“For the rest of the duration I did it, I had no regrets. Even though [Pimp] C is gone now, when I see Bun on stage, it just lifts my heart.” – Mama Wes, 2008
Pimp C’s mother, Weslyn “Mama Wes” Monroe, is being laid to rest today in Port Arthur, Texas. And as morbid as it reads, I’m pretty sure the person most pleased with this is Mama Wes, herself.
The rap community – primarily those who saw a small slice of themselves through UGK’s music – has expressed condolences throughout the week and likely will for quite sometime. If you were a fan of Pimp and Bun, you were of Mama Wes, too.
Gotty and I had a conversation earlier and we both came to the conclusion the one word that encapsulated Ms. Monroe was “respect.” We always respected the fact she seemed only concerned with protecting Pimp and UGK’s name and legacy. Not with the cameras. Not reality TV shows (i.e. Lil Scrappy and his mother of Love & Hip-Hop fame/infamy). None of that. She carried herself as genuine and authentic. Perhaps even an extension of our mothers or the moms of a few of our own friends.
To my knowledge, Pimp’s mother was never involved in any public feuds or allowed his vocals to be butchered for the sake of a quick dollar. Since December 4, 2007, Pimp’s legacy has remained fully intact, which is a rarity not only in rap but in music as a whole. Look at Afeni and Suge’s relationship, or lack thereof. Voletta Wallace and Lil Kim have been at the other’s throat for years it seems over anything Biggie-related. ODB’s wife and family allegedly aren’t the best of friends. Even Fat Joe and Pun’s widow have well-documented tension.
From an eye level, Mama Wes and Bun B exhibited a unified front regarding any and everything that could remotely deal with Chad Butler. In 2008, exactly a year to the day her son passed, she spoke with Matt Sonzala on his Damage Control radio program at Houston’s KPFT. The stories she recounts are gold with a hilarious tale revolving around Pimp and Bun’s dance moves during one of their first shows. Through it all though, Mama Wes found peace playing the background watching her two sons fulfill their talents.
“Do you know what the real magic of UGK is and always will be? Bun is the best damn rapper in the country today, pound-for-pound,” said Mama Wes. “And C was the damnedest clown because everybody came to see what he was gonna say. C used to explain it like this. He used to say, ‘Bun raps and then I explain it to them.’”
I noted Mama Wes was “pleased” with being laid to rest for a reason. Not because she had a death wish. She appreciated life and all the joys it brought her. She appreciated the adopted stepsons and daughters the influence of UGK birthed for her. Yet, at end of the day, she was a parent who buried a child.
No one can or should expect a wound like that to heal. Time eases pain, but it never eliminates it. Finding peace in knowing Mama Wes is reunited with the one person who made life worth living? And Pimp with the woman who supported him when the only glimmer of hope he had to look forward to was UGK’s dream, and later his release date? Man, that’s powerful beyond words.
In life, we have this well-crafted image of meeting angels in heaven. For Chad Butler, he finally gets to welcome his.
Photos: Julia Beverly