interview BUN B  (June 2007) | Interview By: Nima

Dubcnn had the great opportunity of hooking up with one half of the legendary Houston group UGK, Bun B, for an in-depth interview. Of course, we talk about the upcoming UGK album and the new single with Outkast, Bun's connection with the West Coast, how the rap fans as well as rap artists have changed with the development of technology, problems in the hood as far as people not taking responsibility and educating the youngsters, as well as much much more in this exclusive interview.

As ever, you can read and listen to this exclusive interview and we urge you to leave feedback on our forums or email them to nima@dubcnn.com.

Interview was done in June 2007

Questions Asked By: Nima

Bun B Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Audio Interview Here


Dubcnn: Dubcnn right here with Bun B of UGK. How you doing man?

Doing good man, doing good!

Dubcnn: So what you got going on right now?

Right right now I'm buying one of them joints, you know the cases where the TV comes up out the joint that niggas be having on MTV Cribs and shit? I just found one of them joints I always see them on TV but I had never seen that shit in real life. So I'ma cop that shit, just incase MTV wanna come to the crib, I got mine too!

But right now, we're enjoying the success of this UGK and Outkast single and video, the "International Players Anthem", really grabbing the support off the streets right now, whoever wants to be down and keep it trill with us. Hopefully they'll cop the album, July 17th man!

Dubcnn: That "International Players Anthem" is crazy man, everybody's loving it!

Thanks a lot man, it's a beautiful thing for a group like UGK and a group like Outkast to get together like that.

Dubcnn: Dubcnn: And you had another great duo on the beat!

Yeah, Three 6 Mafia. In retrospect, we all dropped around the same time, between 90 and 92, we all came at the same time trying to make it in the game. It's a beautiful thing for all of us to still be here and be relevant and still be able to capitalize off of our art, you know?

Dubcnn: Who came up with the concept to the song?

Pimp... That was pretty much all Pimp. I always wanted to rap to the track, the track is originally a Project Pat song. I really love that track, I really wanted to rap to it, but I was like you know, Pat already did it! Pimp was like "Man I don't care! The jam is still the jam!" They called Paul and Juice, and they were like "Yeah, if ya'll want it ya'll can have it!" We were like "Well why don't ya'll just jump on it with us?" So the original version of "International Players Anthem" is UGK and Three 6 Mafia.

So we were like "This could be a hot single!", it's something we could run with. We put the song out during the All Star Weekend, and we got a lot of feedback from that song. So we were considering going with that for the second single, but from what I understand there were some issues with Sony about getting the video or single clearance or whatever. Around that same time, Big Boi had produced a remix to the song, and laid a verse on it and sent it to Pimp! Andre had contacted me cause there was a song that Outkast was originally supposed to do for this album, a Marvin Gaye track, but we ended up not getting it in, cause we were planning to release the album earlier. Of course as everybody knows this album got pushed back.

When Andre realized the album got pushed back he was like "Yo, can I still get on something?" I was like "Well we did this remix to this song we did with 3-6! I don't have that but I can send you the original beat." So I sent him the original beat and he laid his verse, so we had Big's verse and Andre's verse, and we were like "We'll keep the remix beat for later, and just go with the verses to the original music." So we just mashed on it, and the rest is kind of history!

Dubcnn: There were a lot of cameos in it, can you name off the top of your head who all showed up?

That I can think of? First I wanna shout out Slim Thug, Slim was definitely at the shoot, he missed the flight to be in the video, he's probably only going to be in the uncut longer version. But Slim Thug, DeRay Davis, Magic Don Juan, Alex Thomas, Chamillionaire, David Banner, I can't even think of everybody right now!

Dubcnn: Was that T-Pain as the preacher?

Yeah, T-Pain was the singer.

Dubcnn: You're currently on Mike Jones' single "My 6-4" with Snoop Dogg. How did that song get hooked up?

That was Mike calling me and asking me if I could jump on something for him. I think he already had somebody else on the song and they couldn't get it cleared or whatever. He asked if I could come through right quick and put something down for him. That's kind of what I do, a lot of people call me when they have situations where people can't clear or they need a hot verse real quick, so my turnaround is pretty quick. It's usually what I do.

