One of the icons of rap music, Pimp C aka Chad Butler of the Houston rap group Underground Kingz (UGK), passed away in his Los Angeles hotel room December 4, 2007. Up until this week it had been believed that he had solely passed away due to natural causes. The recently completed autopsy and toxicology report have changed the cause of death to “accident” due to findings of prescribed cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine.
Pimp C had a medical condition called sleep apnea which gives temporary lapses in breathing and the medicine he ingested reduced his breathing rate and the two proved to be fatal. Hall of Fame NFL football player Reggie White died back in 2004 as a result of his sleep apnea, unexpectedly dying in his sleep as well.
Ironically back in 2000 in Pimp C’s home town of Houston, famous pioneer disk jockey DJ Screw, died of an overdose of codeine and promethazine. In Houston the combination of those two drugs is called “lean” or “purple drank”. There is no reason to believe that Pimp C was using the drugs in anyway other than prescribed.
Pimp C and the other half of UGK, Bun B, have been considered trailblazers for the “Dirty South” Houston, Texas rap scene. Most of there albums only received moderate commercial success but have been regarded as classics. UGK may be most famous for their guest appearance on the Jay-Z track “Big Pimpin“. Awhile back, Pimp C was incarcerated for not completing community service in a previous aggravated assault charge. He served about four years of his eight year sentence and was released on parole. While he was locked up, Bun B started a huge grassroots movement called “Free Pimp C” that lead to merchandise being sold, alums being recorded, and websites being flooded with the slogan.
In August of 2007 UGK released a double album, possibly their last, called Underground Kings. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts and has sold over 500,000 albums already. The big hit single off of the album “International Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)” features Outkast.
Bonus Free Music Download:
Chamillionaire “Won’t Let You Down – Extended Texas Edition” (18mins)
featuring Bun B & Pimp C, Paul Wall, Scarface, Lil Flip, Z-Ro, Mike Jones, and more…
Additional Reading: KVUE.com Article