Do I really have to say anything?
Props to Splash for the drop!
After the jump peep a new Bun B interview spotted @ wordofsouth.com
WordofSouth.Com: “UGK 4 Life” March 31st, marks the end of an era. Will this album give UGK the proper send off the fans expect? How important is it to you that the fans are satisfied with this project?
Bun B: This album will absolutely give them what they expect. The fact is if I didn’t give them what I felt they deserve…not so much what they expect but also what they deserve because for 17 years of unconditional support – I wasn’t going to do it. The “Underground Kingz”double album debuted number one on the billboard two-hundred charts, had a Grammy nominated single, number one. If that had to be the send off, it would have been an excellent way for UGK to go out. I felt like I had the opportunity to give us one last shot, one last go and it wasn’t just a matter of taking a couple of songs and putting out an album, but actually having enough structure and theme to make a cohesive project and I thought I had that; we moved forward and made that happen.
WordofSouth.Com: 17 years, UGK had an unbelievable run. It’s the final UGK album. Did you ever think that day would come?
Bun B: I never thought we were going to have the first one (laughs). We signed with Jive; it was a five album deal. I never assumed people would want to hear five albums from us to be honest. My entire career has been icing on the cake. I had a great run as a member of UGK and the UGK legacy will still live on, longer then you and I. For me, it’s definitely been rewarding at the end of the day. I’m content; I’ll be very content with UGK’s placing in history at this point.
WordofSouth.Com: Absolutely. “Da Game Been Good To Me” is the first single, and it’s the epitome of what UGK music should sound like. Was that song cut off the last album and if so, why? Is a music video coming to accompany the song anytime soon?
Bun B: No it was not cut off the last album but it was produced by the same people that helped co-produce the last UGK album. The production from the last double album and this album is extremely cohesive because it’s the same production team. The last double album, if you notice the credits, a lot of them was co-produced by several people and those same people are the co-producers or lead producers on this album.
There is a video that is going to accompany this song. I’m not going to perform in it. It’s more-so of a retrospective look back at the career of UGK from pictures, photo shoots and videos from the first album all the way up until today.
WordofSouth.Com: That plays perfectly into my next question. With it being the final UGK project, I imagine you carefully picked out which guests and producers you wanted to appear on the album. Tell us about that process of finding the right names.
Bun B: Well it was more-so about making sure that it made sense to listen to UGK and these are people Pimp C would have done these songs with. For me to have a song about women dancing and shaking in clubs and to have Lil’ Boosie and Webbie featured on it – people know that number one, they’re apart of the UGK family and two, they’re direct Pimp C protégé’s and three, they’re known for making songs about women in clubs – it was a perfect fit.
It’s the same thing with 8Ball, MJG, E. 40 and B. Legit on a song called “Used to be” on this album. The song is basically talking about the circumstances that we started with in our careers and how far we’ve been able to go, where we’ve arrived to and what we’ve achieved. I thought 8Ball & MJG, E. 40 and as well as B. Legit coming from the same era and to still be viable artists in this day and time, I thought it was an excellent fit on the record. And with them all being friends of UGK and had previously recorded with us, it makes sense to the UGK fans.
WordofSouth.Com: We like that explanation. Were Pimp C’s vocals for this album recorded specifically for the next UGK album or was he working on a solo project?
Bun B: He was working on both. A lot of these songs are songs as I said, that came from recording sessions for the last “Underground Kingz”album where we got to the point were we knew all the songs weren’t going to make it onto that album and some of them would make it onto this album. An example of this would be “Here We Go Again” produced by Mannie Fresh and features Ron Isley. It was actually the first full song I and Pimp C completed after his release from prison. It was something that was just so special, we could never get the right mix on it and we didn’t want to just put it out because it meant so much to us because it was our first time back.
That’s in the instance and also in the instance is the song “Hard as Hell” which is featuring and produced by Akon. It was originally recorded for the last album and meant to be the follow-up single to “International Players Anthem” but it ended up becoming too costly a song for the budget on that album and got pushed over to this album.
WordofSouth.Com: We appreciate the in-sight delivered to some of those songs right there. How often during the post-production of this album did you see yourself saying “What would Pimp C do?” since you normally took a back-seat role in the rest of the UGK projects.
