The Pimp C Lyrics Kanye West Thought Were Too Controversial For His Remix Surface
In 2015, Julia Beverly, founder of Ozone Magazine, released Sweet Jones: Pimp C’s Trill Life Story, the most comprehensive biography on the fallen UGK member, to date. While Beverly spoke extensively about the book last year, including at length with Ambrosia For Heads, a passage regarding an unreleased Pimp C verse for the remix to Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” has started to make the rounds.
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In 2007, Pimp was upset with the direction in which he thought Hip-Hop, particularly Hip-Hop from Atlanta, was going. At the time, he did an interview with Ozone Magazine that caused a stir even before its release due to rumors about him dissing Atlanta and Young Jeezy. Pimp called into Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 to address the matters directly, and the exchange was quite intense. In discussing the source of his anger, he said “I’m mad because everybody on these records lyin’. Everybody lyin’. Everybody’s this big D-boy. Everybody’s these hardcore gangstas. Everybody going to do this to each other when they see each other…And, the truth be told, we too blessed and be having too much money in this Rap game to be going to war with each other…Don’t nobody want to fight nobody in this Rap game, ’cause 98% of these dude is cowards.”
When asked if he had dissed Young Jeezy in the article, Pimp replied “If I was gonna diss somebody, I’ma say they name to they face and a fight go with that. So, nah, I ain’t diss Young Jeezy, ’cause Young Jeezy ain’t the only one spittin’ fake dope prices. I’m dissin’ everybody lyin’ about selling drugs and ain’t touched nary a drug.” Subsequent to that conversation, however, the MC born Chad Butler was invited to join Kanye’s remix, and the verse he turned in was rejected by Kanye, as it was deemed too controversial, and possibly perceived to be a diss against Jeezy, who had been sampled on the original version of the song and also was included on a remix.
The lyrics to Pimp’s verse were posted in a recent Reddit thread (from pages 550 and 551 from Beverly’s book). While Jeezy is not mentioned by name, the verse echoes many of the themes Butler articulated in his conversation with Hot 107.9 and Ozone Magazine, as he rapped “I’m on this track like white on rice. Mr. Potato Head tryin’ to make me Christ. I’m sorry, Atlanta; Georgia really is the South, but too many boys got them thangs in they mouth. I ain’t talkin’ good grillz, mane. I’m talkin’ bout that Angus beef with that big ol’ vein. Gipp say they look like Sisqo. The Chocolate City is the new San Francisco…This is for the busters and the suckers, nd the fake drug dealers and the internet cluckers. Need to stop lying to the kids, for real. Ain’t have no Benz until you signed your first record deal.” Pimp continued his vitriol in the chorus, which he re-worked to say “Naaah naa na naaah. Bitch I been had my money right. I’m Rap-A-Lot in this mafia life. Excuse me, do you really wanna go to war?. Say something I’ll leave your brains on your mini bar. I think they bluffin’ and they frontin’. I’m Pimp C, you can’t tell me nothing!”
In speaking with Ambrosia For Heads, Beverly gave context for what drove Pimp C in these situations, even addressing the Hot 107.9 interview, specifically: “A lot of people would hear him later on in life, in these wild statements that he’d make and the crazy interviews [portrayed as] the flamboyant Pimp C character… but I think that was always in him. Even going back to his high school record, he started out dissing the high school bully…He was never afraid to speak what was on his mind…Even people who had known him for a long time, when they heard that infamous HOT 107 interview when people were like, ‘he’s crazy’—people who knew him were like, ‘That’s nothing. That’s normal.’ It just had never been put on that platform before, where it reached so many people.”
After recording the verse, Pimp spoke to Beverly about it, telling her “I done vowed I’m not gonna drop that shit, because Kanye told me that the song is a prayer. I’m finna go back and [re-do it] and treat it as such, and treat it with respect, like I’m talking to the Lord. I’m not gonna invite no man to suck my dick on no muthafuckin’ song… when I’m supposed to be praying.” Tragically, Pimp passed away later that year, and the verse apparently was never re-done.