PORT ARTHUR- PRESS RELEASE:
The Museum of the Gulf Coast is making preparations for the upcoming induction ceremony and exhibit unveiling recognizing hip-hop/rap duo UGK. The event will take place on Sunday, December 2, 2012 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Bernard "Bun B" Freeman and the family of Chad "Pimp C" Butler will join us as we unveil a new permanent exhibit in the Music Hall of Fame.
Due to the overwhelming response from the public and the space limitations of the facility, the Museum is informing fans that admission to the event will be directed by a VIP list provided by Bun B and the family of Pimp C. Additional guests will be permitted into the event on a first come first serve basis according to the occupancy load of the building as determined by the fire marshal.
In an effort to include those who are not able to be present for the induction, the Museum is planning to stream live video of the induction and exhibit unveiling on its website: www.museumofthegulfcoast.org. Fans are encouraged to follow the Museum on facebook for more information. The permanent exhibit will be on view in the Music Hall of Fame for fans to enjoy after December 2. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday and offers a modest admission fee of $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for children ages 3-18.
UGK, short for Underground Kingz, was an American hip hop duo from Port Arthur, Texas formed in 1987 by the late Chad "Pimp C" Butler who joined with fellow Port Arthuran Bernard "Bun B" Freeman. Considered by many to be pioneers of southern rap and hip hop, the duo released their first major label album, Too Hard to Swallow in 1992, followed by several other albums charting on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, including the self-titled Underground Kingz album which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in August 2007. The group has also been featured on hit singles by other artists, such as "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z and "Sippin' on Some Syrup" by Three 6 Mafia. During this time, Butler also founded UGK Records in late 2005.
The year 2000 became a breakthrough year for the group. UGK made a high-profile guest appearance on Jay-Z's smash hit "Big Pimpin'" which resulted in a 2001 Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. UGK also appeared on Three 6 Mafia's hit "Sippin' on Some Syrup". Both of these collaborations greatly increased their reputation, and helped fuel anticipation for their next project. Butler and Freeman each pursued solo projects as well. Rap-A-Lot Records released Pimp C's solo debut, Sweet James Jones Stories in 2005. Bun B later released his own solo foray Trill that same year. It opened at #6 on the Billboard Hot 200, and also peaked at #1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-hop Album chart.
On August 7, 2007 the group released their fifth studio album, the self-titled Underground Kingz. It was a double album, containing 26 tracks and spanning two discs. The album got a positive reception both commercially and critically. It received a 4-star rating from Allmusic, and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 album charts and the R&B chart. "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)" became the group's only single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts, where it peaked at #70.
UGK came to an untimely end when Chad Butler died in December of 2007 at the age of 33. His death was ruled an accident, caused by sleep apnea aggravated by the use of prescription cough medication. Not long after, UGK was nominated again for a 2008 Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You)." Since Butler's death, Bernard Freeman has continued his solo career while working to preserve the memory of his friend. The group's eighth and final album UGK 4 Life was posthumously released in 2009 featuring all new material recorded before Butler's death.
The Museum of the Gulf Coast located at 700 Procter Street in downtown Port Arthur. It is owned and operated by the Port Arthur Historical Society in partnership with Lamar State College - Port Arthur and the City of Port Arthur.