Entertainment News: Rapper Pimp C Dies

December 5, 2007 · Print This Article · Email This Post

Rapper Pimp C in Prison

Chad Butler, better known as rapper Pimp C, 33, was found dead in his room yesterday at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a 911 call. The street-savvy Texan is credited with popularizing Texas and Southern hip-hop music.

He was best known for his band’s (Underground Kingz, or UGK) appearance on the Jay-Z’s hit song, “Big Pimpin,” and for T-shirts reading “Free Pimp C” which were popular while Pimp C was jailed for three years on gun charges. He last performed at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip in Hollywood on Saturday night, with Too $hort. He was in town working on a solo album for Rap-A-Lot Records.

Pimp C died in bed, according to Captain Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, who said: “At this time, there’s no signs of foul play…It appears to be possibly natural but, pending autopsy and toxicology, we can’t say the cause.”

Yesterday, his MySpace page was changed; it now reads: “C the Pimp is FREE at last.”

His 1996 “Ridin’ Dirty” album, chronicling the seamier side of life in Texas, is considered a rap classic, and he was a seminal influence on rap superstars such as Lil’ Wayne.

The Port Arthur, TX native, who is survived by a wife and three children, came from a musical family. His father was a professional trumpeter. While in high school, Pimp C studied classical music and got a Division I rating as a tenor solo in a University Interscholastic League competition. According to the CBC and in a 2005 interview, Butler said: “Music don’t have no color or no face. It’s a universal language. I think being exposed to all that kind of stuff influences the way I make records.”

Update: Toxicology tests revealed that the rapper’s death was due in part to a combination of his sleep apnea and the use of codeine cough syrup. Codeine, a central nervous system depressant, slows the breathing rate.

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Photo credit: Rolling Stone

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