Bun B is back in the booth following the death of his partner-in-rhyme, Pimp C. The veteran Texas rapper, who is working on his next solo album, paid us a visit last week to open up about how he’s been coping with the passing of his UGK brother in early December. In some ways, he said, it reminded him of when Pimp was away in prison, but then the reality sinks in that the group is no longer going be a two-man show.
“The whole ‘Free Pimp C‘ movement, you look back on it and you know it was a test, to see if you could handle that,” Bun said, referring to the campaign that surrounded the rapper’s incarceration for aggravated assault. “Knowing you can handle that, you know you can move forward. … With the ‘Free Pimp C’ movement I knew that at some point he was gonna come back into the situation; we’d be a group again. So that was always in the back of my mind. In this instance, it’s not really gonna be like that. At no other point in time, throughout this music career, from here on, are he and I going to physically share a stage together, gonna physically be in the studio recording together. And that in itself is a little off-putting.”
Bun told us Pimp C‘s absence still hasn’t hit as hard as it eventually will. He admitted that at one point he and Pimp’s mother avoided seeing each other, although not on purpose, because they both seemed to fear that speaking to each other would open up more wounds as they tried to heal. Since then, however, Bun has been able to talk to her, and he’s been able to move on enough to finish his second solo project. He said he wasn’t sure if he’d ever be 100 percent comfortable with recording, but he knew that at some point he had to push forward.
“I know people will support it, and I know that I’m strong enough to do it,” Bun said of putting out another album. “Just the point of understanding from here on out, it’s just me, I’m probably never gonna be comfortable with it in that sense. It’s just a matter of coming to terms with the reality of it and the finality of the two-man situation in a physical sense.”
In the meantime, Bun is planning on penning verses about Pimp. He said he wants to give the story behind the men of UGK, but he wasn’t sure if he’d ever release the music. He’s spoken with T.I. about coping with the loss of a right-hand man. The Grand Hustle MC told him that, from his experience, recording the music will help, even if it doesn’t ever land on an album.
Aside from seeking advice from Tip, Bun asked Slim Thug, Lil Wayne, Sean Kingston and “a certain four-man group out of Atlanta that used to be signed to LaFace” to appear on his album. He said “Now That’s Gangster,” his single with the Jamaican teen crooner, should be out soon.
“It’s about reclaiming the streets,” Bun said of the track. “Gangsterism is looking like a fad, but it’s some real sh–. Not as in the red, the blue, or ‘I’m a G,’ but when you out there not doing the status quo. People need to understand what a gangster is.
“I’mma start with that word and take that word back,” Bun finished, “until I can eventually take the whole ‘hood back.”
Plans for another UGK album are in the works, but Bun said he’ll be cautious and that nothing is set in stone yet.