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 UGK are not together because the State of Texas says they can't be ...



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 Pimp scared of the "Pimpin'," and UGK's future in doubt ...





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Jay called back, this time with his number not blocked, and eventually convinced Bun he was indeed the real Jiggaman. Now all Bun had to do was convince his partner in crime that "Big Pimpin' " would be great for their career, and that being elevated from underground status wouldn't be such a bad thing.

"I remember Jay telling me, 'Look, family: It's going to be the biggest record of your career. If you don't do it for yourself, just do it for me.' "
"[I told him], 'It's going to be the biggest record we ever had,' " Bun recalls. " 'Are you crazy? This is Jay-Z. Everybody loves him. He just did Hard Knock Life. Everybody is going to go out and buy his next album. He could sneeze, cough or fart on the record — it's going to sell a million-plus off the top, why wouldn't we at least get a song on that record?' "

"It sounded like a pop record to me," Pimp remembered of hearing the song's Timbaland-produced beat. "I didn't want to do it. It scared me, because I didn't know how people was going to take us going in that direction. But I remember Jay telling me, 'Look, family: It's going to be the biggest record of your career. If you don't do it for yourself, just do it for me.' That was good enough for me, so I jumped on it."

Just when "Big Pimpin' " was hitting its peak, UGK were featured on another hit record, "Sippin' on Some Syrup" by Three 6 Mafia, and it seemed like their own next album was destined to go platinum. But that album, Dirty Money, didn't come until 2001, by which point the group's mainstream buzz had long since died out.

Bun blames beef with Jive for the delay. There were financial difficulties (Bun says they've never received any back-end money from the label for the first seven years of his career), as well as creative clashes.

"We hadn't had a UGK album in about three and a half years. I thought it was important for us to come back exactly the way people know us."
"They wanted us to make a 'Big Pimpin', Part 2,' basically," Bun says. "They wanted to go get a beat from Tim, they wanted to get Jay, they wanted Hype [Williams] to shoot the video. I'm like, 'Well, all that is cool, but I don't know if necessarily that's the way we want to come back.' At that point, we hadn't had a UGK album in about three and a half years. I thought it was important for us to come back exactly the way people know us. We ended up really not even connecting to the fame again."

Until Pimp C is released from prison, UGK's future is in doubt. One thing is clear, though: Even if they never make another record, their influence is beyond question. Rap-A-Lot just released Pimp's solo debut, Sweet James Jones Stories, and Bun is working on his solo debut as well as a group album with his protégés the Mddlfngz.

Pimp's protégés Lil Boosie and Lil' Webbie are starting to make names for themselves, and all over Texas, you can see fans and local rappers like Chamillionaire wearing "Free Pimp C" T-shirts and caps, and MCs are shouting out Pimp on their records. "Maybe, at one time, I motivated them to do what they doing now," Pimp says. "But right now, being where I'm at, those guys are motivating me to keep going. When I hear a Mike Jones holler my name, when I hear a T.I. in his interviews speaking of us in a good way, when I hear my name on a Slim Thug song — these guys are motivating me. They're telling me, 'Hey man, we want you to come back to the game. You can come back.' "


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