B list

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

When Lil Wayne played Vets Memorial earlier this year, he gave a strange onstage dedication to UGK's Pimp C.

"Pimp C is a legend. I grew up on Pimp C," he said. "They say he died of a drug overdose. If you know Pimp C like I know Pimp C, you know there is no such thing as a drug overdose. God is gonna take you whenever he is going to take you. When it's your time. So you might as well be on drugs when that happens."

While I don't recall learning that in my Lutheran catechism class as a teenager, the world's most popular rapper's misguided but well-intentioned rant showed we do share a reverence for UGK. Although Pimp C left us late last year, the legendary duo's other half, Bun B, will be at Club Karma on Wednesday for another free show in Scion's Live Metro series.

UGK, short for the Underground Kingz, pioneered Southern rap. The Texas duo also, next to the Geto Boys, represents the Lone Star State's most important contribution to hip-hop.

Formedin 1987, UGK put out their first major-label album, Too Hard to Swallow, for Jive in 1992. It included the song "Pocket Full of Stones," featured the next year on the Menace II Society soundtrack.

Through word of mouth and 'hood respect, Bun B and Pimp C went gold with 1996's Ridin' Dirty, long before the blowup between rival labels No Limit and Cash Money mainstreamed Southern rap in the late '90s.

Often, the artists who earn that kind of respect can be stereotyped as unworldly or closed-minded, but UGK - and Bun specifically - has been the antithesis of that notion. In various collaborations with artists across the board, with his former partner and on his own, Bun's stuck to his roots while connecting with what's happening now.

Here's a look at a few of Bun B's and Pimp C's most interesting meet-ups.

Jay-Z featuring UGK, "Big Pimpin'"

This Timbaland-produced hit released in 2000 marked the moment UGK crossed over and Southerners finally started getting some respect from East Coast rappers. Bun B gets extra love for the line, "Go read a book, you illiterate son-of-a-bitch, and step up your vocab." Anyone got Bun's reading list? Please CC.

UGK featuring OutKast, "International Player's Anthem"

UGK got a surprising Grammy nomination for this ballad, which really struck a chord when it came out on the heels of Pimp C's death. The video features Andre 3000 wearing a kilt, and Pimp C and Bun B giving him a good-natured hard time about it.

M.I.A. featuring Bun B and Rich Boy, "Paper Planes Remix"

Now that Power 107.5 is playing this American-Apparel-set standard, you have mixtape versions with everyone from Wayne to Gorilla Zoe rapping over the Clash and sampling instrumentals. But Bun B and Rich Boy did the official remix when the single first dropped, back when everyone else was still remixing "Walk It Out."

Little Brother featuring Bun B, "Candy"

In a 2005 interview, Bun B questioned Little Brother for titling their album The Minstrel Show, concerned the group might be calling all Southerners minstrels. Once Little Brother clarified that the disc was targeting industry scenesters and telling people to be true to themselves, the gripe was squashed and this unlikely song resulted.

What: Bun B

When: Wednesday, Dec. 17

Where: Club Karma, Brewery District

Web: scion.com/livemetro (RSVP required)