interview BUN B  (January 2008) | Interview By: Nima

Dubcnn had the chance to hook back up with the Underground King Bun B. Barely a month after the unfortunate passing of his partner and friend Pimp C, Bun connected with us for an in-depth two-part interview. In the first part, we talk about the death of Chad "Pimp C" Butler, the funeral, how Bun has been holding up, the reactions from the fans, the Grammy nomination, Bun's new single "That's Gangsta" from his new album "II Trill", details on the album, what fans can expect from it and much more.

Lookout for Part 2 of this interview, where we talk more about "II Trill", as well as the possibility of a new UGK album with unreleased material. Bun tells us who he's feeling right now, his predictions for Hip-Hop in 2008, ringtone music, the digital age, the evolution of the word "gangsta", the reality of the hood, and much more.

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

Interview was done in January 2008

Questions Asked By: Nima

Bun B Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Audio Interview Here

Dubcnn: We've hooked back up with the Underground King Bun B for a new interview in 2008. How you doing Bun?

I'm keeping my head up, man. Trying to stay positive, stay motivated, you know?

Dubcnn: I'd like to start the interview off by saying Rest In Peace to Pimp C, it was a real shock to us when we got the news. He will be very missed.

It was a big shock to me as well.

Dubcnn: I'm sure this has been a rough last month for you, how did you get into the new year and do you have any special resolutions?

You know, we get by by the grace of God in moments like these. Nobody's big enough to handle grief by theyself, everybody needs a helping hand, I've been real fortunate to have a lot of fans reaching out offering respect and their condolences, a lot of family and friends seeing when I'm cornered, when I'm weak, just real strong supporters. And then of course, my faith in God more than anything has helped me through this. I don't know how a lot of cats is as far as being attached to spirituality or whatever, but it's definitely not some shit you wanna be trying to do after that, you know what I'm saying?

Dubcnn: Yeah in our last interview, you mentioned that getting right with God was a big part of your life. How does that tie into this situation, how does that help you, cause I know a lot of people wonder how you feel in these kind of situations.

I'm a real nigga in the sense where I don't front for people. I ain't got no reasons to front for nobody about my feelings for God or whatever. I feel like he's blessed me, ain't no reason to sugarcoat that shit or act like it ain't real, because niggas don't judge me at the end of the day, God does. I gotta keep it 100 with him, and then keep it 100 with these niggas out here.

But literally the only thing that really keeps you going is if you relieve believe in God, you really believe in heaven, and knowing that he's in a better place than here, you know? Just knowing that Pimp don't have no more suffering to do, no more worrying, no more stress, no more pain, he's good now. I don't have to worry about my little brother no more, and I can rest on that every now and then. I still do miss my nigga, though.

Dubcnn: 2007 was the most successful commercial year for UGK, and it had such a tragic end, it's like, what's the meaning? Why'd he have to go now?

Really, that's not for me to question anything like that. I'm just happy that he was able to see this shit grow the way it grew before he passed. Like somebody brought to my attention that Pimp C could have died 7 years ago, and then we would just be missing our homeboy, but we take pride in the fact that he got to achieve a lot of great things before he passed, he got to really see his music at a level that he had wanted it to get to, he was finally starting to get the honor and respect from people that we felt like weren't giving us our proper credit. Not that we stopped and waiting on niggas to do shit, but everything was finally just starting to come together in a major way.

I'm just glad that he got experience the number one album on the billboard charts, and we did a lot of big things before he passed. I wish he would have been alive to see the Grammy nomination, but I know he knows of it and I know he's proud of himself and of me for it, so we should do what we can to represent for the kid.

Dubcnn: Yeah I was just about to ask you about the Grammy nomination for the "International Players Anthem" video, how do you feel about that?

I feel good, man. That's something that Pimp had working for and fighting for, his whole life and his whole career. It was an honor that he wanted for so long, for not just himself but this group. Because of all the work that he put into it, he wanted this group to be respected musically, not just lyrically and visually, but as far as the musical contribution. He was a producer, and not too many people really gave him his credit for his musical capabilities. All that was starting to come together, everybody was starting to give him his props for everything. I'm really proud of him, a lot of things that he really wanted to make happen and that he fought for, he made them all happen this year!