Bun B: Well I was very lucky to have people around that were involved in the project in terms of the mixing and mastering of the last projects as well, with the exception of N.O. Joe who I couldn’t reach out to be apart of this album simply due to time constraints. Everyone else has already been apart of the process; especially a person like Mike Dean who was a long time friend and recording partner of Pimp C. He has a very, very good understanding of the kinds of elements that Pimp C would want brought forward in the music as for making drums, key boards, bass guitars and different things stand out more than others, and making sure certain things were very clear and the sound was grand enough and the mix was warm; you know what I’m saying?
WordofSouth.Com: I hear you. With this interview coming on the brink of the last album, I want to do some reflection as well. What was it specifically in your opinion, about UGK music do you think made it possible for the group to become recognized as such a legendary duo and held in such high regard by the fans?
Bun B: I think the fact that Pimp C had a true sense of music and he was a true student of music, and had a true love for music. It wasn’t just about us finding the best samples; it was about him creating the best music. Anytime he sought to use anyone else’s music, he tried to do it with the most respect as possible from a musical standpoint. He didn’t want to just sample records and use it in any kind of way; he wanted to try to do everything with respect so that people would at least acknowledge us as musicians. Pimp C did that because at the time, rap was not looked at as a true art form. A lot of people didn’t clear music in the past because they didn’t believe in rap as an art form. From our standpoint, Pimp (C) always wanted to make sure that people realized that there were actual musicians in this group and even though we couldn’t play certain instruments, we had a very strong sense of respect and regard for those who did.
WordofSouth.Com: You make a very good point. Pimp C once said “I fuck with live musicians to get the groove right.” Do you think that’s what it was about Pimp C’s production made it so monumental and appreciated?
Bun B: Absolutely. Pimp (C) had a very good understanding of music in the sense that he knew it took live instrumentations to make a song sound bold. At the same time, repetitiveness in the sense of the four bar structure is what made rap interesting to people. Pimp would try to get as much live instrumentation as he could, capture the best moment of the live instrumentation and then loop that together so it still had the looping in it so it could connect with a rap record, but it was coming from live instrumentation so that the loop was that much stronger and the music was still full, and it didn’t sound like somebody was just pushing a button on a key board.
WordofSouth.Com: Absolutely genius. I read in another interview you say “My Angel” was your favorite Pimp C verse. Since this is the final UGK album, I want to go through some of your UGK/Pimp C favorites. What is your favorite UGK song and why?
Bun B: If I had to pick one which is almost impossible. Talking to you right now, I can actually pick one song and I would probably have to say “Cocaine in the Back of the Ride.” That was our first time going into an actual recording studio to cut a record and we came through with flying colors. The whole process of recording that first song kind of dictates how you go through the rest of your career. We had a great experience but also a very realistic experience.
UGK started recording on two inch tapes. Back then when you messed up your verse, you’d have to start over. That was a long process, to start the song over and we burned up too much time and money with that, so for us, we had to perfect our vocal delivery to save time and money. All those things in turn helped us not just become good artists making good music, but also productive. It made us productive because we wasted less time and money.
WordofSouth.Com: I feel that. We talked about Pimp C’s production earlier; do you have a favorite Pimp C beat on a specific UGK record?
Bun B: I was always partial to “Ridin’ Dirty”, the title track. It was inspired by a Wes Montgomery record. I knew that a lot of people didn’t understand that Pimp C had sensitivity for Jazz; he was a big Wes Montgomery fan. He had a very large Jazz repertoire. It was his first time bringing that into the fold of what we did. I was very curios as to how people would accept it but to this day, a lot of people always used to say it was their favorite song to ride to.
WordofSouth.Com: No doubt! Not only was Pimp C a great producer, he could sure as hell sing a hook as well. What’s your favorite Pimp C hook and why?
Bun B: “Havin’ Thangs” for Big Mike.
WordofSouth.Com: Ok. Do you have a favorite Bun B verse on a UGK song and why?
Bun B: I’m going to have go with “Murder” because that’s pretty much what everybody else goes with; I don’t want to against the norm. I have lines in different songs that I’m proud of. I try to be the first one to incorporate certain things that are popular in society into a rap song. But if I had to pick any one particular verse that I think defines me as an artist, it would probably be “Murder.”
WordofSouth.Com: Ok. Are their any up and coming southern groups that you think having a shot of accomplishing what you and Pimp accomplished? If so, who?
Bun B: I think (Lil) Boosie and Webbie have a very good chance as solo artists and if they should decide to become a tandem. I think they have an excellent chance of achieving, and even surpassing the level of success that Pimp and I were grateful to have.
