Pimp C

Thursday (December 4) marks the first anniversary of the death of UGK rap legend Pimp C (real name: Chad Butler), who was found dead last year in his room at the Mondrian hotel in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, he died of an accidental overdose of cough medication and a pre-existing sleeping condition.

Pimp C’s contribution to Southern rap has not been forgotten, however. Along with UGK partner Bun B, he was influential in establishing Houston in the game and inspired the careers of many of the city’s MCs. All day, thoughts have been pouring in to MTV News from his friends and colleagues about how the late rapper touched their lives. (Click here for photos of Pimp C and UGK.)

“I’m normally good with words, but it took me a while just to put a three-sentence quote together about him, because there are no words to describe how much he meant to me and so many others,” fellow Houston MC Chamillionaire wrote in an e-mail. “It really seems like it was just yesterday that he was here, and I still can’t believe he’s not. He is deeply missed, and I know his legacy will live on forever.”

Slim Thug said that Pimp C’s voice still lives on in many artists’ music. “I hear him sampled on hooks and hear all the good music he made while alive, and I know we will never forget what he did for Texas.”

Pimp C is expected to make a posthumous appearance on Chamillionaire’s third album, Venom, and is featured with Chamillionaire on “Underground Thang,” a song off of Bun B’s II Trill.

Bun B remembered his partner fondly when we spoke to him recently in Houston during the weekend of the “Best of Texas” concert. “It took us awhile to figure out that UGK was not just a group,” Bun said. “UGK means so much to so many people.”

Bun said he would never forget how they supported and encouraged each other to continue in the game. “There would be different times where his frustration would get overbearing, and he would want to just kind of stop doing it, and I would lift him,” he recalled. “And then vice-versa. When I would start feeling indifferent about the game, he would be there to lift me up and keep me inspired.”

Pimp C’s wife, Chinara Butler, also shared her thoughts on what her husband meant to her family and music.

“To my husband and best friend, words can never express how much you are missed, and how much of a gap you left in the lives of family, friends, the industry and your fans!” she said in an e-mail. “I don’t think I’m alone when I say I definitely miss you, speaking the real. You are loved and missed, but your spirit and music will live on forever!”