Bun B speaks on breaking Houston rap's trends, working with Jay Z on "Big Pimpin'," and his early struggles as a southern artist.
Although reluctant at first, Bun B has readily accepted the title of "OG". The Houston rap legend explained his embrace of the term in a recent interview with Power 105's Breakfast Club, in which he discussed his early struggles as a Southern rap artist, his break on Jay Z's "Big Pimpin'," as well as the tropes of current Houston music.
"We had to fight the hard fight." Bun said of UGK's attempts to break through in a New York dominated industry. "It wasn't as hard as the Geto boys and the people who came before us."
The Southern emcee then spoke of the phone call he received from Jay Z to get on his track "Big Pimpin'," which would end up being the duo's big break. "When he first called and said it was him, I thought it was someone playing on my phone," he said. "He called me back, and he was like "Yo Family". He hit me with that Jay voice."
After realizing it was in fact Hov on the phone, he recalled Pimp C was still skeptical, or at least made it seem that way. "Pimp like, 'What he want?'. 'Tell him to send it we'll see'"Â
Though it gained them the most exposure, Bun made sure to stress that "Big Pimpin"" was not their first New York co-sign. "No, that would probably be 50," he said. "50 was the first artist that called like 'we want you on a project'."
The Ridin' Dirty emcee also revealed that he had a few friends in the New York hip hop scene even prior to his Power Of The Dollar guest appearance. "The first [New York] artist to embrace UGK would probably be Keith Murray or Lord Jamar."
Bun later spoke of the chopped and screwed sound that Houston is known for, and how he feels newer artists should begin to move away from it.
"Houston rap, post-Screw, people lean too much on Screw's legacy, and the slowed up sound." he argued. "Houston was originally built on lyricism. Houston was built on UGK, Geto Boys, Royal Flush... The sound was built on raw emcees. DJ Screw made it very easy for an emcee form Houston to be heard and seen. All they had to do was emulate that whole flow and that whole sound. That sound is being used to break people outside of Houston now."
B said that he'd like to see the region's sound go back to it's pre-Screw roots. "As much as we love DJ Screw, we've gotta let that breathe and build up a new legacy in Houston. We have to get back to good old fashion rapping."
Watch the full interview below.