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In Defense of Pimp C
There’s a point on the UGK Bonus DVD where Rick Ross praises UGK, talking about “Bun B’s flow” and then he stumbles for a second before praising Pimp C, finally committing to “Pimp C’s charisma” and the way Pimp well, sounds like a pimp. Ross stumbles because what makes Pimp C great is a lot less tangible than Bun B’s articulate drawl or ridiculous ability to stay on beat.

By any conventional standard, Pimp is a poor rapper and while praising him for his “charisma” is apt, it is the kind of half-bullshit argument guys like me make to defend Young Jeezy and well, Pimp C brings a little more to the table than the Snowman. Pimp is unbridled in his flow and rhyming, which can lead to some cringe-inducing clunkers, but he’s equally unbridled with his content, making him more honest than just about any rapper out there. He sincerely asks, “I wonder if there’s a Heaven up there for real Gs” and also angrily threatens to put “dick up in your daughter”. Pimp can talk more shit and drop more tear-jerking lines; there’s no filter or rather, he gives the illusion that there isn’t a filter so on, ‘Swishas and Doshas’ he rhymes “sparkling” and “chocolate” but he also drops the very-honest line about how he “ain’t got no friends since [he] got out the pen”. That honesty, to me, is more significant than being technically good or even adequate.

I can’t help but think of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who although technically better, has a similarly polarzing way of navigating emotional extremes. In a poetry class I took, the ODB was brought up jokingly by the professor causing a dread-locked, militant, light-skinned (surprise, surprise) girl to roll her eyes and go on a rant about what the ODB “represents”. Of course, he represented everything that is wrong with black people and blah blah blah. The professor calmly replied with an anecdote his mother told him as a child; that “some people’s farts smell worse than others but no one’s smell like roses”. It was profound and scatological, like the ODB; it applies to Pimp C as well.

Why do people crave consistency? Pimp’s flow and attitude is an embrace of chaos that most people like to believe doesn’t exist. Whether they believe in radical politics or some Platonic sense of “good rapping” it’s all complacency employed to keep the real and horrible out. I used to understand critiques of Pimp’s flow and still laugh about it, but after hearing ‘Underground Kingz’ at least 50 times in the past week, all I hear is real. Not some “soul-bearing”-bullshit-need-to-express-himself real, but honesty rooted in experience and an understanding of just how fucked up shit can get. You see it too, on that aforementioned Bonus DVD when Pimp, talks of how the people in prison aren’t all bad but have caught a bad break or made a mistake or can’t hack it once they get in there…and this comes from the guy whose catchphrase as of late is “Fuck how you feel”.

Written by Brandon

August 15th, 2007 at 4:15 am

Posted in ODB, Pimp C, UGK, the South

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