So I very fortunate to be part of a song like that, I knew it was gonna be big, so I appreciate the dude even asking me to be a part of it. So I went it and really just wanted to shout out different spots in L.A. and different places like the I.E., Pasadena, West Covina, that they wouldn't expect to get shouts out in songs. I know what it's like to be from a small hood, trying to represent my side. We all know about the B's and the C's on the West Coast, but there's of course a lot of Ese's out there, you got the Asian homies, and definitely a lot of Samoan people in the area. So I just wanted to give a shout out to the true L.A., the city and the area as a whole, cause L.A. is bigger than just Hollywood and South Central, you know?

Dubcnn: Who do you fuck with on the West Coast, artists wise?

Artists wise of course OG Snoop, the homie Game, people like E-40, Spice 1, old friends of ours, MC Eiht. People like E-A Ski, he's a real good friend of mine. Definitely the homie Chino XL, that's one of my closest friends, not just in rap, he's one of my close friends right now. I roll with Skinhead Rob and Esteban Oriol, Mr. Cartoon, you know what I'm saying? I got a lot of homies on the West man, Strong Arm Steady, Self Scientific, Felli Fel.

Dubcnn: You had a dope track on a Yukmouth compilation, called "I Love Dro", remember that one?

Yeah yeah, absolutely! You know Yuk is Rap-A-Lot family, so it's not even about just being West Coast, Yuk is Rap-A-Lot, so that's beyond the coast! He's Rap-A-Lot family, it's not even about where you from, we family regardless. But I got a lot of good friends, like Focus, the producer, I fuck with everybody on the West, Boo Yaa T.R.I.B.E., big shout outs to the OG's over there. My homie Nino Cap from Watts, he's got some producers over there like S-Class, he's trying to do a movement over there with Capicino Films, Capicino Records, so we're doing a lot of things over there right now.

Dubcnn: So I wanna get right into the new UGK album man, everybody is waiting for it! What's the release date?

Right now we're looking at July 17th even though they wanna push it back to August 7th, but I really hate that we keep pushing this album back cause it's a great album. I know UGK fans, our real faithful supporters that stayed down with us so long, you can't even call that a fan, I just hate to have my true supporters waiting like that. But at the same time, we're trying to give them the best, and they know that UGK don't ever rest, so if you're waiting, we'll make it worth your while!

Dubcnn: So what does the album sound like man, how would you describe it? What are ya'll talking about?

It's crazy man, it's not your typical rap album. There's a lot of stuff we touch on, what's going on in the streets, and we touch on what SHOULD be going on in the streets. We talk about our early years and how used to get into it, how we're trying to stabilize that money, we talk about different aspects of religion, about how it's like being a G in the streets getting out in the streets and still having faith in God, and that God will always lookout for you even though you're doing wrong out there.

We talk about those kind of things because that's what cats in the streets is really going through. They're trying to survive, they're trying to do the best they can, but everything they're doing ain't right! So how do you stay right with God? We talk about how the government is forgetting about people, and even some of our people are forgetting about people, and if we don't try to look out for ourselves then at this point nobody is going to look out for us, you know?

Dubcnn: How did it feel to record a new UGK album compared to when ya'll did the last one?

It really only felt different for about 5 seconds, you know, cause there were moment where we didn't know if we were ever going to get back in the studio and do this again, the way the law was talking and acting. We had a lot of obstacles, we had to stay real close to God and stay praying. We mashed so hard, we never intended to go in and do a double album, but we started mashing so hard that we just kept going and we were making all this good music, and if it's going good, don't stop it!

Dubcnn: Who handled the production on the album?

A lot of the production was done by Pimp C of course, other than that people like Jazze Pha, did some stuff for it, Swizz Beatz did a track, Marley Marl did a track... The homies Wes & Avery from P.A. did some music, Three 6 Mafia of course... I can't even think of all the people right now... Also one of the last songs we're doing right now is with Akon, Akon produced it, massive record for us, so we're trying to see if we're going to keep that for this album or put it on the next album. There's a lot of people I hate not being able to talk about all the producers, cause right now it's so many people I can't even think of all the producers. But the majority of the album is done by Pimp C, so out of maybe 28 tracks, he got about 14 of them. Shouts out to my homies Blackout, they did a big joint on the album too.

Dubcnn: What about guest appearances?

Guest appearances, we got Three 6, Outkast, Uncle Charlie Wilson is on the album, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Scarface, Too Short, Slim Thug, Middle Fingaz which is a group of mine out of Houston, E-Vicious, one of UGK's artists out of Louisiana. T.I. is on the album, so many people on it I can't even think of it. It's a double album, so I keep forgetting who's on this muthafucka, I be having to think of certain songs to remember.