Dubcnn: I'm sure you were flooded with calls and messages when it happened, which made me hold off for a while before hitting you up. How was the reaction from the fans and the media to you?

It was incredible. One scope of how many people were touched, not only his city or his region or his country, but worldwide, from Canada to Australia, people were sending their regards and condolences and emails and texting, calling it to all these different respected radio stations all over the world and podcasting, Sirius Satelite, everybody was going out of their way to give it up. It makes you proud to have been his friend, you know?

Dubcnn: As one of those who laid the foundation for Southern rap, Pimp C is highly respected, however he made a lot of controversial statements in the last months of his life, are there any misconception about Pimp that you'd like to clear up, or would you just say that Pimp was a honest person that didn't hold his tongue?

I'd just say that Pimp was Pimp. I ain't going to say anything else, just that Pimp was Pimp. I'm not here to make any excuses for Pimp's life, because we all know Pimp wouldn't make any. You know? Pimp stood by what he believed, and when he was wrong, he was man enough to admit he was wrong. So he spoke on stuff in his interviews, and then if he looked back at it, he may have realized he was wrong, and he'd come back and say "Maybe here I was taken out of context, I was pretty much wrong in general for this statement here." He was all about his passion, it's just undeniable, the kid worked to be better.

Passion sometimes can be misunderstood, but at the end of the day we don't make excuses for Pimp C or his statements, cause he never would have made any for himself. At the time he said anything in an interview or in person or on a record or on the phone, that's how he felt! He was willing to ride with that. Whether he was right or he was wrong, because of how we went down, I rolled with him! That was my boy! That's just how you do! If you don't feel he's right, you just don't adress it publicly, and me and him would talk about it later. But I kinda just gotta ride with him, a lot of the things that he went through in his life, I was right there with him, you know?

Dubcnn: You just dropped your new single "That's Gangsta", produced by J.R. Rotem and featuring Sean Kingston. What made you want to come back to the game so fast?

Well this was already done, "That's Gangsta" was done probably a month and a half before Pimp passed.

Dubcnn: Oh okay, cause you said "R.I.P. Pimp C" at the beginning of the song.

Yeah I added that at the last minute. But I could see where you would get that from, thinking that maybe I just went in and did that. Nah, "That's Gangsta" is a record that's probably been recorded since late October, and we were getting ready to go to press with it, we were going to be releasing the single in December, before the holidays, we were trying to get it out to radio before everything shut down for the holidays, and with Pimp passing on the 4th, we just pumped out breaks on everything.

To be honest, this is really too much behind on this project, and as far as people thinking I'm jumping right back into it, I'm really kind of behind on it. I wasn't sure if I could drop it right now, but at the end of the day, it's up to me to keep the UGK legacy going, I can. The majority of this shit is built on music, and I gotta keep the music going. We're going to put together a UGK record, there's still some music, we're going to put that together this year.

I'm just taking it one day at a time, but I'm definitely not bouncing back quick on anything, I just went in the studio and recorded vocals for the first time since Pimp passed this Saturday. That includes the intro and the outro on "That's Gangsta", I just went in and did that this week, cause it was like "Well Bun, we gotta do something, we have to send something out eventually, what do you wanna do?" I was like "Well if we're going to send something out, I gotta say something about my dude, I can't just send the single out like it was, I gotta say something about my dude at some point! Intro, outro, something!" I mean I'm going to go in and record a song, I still have some things I need to say about my homie, you know? I haven't been able to do that shit yet.

Dubcnn: I thought that by you putting out "That's Gangsta", you showed clearly that ain't nothing changed for you, you're pushing the UGK line harder than ever. Is that...

That was the thing - not to cut you off - but when Pimp was alive, there was no need to say that, it was understood. But with him passing, I gotta go back and speak on this, I gotta say something. This won't be the song in terms of dealing with everything involved with the issue, but just so niggas don't get it twisted. I feel it's important to me to bounce back and get back out there. It's gonna be rough, but if I wait a year or two years, it's still gonna be rough!

