You can’t talk Houston, Texas without paying homage to the one and only Bun B. Half of UGK, the 51-year-old legend created countless Southern bops that his day-one fans have been playing since the ‘90s and still have on repeat now. The "Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)" lyricist built a name for himself not only in Hip Hop, but in the food industry with Trill Burgers and at the rodeo courtesy of his All-American Takeover concert.

REVOLT had the pleasure of attending an exclusive dinner with the legend in his hometown, courtesy of Crown Royal. The esteemed liquor brand teamed up with the Trill Burgers owner to kick off the festivities last month and celebrate his All-American Takeover show and rodeo culture.

The H-Town icon spoke with REVOLT about how his wife, Angela Walls, inspired him to create the concert series. He also elaborated on participating in the rodeo and discussed the Knowles family slowly planting their seeds in the country music space and shedding light on Houston’s history.

Read the exclusive and enlightening conversation below.

You created a space for Black people and artists to enjoy and benefit from at the rodeo thanks to your wife’s advice. How pivotal was she in the creation of the All-American Takeover?

For us, we realized early on that while this was an amazing opportunity for ourselves, we could also afford that opportunity to other people. The rodeo has made efforts to reach out and embrace diversity starting with Black Heritage Day a couple of decades ago to now having Latin Appreciation Night, EDM Night, and a plethora of things to allow them to embrace different cultural expressions. When it comes to our night, we realize that this is the moment many people who have helped to contribute to Houston’s culture, particularly Hip Hop culture, would possibly never get the opportunity to step on that type of stage and be able to represent themselves.

Following my wife’s advice, we initially put together a group of people we called the Starting Five, and they eventually grew to being a roster of a dozen entertainers spanning from teens to their 50s. We thought it was a great way to celebrate the city and the culture while showing how united we are and how much we are alike rather than different. This is a very diverse audience in a very divisive environment in our country, but in order to go in that room and enjoy [the stage], a lot of people had to leave their misconceived notions and prejudices. It was a big step forward and a message to the world where people are supposed to hate each other and not get along. Music and culture is something everyone loves and appreciates, and it makes us all Houstonians.

This is the third year of the All-American Takeover. What has made it so successful thus far?

We weren’t selfish in this opportunity – I believe if we had come in two years ago and did a Bun B show for one hour and played all my hit records, that would’ve been the end of it because there wouldn't be no reason for them to come back and see that again. By creating something we’ve been able to expand on and change consistently, there’s always renewed excitement every year because they aren’t going to get what they received at the last show. With that being the main catalyst for these takeovers, we realize we’re in a very unique place at the rodeo, which is a very unique setting. We’re not only afforded the opportunity to get up there and do what we love to do, but also bring in other people who love what they do, too. This one won’t be as fine-tuned as the other ones – the first one was specifically for Houstonians and the second one was shedding light on Southern culture, but this time we bring out the big guns.

You selected Rick Ross, Nelly, Too Short, E-40, and That Mexican OT to participate this year. Why were these artists the perfect choices?

With this being the third installation – to which we call it the “Trilogy’s Trilogy” -- we wanted to put people on the stage where, even if you didn’t have an appreciation for Hip Hop Houston culture, Southern Hip Hop culture, or if you don’t like Hip Hop music altogether, you know Nelly’s music and these major personalities who are some of the biggest stars in the world. We wanted to put people on this stage whose music would be undeniable and extremely easy for people to embrace. The more of these we do, we’re realizing we’re bringing more people into the setting who possibly aren’t conscious of the Houston rodeo or who may not live in the city of Houston or the state of Texas. We want to make sure there’s a very easy entry point for people culturally who are taking the opportunity and time to come down here, embrace the rodeo, the lifestyle, and see a good night of entertainment. We believe we can give them all three of those things in one hour at Bun B’s All-American Takeover.

What are your thoughts on the history-making impact Beyoncé has had in the country genre since debuting her singles “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” and “16 CARRIAGES”?

This is the story that this particular family has been trying to tell for a while. If we look back to Solange’s last project, When I Get Home, and her last film, it was dedicated to the Black cowboy and the identity of the cowboy, which was built on indigenous people. The original livestock handlers in this country were the American Indians and that comes as no surprise. As Europeans came in and Black people were brought over due to slavery, they became handlers of livestock. White handlers were referred to as “cowposts,” whereas Black people, who were often referred to as “boys,” were called “cowboy,” as in: “Go wrestle that cow, boy.” The whole term cowboy has been appropriated from the Black man and the Black Western experience.

Solange was very pertinent in trying to bring that to the front of the conversation while we all celebrated the rodeo, and now Beyoncé is coming in celebrating and acknowledging that while being an active participant in bringing more attention to it. There are very few people who can bring attention to it like Beyoncé can, as she’s a polarizing figure. Having been a part of this culture for many decades, going deeper beyond the Charlie Prides, the attention is being given to other Black artists who are looking to break in the space. Every time you see people talk about Beyoncé's song and her presence in the Western music space, there’s other people asking about Tanner Adell and other people. They’ve been around, so if you really want to know what Black people are doing in country Western music, thank you, Beyoncè, for lighting that fire and here go a few artists who are great examples.

Which of your musical collaborations are in your personal Top 5?

Since we’re talking Beyoncé, I would say when we did “Check On It” for The Pink Panther movie, which was amazing because there was no soundtrack, and it was one song. At the time, she wanted to be taken seriously as an actress and [in] the filming of this movie, so she only did one record. It was a huge moment as an artist, but to also get that call as a Houstonian like, “Beyoncé wants you on the record.” I would say “Big Pimpin”’ with JAY-Z, which has been a calling card for me – that record was the No. 1 record in the world for a while and I can go to any club, travel around the world, and there’s not a club where that song didn’t get the same response in Houston as it did in LA and London. I would say “Sippin On Some Syrup” with Three 6 Mafia, which came out during the same summer as “Big Pimpin’.” We had the No. 1 pop record in the world with “Big Pimpin’” but one of the biggest street records in the U.S. with “Sippin On Some Syrup.”

I would say another one would be “Tough Guy” with UGK and OutKast for the Shaft remake. It's a very underrated record, but we really love it and recording it in Atlanta with Big Boi’s wife pregnant during that time. So many amazing moments with us talking more than we were writing and rapping, but this gave us the time to build, connect, and hang out. As for the last one, I’ll go with the remix song I did with Nas and Damian Marley called “Leaders,” which was another one that flew under the radar, but it was the first time I was able to do a dedicated song with Nas. Nas and I have done posse cut records with four or five people, but this one was a song where I was rapping directly with Nas. To create with one of the greatest Hip Hop writers of all time was a huge moment for me.