Big Mike Showed Pimp C Had More Thangs Than Rhymes. His Beats Banged Too (Video)
1994 was a pivotal year for southern Hip-Hop. OutKast released their monumental debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik while Scarface’s five-mic-certified The Diary showed that Georgia and Texas were both in strong Southern stride. Additionally, Memphis, Tennessee was also starting to really make statements thanks to releases from Three 6 Mafia and 8Ball & MJG that same year.
There also seemed to be a shift in what those southern outfits were doing internally. UGK released their sophomore album Super Tight, but the year also marked an important period for Pimp C producing other artists. Veteran Big Mike, who would exit the Geto Boys in 1995, was embarking on his solo career (just as Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill had done). In ’94, the New Orleans, Louisiana native (and former Convicts co-founder) dropped his debut album Somethin’ Serious via Rap-A-Lot Records. It did relatively well commercially with Pimp C making two appearances on the LP, most notably on the Cadillac swerving anthem “Havin’ Thangs.” Pimp’s “playalistic” hook was the perfect complement for Mike’s bayou bars, which if you were a southern stick-up kid, were all-the-more relatable.
“Time brings change and change comes with time / Throughout these years I learned to get down for mine / Had to do some crime with the attitude of not giving a f*ck / Born with no luck, refused to stay stuck / I made the bucks, did what I had to, I did what I could / My rise to the top was no surprise cause I knew that I would / Make it, oh, the chance, I had to take it / Fake it never because that n***a was too clever / If there ever was a motherf*cker down for his crown / It had to be me, the B-i-g M-i-k-e, straight G / Come sun down, come sun up, gun up / For them ni**as who wanna run up / Whatchamacallit came up short, that ni**a done what?,” spit Mike, who was very nearly part of Death Row Records’ inauguration two years prior. Shot in Texas, the video is simple but shows a man living out his dreams and hoping to stay paid in the game.
Sampling Funkadelic’s “Good Old Music,” the song was an example of the southern twang Big Mike wanted to put on a rather funky solo debut. Samples used by Mike, N.O. Joe, and the album’s other producers often served inspiration from the likes of Ohio Players (on “Fire”), Al Green (on “Playa Playa”) and Funk, Inc. (on “Smoke ‘Em & Choke ‘Em”).
Tragically, Pimp C passed away in 2007, but it seemed to be the start of him receiving his long-deserved flowers. At the time of his death, he was a Rap-A-Lot solo artist. Many Heads went back and dug up not just the classics he created with Bun, but also, the solo production and appearances he made on other relative heavy-hitter’s records. After dropping Somethin’ Serious, Big Mike went on to create an extensive solo catalog that included 11 studio albums with the most recent being last year’s O.G. Big Mike. Few of Chad Butler’s non-UGK productions reached as many as “Havin’ Thangs.”