(center): Bun B (top row L-R): Kilo, Bankroll Jonez, Eddie Rabbit, Bad Ass Bam, Bandit, Hezeleo, Vicious, Big Bubb, XVII, DJ B-Do, T.O.E.
UGK RECORDS Carrying the Torch for Pimp C
words by Ms. Rivercity photo by mike frost
76 // OZONE MAG
Location: Pass Christian, MS Myspace.com/17thaboss “I grew up listening to Pimp,” XVII recollects. “With every artist on UGK Records, it was family. Everybody had a role.” After flying to Houston to record a song with Pimp, XVII would soon find that his role was to be Pimp’s first round draft pick. “I was supposed to just feature him on one song and Pimp ended up wanting the record to come out under UGK Records. Pimp knew I was fucking around in the streets so he moved me to Port Arthur. Me and Pimp sounded a lot alike and I reminded Pimp of himself, so he wanted me to go first. Pimp had a lot of people down with him before me and I was a lil nervous about how everybody else would feel. But I didn’t see jealousy or nothing like that when I met them.” Starting off as a featured guest in his music career, Pimp would end up becoming a brother to XVII. He guided his new protégé with the distribution of XVII’s album Certified, which under Pimp’s guidance would sell 9,000 units. Released only two months prior to Pimp’s passing, a permanent distribution situation was never finalized for the album and now XVII faces legalities and clearance hindrances. Despite the current situation, XVII continues mashing forward, not only for himself but for the sake of preserving a legend. He states, “It’s like taking five steps backwards. I have to go back to the roots. But I have a close relationship with Bun; I am with UGK Records. I’m gonna sit back and wait ‘til all the legalities clear up and then drop another record. Until then, I’m gonna grind on the mixtape circuit and stay in the streets with Certified. That’s how Pimp taught us to be.” With mixtapes slated to drop soon with DJ Chuck T and others, XVII simply wants to make music with a cause. “It’s hard to keep a legacy alive when that person’s not here anymore but as long as I’m breathing, Pimp’s breathing. As long as I’m still rapping, he’s rapping. I just want people to pay attention to everything he said now, even if you didn’t pay attention to him when he was alive.”
Ozone Mag #65 - Mar 2008