Bun B Reveals How Different MCs Are As Parents Than As Performers
Bun B is widely respected as one of Rap music’s pillars of guidance. While the UGK co-founder refused to censor his lyrics throughout his career, the Port Arthur, Texas “Trill O.G.” is recognized for his wisdom far more than his ’90s vulgarity. In the 15 years between Too Hard To Swallow and Underground Kingz, Bun ascended from a rapper who proudly “left it wet for you” to a lyricist who professed his commitment (on his terms) with “Int’l Players Anthem.”
At 45 years old, Bun has the distinction of being a parent and a grandfather in addition to an active Rap artist. He opened up about these overlapping roles on the latest episode of the Father Hoods, hosted by DJ EFN, KGB, and Manny Digital. The veteran who recently released Return Of The Trill spoke to the podcast last month, 11 years to the day after Pimp C’s death. The newly-released conversation finds Bun opening up about separating a Gangsta Rap career from being a family man, and how he filters those worlds accordingly. The living legend also scoffs at the stereotypes about rappers’ kids, and discusses his relationship to his late partner’s children.
Bun calls in around the 12:00-mark. He reveals that his two children, who are now 30 and 31 years old, respectively, were his wife’s from a previous relationship. However, the commanding rapper raised both as his own for the last 22 years. He now has four grandchildren. Bun says that given his unique dynamic with his kids, he deferred to his wife for physical discipline. However, the Trill O.G. admits that he was active in verbally reprimanding his boys when they were growing up.
At 16:30, DJ EFN asks Bun about creating barriers between children and things like potentially adult-themed music. “It’s hard to shelter them completely from music, but you try to filter as much as possible, and you try to monitor [what] it is that they’re listening to. Then, once kids get off to school and mix with other kids, it’s a little harder to handle that kind of stuff. ‘Shelter,’ I think is the wrong word, because there’s always so much of the outside world that you can’t keep them away from; I think ‘filter’ is the better word. It’s not like you’re not letting them listen to music, you’re just being careful about what music they listen to. You’re not [stopping] them from watching television, you’re just being careful about what television they watch. It’s really about filtering the content from the kids. There’s nothing wrong with that. As the parent, you have the right to decide what it is you want your children to be into.”
EFN asks about Bun’s content and his family. “You have to give your kids an opportunity, a chance to not be scarred for life,” says Bun, suggesting parents recall their young and inquisitive minds. “A lot of my content is very hardcore; my granddaughter hasn’t heard a lot of the music I’ve made. She may’ve heard a couple of the songs on radio. She’ll only come to a radio show or festival where I’m not really doing all of the dirty versions of everything. You don’t want to expose them to anything too fast…it’s just like drinking or smoking or that kind of stuff. You have to be careful.” He adds that luckily for him, his children were more interested in the music of UGK collaborators like JAY-Z. His children were more used to Bun B as a regular guy than a Rap star.
Providing some general advice on parenting at the close of the episode, Bun says, “Just remember yourself when you’re looking at your kids. Remember your vulnerability. Remember your innocence. Remember your nervousness, your adamancy about things, your hesitance about things. The kids are gonna have some of those traits. Then some of them they won’t have, ’cause it takes two people to make a child,” he says. “So you’re gonna have to remember who you were and how you were at certain points in your life. Be smart about what you’re telling your kids. You can’t tell your kids [all of] the mistakes you’ve made, I believe. Because they’ll just use that as excuses and throw that in your face.” Bun says that children will use that information against you when you parent them. “You [also] have to be careful about what you do in front of your children. If your kids see you smokin’ weed and you decide to tell your kid, ‘Hey, don’t smoke weed,’ then you sound like a hypocrite. That may be, but you’re still a parent though. So be careful about your behavior in relation to the child.” Bun says that this is equally important as it pertains to social media.
At 35:00, Bun also speaks about his role in the lives of Chad Butler’s children. Since Pimp C’s late 2007 passing, Bun has tried to emphasize Butler’s wishes on his kids, who are from different mothers. Chad’s middle child wishes to rap. Bun admits that he has warned the fledgling rapper to understand that messages have changed. “I try to be supportive of it as a career move, just so I’m supporting [Pimp C’s son]. But at the same time, when you start talking about guns and stuff like that, that’s not gonna work because you’re gonna put yourself in a position that you don’t need to be put in…my primary job is just to love and support them, but also to be very honest with them and communicate with them and make sure that they know or have some kind of understanding of how maybe their father would’ve felt about certain issues.”
Bun also states, “This is an important podcast…I don’t think people really get a true sense of parents now, as far as the Hip-Hop culture is concerned [and] what we care about, what we don’t care about. They think a lot of our kids [are screwed up] ’cause we’re cursin’ and smokin’ and doin’ a bunch of drugs. I don’t think a lot of [people] know that many of us, our children are in private schools [and] that’s part of the reason we work so hard to try to give our kids a better shot at education than we had. They think a lot of our kids probably talk like we talk on records, which for most families, that isn’t true. Most of these children are very intelligent, very proper, very well-mannered, very respectful.” Bun closes in saying that assumptions about many rappers’ private lives are wrong, especially as it pertains to family values and dynamics.