Bun B's "Free [artist id="1318358"]Pimp C[/artist]" campaign ended after the incarcerated half of [artist id="1161671"]UGK[/artist] was released from prison. And in the wake of Pimp's death in December of 2007, Bun is doing his best to launch an effort to lionize his late partner-in-rhyme.
The veteran rapper told MTV News on Friday (January 23) that UGK's next — and final — album is ready for release. The project, titled 4 Life, is scheduled to arrive March 31 on Jive Records. Bun hopes the album will do for Pimp C what Bob Marley's Legend did for the great Rastafarian star.
"This will be a good bookend to the legacy of myself and Pimp," Bun said. "And definitely take not just the group, but Pimp C, to true legend and iconic status."
The first single, "Da Game Been Good to Me," recently appeared online and will be serviced to radio soon. The string-laden track features just the two UGK stars. According to Bun, 4 Life isn't likely to feature any outside collaborators.
"This album is not about who I wanna work with and what kind of beats I wanna do," he explained. "This album is about what the people wanna hear, and that's Bun and Pimp. And I wanna try to give that to them in the most purest sense."
The album is expected to be pared down to roughly 12 tracks. Among them, in addition to the single, is a song tentatively titled "Marvin," for the [artist id="7985"]Marvin Gaye[/artist] sample used in the production. Bun said Pimp, UGK's main producer, was experimenting with music more and looking to explore new sounds before his death.
In previous interviews, Bun spoke on how difficult it would be recording a UGK album without Pimp C.
"I know people will support it, and I know that I'm strong enough to do it," Bun told Mixtape Monday last January. "Just the point of understanding from here on out, it's just [me] — I'm probably never gonna be comfortable with it in that sense. It's just a matter of coming to terms with the reality of it and the finality of the two-man situation in a physical sense."
As Bun B puts the finishing touches on 4 Life, the memories of Pimp continue to stay at the forefront of his mind. Planning a video for the album's release or impending interviews for the project don't stir emotions much for Bun. When it comes to his UGK cohort, who was more family than musical partner, being reminded of Pimp makes the pain palpable.
"That comes and goes. You don't need an album, video or songs for that to come out," he said of his friend's memory. "I try to tell people all the time: 'It's never the big things that you think, it's the little things.' Interviews and videos, that don't do it. But when you see something that you know they would have loved to do or see or buy or drive somewhere they would have loved to go ... just [being reminded of] their nature and personality makes you realize they're not around anymore."