Dubcnn: It's all good! Would you say that Hip-Hop is less original today than it was when you first entered the game?

I think the problem is that you don't have to work as hard. The early days, if you wanted to get good rap music, you couldn't download songs, you had to literally get out of the house, go to different records stores, maybe go to another town or something, to find these records. We had more of a search, so we kind of appreciated the music more. Nowadays, the technology is so advanced that you don't have to make any effort to find a song, so you kind of don't respect a song. That kind of goes both ways for the listener as well as the artist.

Yeah there's people out there that really love music, don't get me wrong, but there are some people that feel like music is just out there and when they want it they just type it in and get it! The process of getting music has gotten a lot easier, the process is making music is getting a lot easier too, so the people making it don't respect it as much. It's like, the more advanced technology gets, the less advanced humans get, you know?

Dubcnn: That's some real talk man... That's why record sales are so low!

Yeah, cause technology does everything for you! If you get a Mac computer, it comes with Garage Band, so the initial idea that they put in your head is that if you want, you can make a record too! Anybody can make a record! So if everybody feels that they can make a record, what's the point of them feeling like they have to buy your record? You know? I'm not knocking people doing their thing or whatever, I don't knock nobody's hustle, all it means is that we as artists gotta try harder to put more into the music, to let people know that yeah, anybody can make A rap song, but not everybody can make good rap songs. Anybody can make A rap album, but not anybody can make a GOOD rap album. It's up to us as artists to set the standard higher, set the stakes higher, so it's not so simple for somebody to just put an album out and be considered great!

People give a lot of slack to artists that they consider "one hit wonders". But we've always had one hit wonders in the worlds, in all forms of music! So I'm not concerned about that, I don't feel like that's killing music at all. We've always had dance music in Hip-Hop, we've always had light hearted moments, but it's up to the artists making music, instead of taking the easy route and making one of the records that may make it to the top easily, to make real music and give people something to think about when you rap. Not something that they can play and forget about as soon as it goes off.

Dubcnn: How hard is it not to have to adjust to what's on the radio right now and to jump on all the fads that come and go?

For me, it doesn't really bother me, because I make more of a personal connection with my fan base. But of course, I was here before some of these things. So I'm not looked at for these things, and I don't have to make a dance record to survive in the dance world, because I don't rely on radio and video as heavily as everybody else, or especially a new artist may have to, you know what I'm saying? But at the same time, I have to be conscious of what's going on, I can't go out and make a Laffy Taffy or a Pop Lock & Drop It, that's really not my lane! And even if I did make one of those records, for one that's gonna be disappointing to my fan base, even if I get a bunch of new fans that may jam that record, once they go the next dance record, they'll go to the next artist and then they'll forget about me!

I'd rather do music myself personally that I feel that people can listen to when they're grown. But that being said, I got a different fanbase than a 18-year old rapper too. I'm 34 years old. Not that 18 year-olds don't listen to me, but I'm not looked at as a peer to an 18-year old, I'm looked at as a uncle or an OG in the hood. So they don't come to me to party, they come to me for some real information, they come to me to know what's really going on in the streets, what's really going on with the police, what's really going on with the government so they can get some real game.

Dubcnn: So what's in your tapedeck right now?

Right now, I got the DJ Khaled album, I just bought that this morning, I bought Fabolous' album this morning, CTE album, I'm jamming that, I'm still jamming my Trick Daddy... Plies mixtape, I got that shit in there, and then different songs off the net I've been listening to, Premier been doing shit with Big Shug and Termanology and Bumpy Knuckles, some of that shit is real hot right now. I'm supposed to be going in with Premier for my new shit.

Dubcnn: How did that get hooked up?

Well Premier went to College around this way, and he's just a good friend one mine, we've had a lot of mutual respect for each other, but it took us a while to get in contact. The homies Rob Quest and Carlos Garza (Odd Squad) ended up putting us in contact, and from there we just been chopping it up with each other. We've been wanting to do something, he's been wanting to produce for UGK for a while, but by the time we ended up linking up Pimp was locked up for a while. When Pimp came up and we started recording, Premier was still finishing up the Christina Aguilera stuff. By the time he free'd up, we were kind of closed down. But of course, I'll probably do another solo album after we turn this UGK album in, and I'm hoping that the UGK song that will be on my solo album is producing by Premier.

Dubcnn: Have you recorded with Termanology yet?

