What you might not know about the Houston rap legend

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It’s no secret that Port Arthur’s Bun B, born Bernard James Freeman, has amassed an impressive resume throughout his long career as a music artist. It started when he first exploded onto the scene in 1987 with the late Pimp C in influential hip hop duo UGK (short for Underground Kingz) and continued with countless feature films and five solo albums. in studio.

But the resume the local rap legend is building as an all-round entrepreneur and businessman is equally remarkable. From collaborations on books, merchandise and education to a thriving burger business largely thanks to pop-up shops, Bun B is expanding its brand beyond the studio.

Here are 6 things you might not know about the Houston native emcee.

He’s an author

In 2013, he teamed up with The Ringer journalist and New York Times bestseller Texas author, Serrano Shea, for a hip hop coloring and activity book called “Bun B’s Rap Coloring and Activity Book”. The book was designed to be a “shareable hip hop learning experience for families” where parents can feature rappers they grew up listening to with their kids and vice versa, the rapper said in Mars in a podcast with TV personality and tech investor, Tanya Sam. In 48 pages, the interactive book includes coloring pages and activities like mazes, crosswords and blank quizzes incorporating a mix of old-school hip-hop legends like Tupac, the Notorious BIG and MC Lyte with a mix of new emcees like Drake. , Big Sean and Machine Gun Kelly. The paperback sells for $9.49 on Amazon.

He played in the Houston Symphony

Also in 2013, he shared the stage with the acclaimed Houston Symphony Orchestra in a rare musical cross-pollination for its “Concert Against Hate” event commemorating the centennial of the Anti-Defamation League. In his performance, he dropped original rhymes about four locals known for their civil rights and education work becoming the first hip hop musician to be included in the orchestra’s performance.

He has taught in higher education

Although he didn’t attend college, that didn’t stop him from teaching a college course. In 2015, Bun B co-taught a course as a guest lecturer at Rice University exploring the relationship between religion and hip-hop with social studies professor Agnes Cullen Arnold and professor of religion, Anthony Pinn. Bun B attributes the opportunity to fellow Houston rapper Chamillionaire after he suggested it because his schedule didn’t allow for time. He taught the course with Pinn in alternate semesters for about five and a half years, and said “it’s probably one of the most rewarding things” he’s done in his life, he said. to Sam.

His many hat collections

Over the years, Bun B has frequently rocked Houston paraphernalia, especially apparel representing the city’s beloved sports teams. But in 2014, he marked his first collaboration with the Houston Astros. Two more with the team followed years later, including one in 2019, and another signature collection he launched Wednesday in recognition of Houston’s unofficial 713 holiday.

He’s mastered a concept of brick-and-mortar smashburgers

In 2021, Bun B embarked on his first culinary adventure by taking advantage of an increasingly popular food trend where thin, flat-grilled burgers are mashed to order on a griddle. He called his concept Trill Burgers in partnership with California culinary entrepreneur Andy Nguyen. This quickly gained momentum with a series of pop-ups around Houston followed by vendor appearances at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo where he sold nearly 12,000 hamburgers as one of the rodeo’s food vendors – all before a permanent restaurant location was determined. The first one a brick-and-mortar location opened in April in Long Beach, Californiaand a location in Houston is gearing up to open later this year.

Next: TV production

Although he was tight-lipped on the podcast about revealing details about some of his upcoming business ventures, the rapper did indicate that he’s been working on producing a few TV shows, including one about real estate, dating and a program chronicling the life of a prominent NBA. champion. Given Bun B’s strong affinity and unwavering support for his hometown sports teams, could he be a Rockets legend? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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