But we gotta take time to grieve, and it's still not going to be easy, but we gotta do what we gotta do at the end of the day, I gotta keep the legacy moving, this is my job, this is what I do for a living, I gotta continue to feed my family, you know? I can't feel sorry for myself, I'm the man, I gotta get up and do something. I wanted to get up and do things a couple weeks after but it was like "You know what? Don't kill yourself B, give yourself some time, this ain't no easy shit to get over." You know?

Dubcnn: I feel you. I think a lot of people thought you might be coming out with something more mellow, conscious after the passing of Pimp. The message was clear with this though, it's still UGK, ain't nothing changed.

They're definitely still going to get that dedication song, but just so they understand, that shit ain't easy to write! The only reason "That's Gangsta" is out there, is cause it was already recorded!

Dubcnn: So you're saying this wouldn't be a song that you would go in a record right now?

I couldn't tell you what song I would go in a record right now, if I had to start this album from this point, you feel me? Cause my whole chain of thought is a little bit different right now. But, the message behind the music that I'm making is definitely the message I wanna get across to niggas. If you listen to "That' Gangsta", it's not talking about how gangsta I am, it's really trying to show niggas how gangsta they not!

Dubcnn: What made you get with J.R. for that and Sean Kingston for the hook?

We were working with my man Zach over there at Beluga Heights, which is J.R.'s company, Zach and I got a mututal friend, I was on the West, Zach had an artist he was working with, he wanted me to do some stuff, and he was like "J.R.'s producing right now, is there something you might wanna fuck with?" I was like "Hell yeah, J.R. Rotem is doing big things! His shit is fire, Pop, R&B, he's doing it all in a major way. Of course I wanna be connected with a guy like that. Let's make it happen!"

So they let me hear some music, and that song was pretty much what it was, pretty much like you heard it, the track, the hook and everything. So I was like "You know what? I can do that." The frame of mind I was in when I went in to record this song is totally different from the frame of mind that I'm in now, but I still think that the message is the same. And Pimp didn't want me to do no soft shit right now, Pimp wouldn't want me to sit back and feel sorry for myself, feeling bad and shit, Pimp would want me to mash for him!

I look at the way Pimp used to mash for his homeboys, especially when they passed, you gotta get up and do it! My whole thing is that, at the end of the day who's going to represent for UGK and who's going to represent for Pimp C other than me? I just don't know, I don't see anybody else, so I feel like it's me! At the end of the day I gotta do what I gotta do!

Dubcnn: I mean you were pushing for him when he was incarcerated, and you still keeping it pushing..

When I look back at that, I now realize that that shit was all a test, to see if we was built for what was to come. It wasn't easy then, it definitely ain't going to be easy now, but I know that we can do it, cause to a certain extent, we've already done it. It's different, because of the fact that we're not repping for him to eventually come back to the team, but we're repping for him period. I'm just trying to be smart and realistic about everything right now.

Dubcnn: Did they find out any further details on the reason of his death? What's the final verdict?

As of today, I haven't heard anything back yet, I haven't heard any real autopsy results yet, I'm not sure, still waiting to hear.

Dubcnn: There were rumours that Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z amongst others didn't attend the funeral because they wanted more security or something, what was up with that?

I never heard that, I don't even know where that came from. I talked to Jay-Z, he was out of the country when it happened, as soon as he was back he reached out and offered his condolences, he's a busy man, I'm sure that if he could have made it he would have made it, but if not, I don't hold that type of shit against people, I'm not petty like that.

And Snoop Dogg, I see no reason why Snoop Dogg would have security concerns. I see no reasons for Jay-Z either, but even more so Snoop Dogg, he lives in Los Angeles, Snoop is a Crip in Los Angeles, where Bloods would wanna fuck with him, if he can live in L.A. everyday, there's no reason for him not to come to Port Arthur, Texas, it's not even that kind of party! Security against what? So I don't know where that came from, and I truly don't believe that that's not why people didn't come, I don't believe that at all. Anyway there was more police at that fuckin' thing than anywhere! We had the Feds taking pictures at that shit, so...

