, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

August 22, 2013

Funeral set for 'Mama Wes'

PORT ARTHUR — Funeral services are scheduled Friday for the mother of the late Port Arthur rapper Chad “Pimp C” Butler.

Weslyn “Mama Wes” Monroe, 66, succumbed to lung cancer  Sunday, Aug. 18.

The longtime educator was a second mother to numerous Hip-Hop and rap artists through the years and she also worked as general manager for her son, who was part of the Hip-Hop/rap duo Underground Kingz, or UGK.

Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, who was the other half of UGK, issued a statement on Instagram regarding her death.

“She was a great woman. Nurture us from boys to men and made us strong enough to handle this industry. She was the one that kept us going when we didn't wanna go anymore. She was the backbone of UGK, the definition of loyalty, the personification of unconditional love and the essence of what being Trill really meant. She's finally reunited with her son. God bless you both. RIP Mama Wes. You gave everything to make us Underground Kings” Freeman said.

UGK was nominated for a Grammy for their part in a collaboration with OutKast for their song International Players Anthem (I Choose You). The news of the nomination came two days after Butler’s death, in 2007.

Mama Wes’ husband, Millard “Pops” Roher, called her “his angel.”

“She was a mother to numerous artists and a guiding light, like an angel, and she was my angel too,” Roher said. “We spent 18 glorious years together.”

A native of Crowley, La., Mama Wes earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Southern University in 1972 and later she received a master’s degree from Lamar University in Beaumont.

“She taught for 25 years at SFA (Stephen F. Austin school in Port Arthur),” Roher said. During her career she taught English and later was school librarian.

Roher said his wife had a knack for spotting talent, and her life dream was helping the artists. She worked with the Georgia rapper 2 Chainz, whose real name is Tauheed Epps, and was alive to see his debut studio album “Based on a T.R.U. Story” hit No. 1 on Billboard 200 last summer. She also saw talent in Houston rapper Trae the Truth, also known as Frazier Othel Thompson. Trae was “beside her side at her last moments,” her husband said.

“She told 2 Chainz ‘you’re going to make it,’ and in two years he was on top of the charts,” he said. “She had talent to detect good talent.”

Weslyn “Mama Wes” Monroe is survived by her husband; three grandchildren; two step-daughters and two step-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from noon to 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center in Port Arthur. Her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, will hold an “Ivy Beyond the Wall” ceremony at 12:30 p.m., an event held for sorority members who have passed away. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. with entombment to follow at Green Lawn Memorial Park in Groves.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hannah Funeral Home on Lewis Drive.

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