No, not yet, Primo called me about 4 days ago, he was in with Termanology, but I ain't have my phone next to me. He was like Term is in, he got a track, he wanna do something, so that's probably gonna be coming soon.

Dubcnn: That's a talented dude man.

I give up respect where respect is due. It don't matter if you're Crooked I on the West Coast, Termanology up top, or Plies down in Florida, or Grit Boys down here in Houston or wherever you at man, if you're doing good and you're keeping it real and you're bringing something fresh to the game, whether you're The Clipse from Virginia, or Joker The Bailbondsman from Alaska, Belly and Kardinal Official from Canada, I don't care! I support everything, I listen to everything that's real. I'm an Underground King, if I didn't stay tuned to the underground, if I didn't know about the MF Dooms, people like my homie El-P, if I didn't know about these people or these movements, I couldn't call myself an Underground King, could I?

Dubcnn: Nope! That's dope to see you shoutout all these people, though!

I'm just keeping it 100 man, still down here banging Trae, Tum Tum, Tuck, you know what I'm saying? The homie Question out of San Antonio, I'm still jamming people down south, my homie Cupid from Louisiana, I support everything down here man! I ain't got no problem or knock nobody man. For real.

Dubcnn: Do you have a favorite collaboration out of all the collabo's you've done in the past years?

Nah, I really can't say... I'm happy to have been able to do all these collaborations, cause I'm almost rapped with pretty much everybody that I respect, I think the only MC's that I haven't recorded with or probably Nas and Eminem. That's probably the only two people left, everybody else as a MC that I respect with, I recorded with in some fashion. I just did a joint last night with Sheek Louch, I did two remixes with Jada, we still ain't done nothing like directly, that will probably happen on a solo. Styles P man, that's like one of the last ones I haven't done something with too. That's a dude I really respect and I haven't really had the chance to rock with him like I want.

Dubcnn: How do you feel about the Hyphy Movement, or the Bay Area in general?

I fuck with the Bay Area! I was at this Warner seminar last year where the Federation performed, and I hadn't seen a live show really blow my mind in a long time, until I saw the Federation! Them boys was jumping around, they was taking pictures of the crowd, taking pictures of each other, just an incredible movement man. You can see it on YouTube videos but it's nothing like going out that way and seeing the boys really ghostriding... And Mistah F.A.B. really got a bus now, I mean how crazy is that?

Dubcnn: Do you know Ya Boy?

No, I don't know Ya Boy personally.

He's a talented artist too, it would be dope to see you working with him, him and Crooked I are two dudes that you would sound good with.

I've heard him, I just don't know him personally. I've been listening to Crooked I, he's been dropping those Hip-Hop Weekly's, every week, it's crazy. He's putting a lot of work in!

Dubcnn: Definitely, hopefully we'll see his album coming out this year!

I hope so man, I got a lot of love for Crooked man, tell Crooked I said stop that beefing man, I hear him out there man, it's time for the West Coast to unite! Crooked is too talented to get caught up in that man. I love listening to that dude every week! That dude goes hard man, he's one of the best MC's out there period. It's crazy, he's a crazy example of what the West Coast is doing right now.

Dubcnn: You're on Talib Kweli's new album on the song "Country Cousins", how did that song happen?

Kweli is of course another good friend of mine, damn, how did I meet Kweli? We've known each other for such a long time I don't even know... It's crazy, some people you don't even remember not being their friends, you know what I'm saying? *asks somebody else* Do you remember how I met Kweli? I feel like I've been knowing the nigga for all my life! But yeah, I don't know, I met him somewhere, we bonded, and it happened just like that. We're more on a friend level than a music level.

Dubcnn: Can we expect more collaborations from you and Talib in future?

Oh absolutely, he's on UGK's album.

Dubcnn: You did a track with Dizzee Rascal from the UK, how did that come about?

That's the homie! We met up probably about three years ago, he's the young homie, and he would hit me up for advice every now and then, and I'd be happy to give it to him. Cause I've pretty much been through everything most of these cats been through, so I just try to help cats out with they situations, or when they're feeling funny about something. We had recorded once before, but I don't even know what happened to that song, I gotta find that song. But he's on our album too, Dizzee Rascal is on the UGK album too.

Dubcnn: How can artists from the US and overseas holla at you for collaborations?

Probably on my MySpace page would be the best place to get in touch with me. Or you can hit me at bunbbooking@aol.com. My MySpace is myspace.com/bunbofugk. But my thing is, I can't be expected to rap with everybody!

