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Culture

UGK’s Bun B is building a podcast and cooking show empire

He does a whole lot more than rap.

Feb 28, 2018 - Camilo Smith

Bun B is a modern-day renaissance man. He’s a legendary rapper, he’s a sneaker collector god, he’s a community figure and arts patron in his adopted city of Houston, and he’s a podcaster and foodie-viral videomaker.

As one half of UGK, along with Pimp C, Bun B helped solidify the southern, bouncy, hardcore street funk of Houston and etched their G.O.A.T status with tracks like Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You) and by providing the thrust to Jay-Z’s Big Pimpin.

His trademarked word “trill” is known to the masses and he’s the kind of guy who has some of the best weed-smoking stories out there. (He once had a weed-smoking session with Notorious B.I.G, which he explains on his podcast.)

 

But Bun B’s public profile these days isn’t related to how he spits his bars on a mic. In fact, Bun B is doing everything he can to break out of the box of just being a rapper.

His brand is more expansive, less restricted to the confines of appealing to the hood first. Bun B not only works as a lecturer at a prestigious university but is still the guy with gold and platinum successes who came from humble, Texas beginnings. Weeks following Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Houston and elsewhere, Bun B even appeared in a live theater version of “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Now, while prepping the release of his next album, “Return of the Trill,” Bun B is knee deep in cooking videos. He’s building an audience for his YouTube (and before that Instagram) videos that showcase how home-cooked meals can be tasty and fun.

“We travel around, and everyone likes to brag on their mac and cheese,” he told TIME. “My wife was like, ‘I don’t think anyone can touch my mac and cheese’ and I didn’t think they could either. We’re fun people, I crack jokes all the time, so this is just an extension of how we are around the house,” he said.

The videos are not too much of a stretch for him—the rapper has been in the online food space for years. Just by scanning his YouTube channel, you get a sense of the flavors Bun B is making alongside his wife Queenie. You see massive amounts of Goya products. It’s a clear representation of the international influences on the rapper who has traveled the world and calls people of all different backgrounds fans.

He’s building a closer connection to those fans with a new podcast called Trill Talk. The podcast, which is simultaneously recorded for podcast audio and a separate YouTube broadcast, features the trill couple’s take on local Houston culture as well as national politics and news. It’s a no-holds-barred type of conversation with Bun B talking about man-scaping, sex dolls, cryptocurrency and anything else that comes to mind. He said his vision for the podcast is not to divide people, he wants everyone to be a part of the fanbase.

“The podcast is supposed to be a break from the bullshit we deal with on a daily basis,” he explains on his first episode.

And yes, it’s a lot of fun.


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