pimp-c-mama-wes

Yesterday, Weslyn “Mama Wes” Monroe was laid to rest in Port Arthur, Texas. It may not have been the funeral of a foreign dignitary or a member of royalty but in Texas and surrounding areas, Mama Wes was regal and royal to plenty of men, women and children who understood what her son and his best friend brought to the world as members of UGK.

Every day since December 4, 2007, only one constant stayed with Monroe & her adoptive son Bun B — keep the legacy and memory of her son Chad “Pimp C” Butler alive and well. There were no spats in the public eye, no war of words on television and in most cases, Mama Wes became a revered figure not only in Houston hip-hop but hip-hop in general. Her words were powerful, even when brief and she made certain to make her presence felt when necessary.

Maybe it’s a southern thing, maybe it’s how she was raised but she never allowed herself to be put ahead of what UGK meant to people or what her son meant to people across the globe. When you saw her in that red Dickie UGK suit, you knew who she was and how important she was to the culture. How important she was to Trae Tha Truth, how important she was to 2 Chainz, who she viewed as a stepson and joined him on stage in June during the Free Press Summer Festival. A powerful woman who left us in the most unexpected of ways, by lung cancer.

Long before he left Houston to become even more of a global ambassador for hip-hop, Matt Sonzala had Mama Wes on his Damage Control show on the one-year anniversary of Pimp C’s passing. Her anecdotes here are easily some of the best you may ever hear if you’re a UGK fan and she recalls one particular night when Pimp & Bun were using dance moves during the early days of them as a duo.

“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,” she said. “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 don’t know what it’s like to bury a child — God willing I don’t have to ever experience it but I’m quite certain Mama Wes welcomed the idea better than anyone else. Because now her and her son can entertain God with a ton of stories while listening to Willie Hutch records. The way the angels want it to be.