Dubcnn: Of course not.

I'm sure that everybody thinks they're jamming so I'm probably gonna get flooded with a bunch of shit, so if you don't end up doing a song with Bun B, it ain't Bun B's fault. Let's be real about the world, I already got about 210,000 myspace friends and half of those are rappers or DJ's! I mean how many people can I possibly expect to rap with? Cause anybody that hits my page from this interview is gonna want a verse free, or at a reduced rate, they're going to want a friend price! Everybody got the same excuse, "I'm trying to make it, can you help a brotha out?"

But man, nobody helped this brotha out! And like I say, for every one of you, there's ten thousands of you. Like if I go to a hotel and I check into the hotel, the dude checking me in is a rapper, the dude taking my luggage is a rapper, the valet taking my car is a rapper, the room service dude is a rapper, like seriously! Everybody is a rapper now! I'd love to help everybody, but I can't. So if people do decide "I'll hit Bun B up, maybe he'll help me out", I ain't promised to help you out, that's not how the world works! Now don't get mad at me if I'm not in a position to help you out.

Dubcnn: I think everybody can understand that.

You'd be surprised!

Dubcnn: So what else can we expect from you and UGK in the near future?

I'm definitely going to do another solo, it's going to be called "2 Trill". On the last album, I had a lot of features, more features than I normally would have had, because I was expanding the base of my music and exposing what I was doing with my Free Pimp C movement to as many people as possible. But this time, now that everything is back, I really just wanna get it and mash as a lyricist and as a man that had to learn some shit out here.

I got some more game to give you boys, I really need to laid it out there for him, some of that shit they ain't gone wanna hear, but the hood is fucked up, the street is fucked up, we gotta start taking more responsibility on ourselves, and believe me I ain't talking about not saying nigga bitch or ho, cause I'm gonna be saying nigga bitch ho fuckboy, pussy ass nigga all that shit on my songs. But at the same time, it's niggas in the hood we could be cutting for that we really ain't cutting for. Just giving a little nigga 20 dollars ain't all that, we gotta start taking some of this hustle money and start trying to build some parks or some shit, we gotta start doing something right man, get right with God out here man, for real.

I ain't telling nobody to change their life, but take some of that tennis shoe money and do something! It ain't going to hurt to have one less pair of Jordans a month. We gotta start doing some shit man, we need more community centers and shit, we need busses and shit for boys and girls out here, youth centers that wanna take kids but they ain't got nowhere to take them man. Instead of getting 5,000 dollar rims, we could be getting 4,000 dollar rims and giving 1,000 to a youth center. You ain't going to want to take them
nowhere, so the least you can do is help them get there!

Dubcnn: The government going overseas saving countries but they can't take care of their own backyard!

And all niggas wanna do is complain about the government all day. But what the fuck is you doing? You'll turn blue waiting on the government to do something for young niggas nowadays! These are our people out here dying and being lost out here in the streets! We can't save everybody, it was fools before, it was gangstas before, it's going to be fools and gangstas later. But some of these muthafuckas out here could be saved man, and niggas gotta start trying to grab one or two of these little niggas and be like "Not you." Niggas know what I'm talking about, real street niggas know what I'm talking about man.

Dubcnn: So do you feel like the older generation should start educating the youngster more?

It used to be like that man, but not anymore! Now niggas is just using these youngsters to hustle with. These old ass niggas putting children in front of them with these guns and these drugs, cause they ain't ready to take no case man. And these kids they're putting in front of them are getting younger and younger. That's really some hoe shit. We need to give these little niggas a chance to make up their mind about what they wanna do. Like I said, some of these niggas you can't help, some of these niggas is just going to be knuckleheads.

But I know it's a couple of them out there we can save, that's real talk. I ain't trying to take no money out of nobody's pockets for some bullshit, I'm talking some real shit, and I ain't talking about no lot of money, I'm talking about little bit, you'd be surprised how far that little shit go. But niggas have to start standing up and being real out here, cause niggas ain't let us go down like that. If you're alive to hear my voice or read the internet or whatever, then you know that somebody looked out for you or gave you some game somewhere so that you could get where you're at. Now who are you helping?

Dubcnn: That's right! Alright man, I think we covered pretty much everything, is there anything else you'd like to let everybody know?

Just love from Bun B and Pimp C, this UGK for life, fuck what the haters say.


Bun B Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Audio Interview Here


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