In 1987, Bun B and his longtime friend turned brother Pimp C formed Underground Kingz, better known as UGK, and the rest is as they say… history.
The rap duo would go on to take up space within the music industry, toting their southern hip-hop charm every step of the way as Texas natives. After solidifying their space in the industry with a breakout performance on JAY-Z’s “Big Pimpin” in 1999, the pair continued to show up and show out and landed their first No. 1 album with their fifth studio album, Underground Kingz.
Following a tragedy just four months after of the album’s release, Pimp C passed away, and for Bun B making music has never been the same.
“I haven’t really enjoyed making music since Pimp passed away,” Bun B revealed in an interview with HipHopDX. “And so now that I get to make music with friends and I’m not under any contractual obligation, I make music because I want to not because I have to, so it’s a different experience for me. For me, it just has to be fun or I’m not going to do it. I just don’t want to do it.”
Making music has always been healing for Bun B who reflected on a time when he wrote a track titled “The Story” detailing the group’s rise to success while Pimp C was incarcerated for a probation violation.
“The beautiful thing about music from a cathartic standpoint, is you can use it as an outlet to say what you want to say and express how you feel, but you don’t have to release it commercially,” he shared. “But it could be something that you do it. Like when I did ‘The Story,’ I recorded it one time and all the way through. Then for months, I couldn’t listen to it because it was so emotional and it was a mark in a specific time in my life where I was very low.”
In all, allowing himself the space to grieve publicly when most men aren’t known to express their emotions, afforded Bun B the opportunity to find a space to heal while also mourning.
“I think allowing people to see me grieve publicly and not being afraid to cry and show vulnerability publicly, hopefully that allowed other people to do the same,” said the 49-year-old entertainer. “Because there’s nothing worse than being low and alone.”