Dubcnn: I heard a lot of people say that the way Bishop Don Magic Juan came to the funeral was disrespectful, what did you think of that?

No comment.

Dubcnn: You said you're in a different mindstate now than you were before, so Would you say that the passing of Pimp is going to change the "II Trill" album?

Not really, cause at the end of the day, everything on the II Trill album is everything I needed to say. The only difference to it now, is that I'm going to have to do a dedication song for my homeboy. But as far as the mindstate and the mentality, it stays the same. I was focused, don't get it twisted, I was already focused before Pimp died, musically and as far as where I wanted to go with the message. With Pimp passing, it's just more important that I get this message across. My solo and his new album was going to be more reflective of how the UGK album was, like we gotta clean the hood up. I don't mean the language or whatever, we just gotta get the fuck niggas out the hood, first and foremost, we gotta get the fuck niggas out the hood, and put leadership back where it's supposed to go in the hood. Then we can start making some shit happen.

Dubcnn: How far into the record are you right now?

I haven't done anything else to this record, but all we had left to do was the song for the women, and that was it, cause I ain't got nothing for the women! *laughs* I was going to have Pimp lead the way on the song for the women, have them shaking and shit, cause I need a club record for the ladies, not necessarily a pop crossover record, but this is the South, women like to dance down here, and I got a bunch of women that are UGK fans, and I gotta give them music to dance to!

Dubcnn: Which producers did you get with on this?

Of course J.R. Rotem, we got Jazze Pha, Corey Mo produced some shit on this album, Mr. Lee, Big Time, Blackout Movement, I can't think of everybody right now.

Dubcnn: Does Pimp have any beats on it?

Nah, like I said, Pimp was going to produce the girl song!

Dubcnn: What about guest appearances?

I never know this shit when people ask! If you remember we went through the same shit in the last interview when you asked me about the UGK album! Of course Sean Kingston, 8 Ball, David Banner, Rick Ross, Z-Ro is on a hook, Junior Reed is on a hook, Chamillionaire's on a hook, I got a song with Lil Wayne on it, and no it's not just a feature, we actually made a song together, so it's kinda crazy. Honestly, I can't think of everybody right now, as soon as I hang up with you, I'll know it all.

Dubcnn: You can email me the rest..

You know what it is my nigga? I don't be listening to my shit! I don't be having that shit on my mind like that, I don't ride around listening to me!

Dubcnn: I see a lot of people saying the exact opposite, like they only listen to themselves.

Yeah that's just me, everybody do them. I don't get a kick out of listening to myself. Every now and then when I really go off, I be like "Yo that's kinda hard right there I ain't gonna lie!" I give myself credit, but I'm not just riding around with all my new features and shit like that. What am I learning listening to myself? That's why I don't be knowing that shit, I don't be taking music out of the studio, I go in, I do it and I leave it. Then somebody call me like "Man that muthafucka was so jamming!" I'm like "Huh?" Then I'ma have to call the studio like "Corey, shoot me that muthafucka I did with so-and-so." But I don't even listen to rap all the time.

Dubcnn: I hope you listened to that UGK record though, cause that shit was so banging...

I probably listened to this UGK album more than I listened to anything else of myself before, because it was good for me to hear UGK. It's different to hear myself rapping than hearing me and Pimp go back and forth. Every now and then, I'm a little removed from it, and I know that shit might sound weird, but every now and then I can kind of sit back and be like "Wow, that shit is tight!" Like "Heaven" is a song like that, or "How Long Will It Last", that's a song we listened to and were like "Wow, we made this!" You know what I'm saying? Pimp did his thing man, he put his heart, his soul and his ass into this record, for real! Even the idea of doing it as a double album, I was totally against that shit, but he was like "Nah, these people been waiting long enough, they deserve more than just a record, they deserve all the music they can get right now, cause ain't nobody giving them that shit. We got two albums worth of shit, we need to give it to them!"

Dubcnn: And it worked! So what are the similarities and differences between Trill and the new one?


Bun B Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Audio Interview Here


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