Reflections: Bun B On Repping Houston, Biggest Career Compromise
I’m a realist. A lot of people in the industry have been around as long as me and they’ve been able to take more advantage of the game for whatever reason. Until I see myself on a certain level I’m just gonna keep going. I’m not gonna knock the next man for their accomplishments. I’m just gonna try to figure out why it is I haven’t been able to do what they’ve done and try to take more advantage the next time I get an opportunity. I make sure I always step back, take a look at myself and be man enough to reevaluate myself and say, "Maybe you missed this" or "Maybe you didn’t do this and it wasn’t the right time" and be able to make sure the next time around that you handle business or handle yourself a little better. Nothing wrong with doing that.
In another interview, you mentioned that it’s important to have a plan coming into the game. What was your blueprint?
Our thing was to just represent where we were from and just to be as real as possible and we knew that we wouldn’t be in a position to lie or fabricate too much of anything because the people that we came up around and the place that we represent wouldn’t allow us to. So as long as we just stuck to the script and kept it real everything should be alright and I think people saw that and respected that.
How have you represented for Houston and are you happy with how you’ve represented?
I think we helped to validate Houston’s musical scene and I think Houston’s music scene had to validate us. It’s always been a to and fro. We’ve been able to create music and movements that helped to spawn up-and-coming MCs who in turn took the opportunities and gave them back to us and helped us take ourselves and our movement to another level. It’s just been a good back and forth and the Houston music scene from the artists to the promoters and the fans. We all got a lotta love for each other and we all see each other all the time.
Can you give an example of that back and forth, creating a movement for someone?
Say for example UGK makes an album called Ridin' Dirty and Chamillionaire makes a song based on that movement called “Ridin' Dirty.” It becomes a big song then he comes back and puts UGK on the remix. It’s like UGK reaches a level of fame; Chamillinoaire takes what we’ve done and builds on it, takes his thing to another level and then comes back and brings us and expose us to the wider audience that he’s been able to gain. That’s what it’s all about. We’ve done the same thing with Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Tre, Zro, Lil Flip, all the artists coming up in Houston.
Did you have higher hopes for that Houston movement with Paul Wall and Cham or do you think it did what it could?
Well, there’s a lot of movements that didn’t even start at all. There were a lot of people that didn’t do anything, period. So I’m not gonna sit and point the finger at who didn’t do what. I thin Houston stood up very strong. We ran the game collectively, doing songs with each other. There were certain things that we didn’t do and we learned from that and now we’re doing a lot of music together. People like Slim Thug and Zro who used to have beef with each other are now on singles together. Chamillionaire and Paul Wall who used to have beef with each other are now on tour together. So we’re getting back to where we need to be right now but that being said we still here, otherwise you wouldn’t be having this conversation.
What did you see in rapping when you were younger that made you want to pursue it? I read that it was just a hobby for you.
It was just something we was doing. We figured we’d take a year to see what happened. If not we’d go on with our life. [We wanted] to learn something like we were doing in school and make a serious go for it. We had somebody that was interested in putting it out. Chad and I felt like we could do it and other guys with us at the time didn’t feel as strongly so we just took a chance and it ended up turning into a career.
Is there one specific compromise in your career or otherwise that you regret not fighting for?
Nah, everything we did we fought every fight that we supposed to. So I have no regrets career wise cause we stood up every time. UGK could have gotten a lot bigger a lot faster but then the star probably would have burned out quicker, too. We stood tall on everything we felt strong enough about and some of it we won, some of 'em we lost but we always fought the fight.
Is there an example of a battle you lost?