6 Mafia ,
Slim Thug ,
as well as hip-hop legends
Kool G Rap
Kool G Rap and
Big Daddy Kane
Big Daddy Kane on a Marley
Marl -produced track titled "Next Up". The album also featured British
Dizzee Rascal on the track "Two Types of Bitches", following
UGK's guest appearance in Rascal's own album
Maths + English for the
track "Where's Da G's". The album featured production by
DJ Paul &
Juicy J ,
Jazze Pha ,
Swizz Beatz ,
The Runners ,
Lil Jon , fellow
Texas legend Scarface , and Pimp C.
DJ Paul and
Juicy J produced the
second single, "International Player\'s Anthem (I Choose You) ". They
had used a similar beat on
Project Pat 's album titled Layin' Da Smack
Down in 2002.
The album got a positive reception, both commercially and critically.
It received a 4-star rating from Allmusic, and reached #1 on the
Billboard Hot 200 album charts. "International Player\'s Anthem (I
Choose You) " became the group's only single to chart on the Billboard
Hot 100 pop charts, where it peaked at #70.
2007-09: DEATH OF PIMP C AND BREAKUP
On December 4, 2007,
Pimp C was found dead at the
Mondrian Hotel in
West Hollywood, California
West Hollywood, California , after Los Angeles County Fire Department
responded to a 9-1-1 call. They arrived to his sixth-floor hotel room
to find him dead in bed. This was three days after he performed with
Too Short at the
House of Blues
House of Blues in Los Angeles.
Bun B was interviewed a few days later by radio DJ Madd Hatta, and an
audio recording has been posted online.
Bun B recently stated in an interview that there will be one last UGK
album released, before he permanently becomes a solo act. "We were
heavy into the meat of the album before Pimp passed," says Bun. "The
dedication song-the night I wrote it, I wanted it to be one of the
last records recorded for this album after what happened."
"Yea, we’re still putting together this last
UGK record too,
because there’s a lot of music that we’ve already recorded for
it," adds Bun B. "I think that album itself is going to be a little
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* ^ Bush, John.
Allmusic . Accessed December 9,
* ^ Jeffries, David. Too Hard to Swallow.
UGK Billboard Album Chart Positions.
Allmusic . Accessed
December 9, 2007
* ^ Harris, Chris. UGK\'s
Pimp C To Be Released From Prison Within
MTV News : December 6, 2005.
* ^ Jeffries, David.
Pimp C biography.
Allmusic . Accessed December
* ^ Jeffries, David.
Jive Records Presents:
UGK Chopped and
Allmusic : 2004
* ^ Rapper
Pimp C Released from Prison.
Associated Press /Billboard
: December 30, 2005.
* ^ Rodriguez, Jayson. Ex-Con Pimpet C Juiced For
UGK Album, Says
He Has Lessons To Teach.
MTV News : November 13, 2006.
* ^ Jeffries, David. Pimpalation.
Allmusic : 2006
* ^ A B Jeffries, David. Underground Kingz.
Allmusic : 2007
* ^ Cohen, Jonathan.
UGK Dropping Double Album In December
Billboard : October 25, 2006
* ^ "\'\'TMZ.com\'\' - Rapper
Pimp C Found Dead(R.I.P.) in
Hollywood Hotel Room (December 4, 2007)". Tmz.com. Retrieved
* ^ "\'\'BillBoard.com\'\' - Report:
Pimp C Found Dead
In L.A. (December 4, 2007)". Billboard.com. 2005-12-30. Retrieved
* ^ "
Bun B Interview". Hiphopdx.com. 2007-12-07. Retrieved
* ^ Burgess, Omar (2008-03-10). "
Bun B Says Another
UGK Album Is
Forthcoming Hip Hop News >". HipHopDX.com. Retrieved 2011-08-05.