WordofSouth.Com: When Pimp C was jailed, you often referred to the “Free Pimp C” line in your songs and kept his name alive; it’s like you made it your job to make sure his name was remembered until he became free; even Pimp himself acknowledged that on “Underground Thang” from your “II Trill” album. Now that he is gone, will you continue to take on a similar role and make sure his name is never forgotten through your solo work?
Bun B: As long as I’m alive. But beyond the fact of me making music, even when I stop making music and that’s not an issue, will continue with Pimp C’s name in foundations. His name is going to live on; it’s not just because of me – There are millions of people all over the world who refuse to let the memory of Pimp C die. They’re going to help me along the way.
WordofSouth.Com: No doubt. Do you remember the last conversation you had with Pimp? What was it like?
Bun B: Yeah. The last time I spoke to Pimp prior to his passing, we had a very long and deep conversation. It’s very ironic because I don’t really talk about it since nobody has really asked. We talked about a lot of things. We got a lot of issues that needed to be resolved out in the open. We came to a very clear understanding about some things that he didn’t understand about what I was doing and a couple of things that he was doing that I didn’t understand. I don’t think we’d have ever been on a clearer page ever in the history of our entire friendship, much less our music career. They’re a few things that he needed to know about me as a man and they’re a couple of things that I needed to know about him. We basically laid everything out on the table and I thank God for the fact that I was able to give him the clarity about me and vice versa. I’m not sure what kind of burdens I’d be still holding onto if that not had happened.
WordofSouth.Com: That’s a beautiful thing right there. As mentioned many times, this is the final UGK album. Scarface also just released his final solo album. The south just lost one of their most legendary solo artists and are about to lose one of their most legendary groups. Does this mark the end of an era for the south?
Bun B: I think it does but I think it also opens it up to a new era. Everything goes in cycles and nobody is the king forever. They always say “long live the king” when the king dies, because as soon as the king dies, a new king is born. With Pimp C’s passing, it really opened up the doors for someone who may have been trying to do a little something musically and had been trying to make a name for themselves. They now have everything they need to go and become a legend in music as Pimp C did; so what are you going to do with yourself? What are you going to do with your time, your drive, your initiative? Are you going to waste it? Are you going to put it into your music and devote yourself to it fully and hopefully come out with the type of reputation and regard that Pimp C has.
WordofSouth.Com: You made “Trill” and “II Trill” but always knowing Pimp C were going to be there for another group album; I imagine that made it easier to do solo projects. With the Pimp now gone, will you continue to make solo albums and will the idea of completing solo projects become any more difficult to you?
Bun B: The recording process is never easy for me and definitely with Pimp passing, it doesn’t make it any easier for me to become a solo artist because it was never a concept I was choosing to embrace; it was more-so something that came out of necessity. With that being said, I will continue to do music. It is important that I carry the message of UGK on my back at all times. The best way for me to get my message out to the world is through my music. It was never meant for music to be the sole way for UGK to speak to the world; it’s just always been the best way. Until I find a better way to communicate to the world the statements that Pimp C and I have been carrying for the past 17 years, I’ll just stick to rapping.
WordofSouth.Com: Does that mean you’re currently working on a third solo album?
Bun B: Absolutely. The third album is called “The Trill OG” Aka “The Trillogy.” That will be out on Rap-A-Lot/Asylum Records sometime in July I think.
WordofSouth.Com: Ok, that’s a beautiful announcement right there. How much longer can you see yourself rapping?
Bun B: I’ve said that five years ago, I’ve said that ten years ago that I couldn’t see myself still doing this now but there are people who started ten years before me who are still extremely viable. Rev Run has an earning potential right now which is currently greater than it’s ever been in his career. Why would I stop now when there’s a possibility for me to make even more money down the road?
WordofSouth.Com: We feel that. Thanks a lot for your time Bun B. You’re on WordofSouth.Com; we urge all our readers to pick up a copy of “4 Life” on March 31st. Do you have any last words for our readers before I let you go?
Bun B: I definitely want to thank yourself and everyone out there who has gone out of their way to support myself and Pimp C and UGK and its respected movements; for definitely spending the money, spending the time and the energy that it takes even though nowadays it doesn’t take much energy to get music. I still appreciate the fact that some people are still willing to go out to the store and buy a hard copy of an album to add to their collection as well as support someone’s respected movement financially. I appreciate all that and I’d really appreciate if they continued to do that by buying the UGK album “UGK 4 Life” March 31st on Jive Records. Long live Pimp C.