Bun B Drops Jewels On How An Artist’s First 3 Albums Should Progress (Video)
UGK released three albums in the 1990s. There was great progression between 1992’s Too Hard To Swallow, 1994’s Super Tight, and 1996’s gold-certified Ridin’ Dirty. Bun B and Pimp C entered as Port Arthur, Texas’ take on Gangsta Rap, and evolved to pioneers of their own sub-genre of Slab Music. As Bun B pivots towards an EP and album from his solo catalog that suggests his most personal and vulnerable music to date, the independent MC spoke to Drink Champs about his rule of thumb for album-making.
Bun joined N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN on the latest episode of Drink Champs. Near the 12-minute mark, the former Rap-A-Lot Records solo artist revealed his creative philosophy.
“[UGK understood that] the world is a ghetto. Really, the only thing different in these hoods is the clothes and the slang,” Bun B proclaims at 10:00. “Once you get past that, you gon’ understand everything that’s happening in that neighborhood, and you’ll know how to move in that neighborhood. Okay, they wearing gangsta-Nikes on the West Coast, they wearing Reeboks in New Orleans, they wearing Timberlands in New York…,” he illustrates. After gaining knowledge through traveling, Bun says he and Pimp formulated a plan: “We just gonna talk about the sh*t we see every day, and assume that’s just the sh*t that everybody seeing every day.”
N.O.R.E. admits that he never made his benchmark work, The War Report (with Capone) for the world. The Queens, New Yorker says the duo only considered their local hoods in that famed 1997 release. “That’s it. I can’t believe [the connection to that album] in Europe. I didn’t make this for you,” admits the Drink Champs co-host. “Everybody’s like that, N.O.R.E. I think you make your first album for the hood, you make your second album for the world, and if you make it that far, you start to making music for yourself [after that].” The show applauds. “That’s all you want to do,” continues Bun. “Because you don’t know if anybody’s gonna be checkin’ for you outside of your neighborhood. But you know ni**as in the hood is waiting to listen, just to see if you’ll f*ck up. Really, that’s what it is…because if you don’t rep home right, you can’t go back—at least [in Port Arthur].”
Here is an example of UGK’s progression, per Bun’s point:
In the two-hour plus interview, Bun B discusses botched plans of a UGK and Three 6 Mafia super-group. He admits that he and Pimp C were not in agreement on all issues, but that their differing personalities made Underground Kingz a better group. At 35:00, Bun B praises Texas’ latest star, Travis Scott. “He’s from a different era, but I appreciate him. his sound is his own. People shouldn’t have to lean on Pimp C and DJ Screw forever.”
Earlier this month, Drink Champs got a stellar interview with LL Cool J.
Additional Reporting by Danny Avershal.