Bun B Talks About Carrying Rap-A-Lot's Torch, Working With DJ Premier
Exclusive: Bun says that he feels he has J. Prince's label on his back right now, and hints that he and Premo may continue breaking barriers in the future.
In the third and final segment of HipHopDX's conversation with Bun B regarding Trill O.G., the Port Arthur, Texas emcee spoke about his role with Rap-A-Lot Records, and his first solo collaboration with Gang Starr's DJ Premier, "Let 'Em Know" .
Although all three Trill albums have been released on Houston's Rap-A-Lot Records, the third installment finds Bun at a time where he is believed to be one of the sole remaining artists on J. Prince's 25 year-old imprint that's released classic albums from Geto Boys, Scarface, Big Mike and Devin The Dude, among many others. "This, to me, is the start of the next 25 years," said Bun. "Rap-A-Lot [Records] has had 25 years of incredible success and impact in the music industry and in the culture of Hip Hop, and the lifestyles in the south - Texas and Houston to be exact," Bun said before including Detroit, Washington DC, L.A., Chicago, New Orleans and Miami in the conversation. "For me, I truly believe that right now, I kind of have this label on my back. There's a lot of history, and there's a lot to live up to that J. Prince has put down. To me, it's a tremendous amount of responsibility, but not something I can't handle," he said. UGK partner, the late Pimp C, also recorded solo material for Rap-A-Lot, including two albums, with a third posthumous release planned for fall.
Bun expressed that the label's motto has long been "keep it real," and affirmed that he's done just that throughout his 18-year recording career. "I wanted to show people that this record label is still impactful, and we're still making music that represents the streets. We still speak for those who aren't heard." Bun's comments reiterate the message behind many of J. Prince's intro messages to Rap-A-Lot albums, which Trill O.G. also now carries. Bun added that before he was making music, he was a fan of the famous label.
The veteran lyricist was also asked about "Let 'Em Know." After Bun B previously appeared alongside Massachusetts rapper Termanology on a Premier track in 2008's "How We Rock." Bun described the outcome of the HeadQCourterz Studio session, "It was a wish for me." Recognizing his own history for breaking boundaries, Bun pointed to Jay-Z's 2003 Black Album hit "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" as a southern anthem made by a Brooklyn emcee. He continued, "By the same token, 'Let 'Em Know' is a quintessential east coast, New York Hip Hop record, and I killed that bitch. It's not a detriment to where I'm from, or a detriment to where [DJ Premier] is from. It's just showin' that we've got a lot more to contribute together than separate." With his trademark grin, Bun closed, "And it's gonna be a lot more instances of that in the future, let me say."