I made my first visit to TSS because a friend of mine told me the site had the then brand-new song, “Get Throwed.”
When I wrote my first ever Hip-Hop article for a little blog at Davidson College (which I later submitted to Gotty™ while trying to join the Crew), I wrote about UGK and how genuine their music has always been to me. Not to belabor the point, but at the time, Pimp C had just been released from jail and the group was cementing itself as the consciousness of Southern music, always telling the truth and taking on mentor-like roles for a generation of MCs.
Needless to say, UGK has been important to my writing career. So when I was told I could interview Bun B, I felt everything come full circle. Fam, I kid you not when I say I felt like I’d made it as soon as I got off the phone with Uncle Bun.
Little did I know, I’d come face to face with one of my idols at SXSW.
I went to Austin trying to keep my journalist face on despite all the surreal moments. I had my camera and was ready for an interview at any turn. But when I heard Bun was in the building, I reverted to a little fanboy. F*ck a camera. I wanted to meet the legend.
I watched him walk around backstage and basically have rappers bow before someone who is becoming the most respected man in Hip-Hop. I waited to muster the courage until I finally walked up to Bun B.
Me: Hey, it’s David D. from The Smoking Section. I interviewed you a couple of weeks back.
Bun B: Oh yea, of course. That was a great interview.
That moment will be frozen in my mind forever. That encounter may not have meant anything to him, but it justified all of the J-school work I’ve been putting in. The loan money and sh*tty albums I’ve had to listen to. It was all worth it to get that nod of approval from someone I’ve not only enjoyed listening to as an artist, but also looked up to as a man.
As I’ve listened to the UGK 4 Life album over the last couple of days, it’s started to dawn on me: this is it. This is the last UGK album we’ll ever hear. This isn’t a fake retirement. It’s over.
But boy did Bun and Pimp go out with a bang. Instead of the overly sentimental stuff I was worried about, this is classic UGK with Pimp rapping about well…pimping and Bun ripping almost every verse a new one over vintage H-Town beats.
Today, I’m going hunting for UGK 4 Life on vinyl just to have it and look at. This is history and I want to be a part of it.
One more time, fam:
Smoke sum’n b*tch!
UGK – “Da Game’s Been Good To Me” Video