Bun B Returns to RodeoHouston With the Southern Takeover

Bun B looks over the sold out crowd at NRG stadium.
Bun B looks over the sold out crowd at NRG stadium. Photo by Darrin Clifton
Bun B stood before a sold-out NRG stadium side by side with Juvenile. Bun, dressed in a black leather jacket and matching cowboy hat paused to catch his breath as the legendary Hot Boy adjusted his shirt and wiped his face with a white towel.

“This might be my show,” smiled Bun as he reached out and grabbed Juvenile’s shoulder. “But I think after this the building is going to belong to you.”

As Bun walked toward the side of the stage the violin intro from “Back That Azz Up” boomed through the speakers filling the space and bringing the audience to their feet.

Last year Bun B showed the power of Houston Hip Hop with his rodeo takeover. Bringing out guests like Z-Ro, Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Lil Flip, Lil Keke, Baby Bash, Frankie J, Big Pokey, H-Town, Devin the Dude, To be Nwigwe, That Girl Lay Lay, LeToya Luckett, E.S.G, Willie D, J Prince, and Chamillionaire the unofficial mayor of Houston displayed the rich history that this city has contributed to an art form that is now celebrating 50 years.

The show was such a success that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo invited him back for a second year in a row to headline the Black Heritage Day. While last year was the Texas Takeover this year the Trill OG expanded the show possibilities, calling it the Southern Takeover. Even though Bun B had already been announced by the rodeo for another headlining night the Port Arthur MC remained tight-lipped about everyone he was bringing to the stage, revealing Mannie Fresh, Juvenile, Cupid, 8ball & MJG, and the promise of others. Friday night fans finally got to see what being prepared.
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The Trill OG returns with The Southern Takeover
Photo by Darrin Clifton
What the Trill OG had been working on was a show highlighting pivotal acts in Southern music with a guest list much longer than was originally announced. Surprise guests included artists representing Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, and, of course, Texas. While last year Bun introduced various artists from Houston, this year he went state by a state bringing artists like David Banner, Tela, Jazzie Pha, 8 Ball & MJG, Big Krit, Trinidad James, Mannie Fresh, Charlie Boy, Yungsta, Big Mike, and Scarface with a closing act from Erykah Badu.

At one point Kiotti came out to lead the audience of 75,000 in the “Swag Surf” followed by Cupid leading the crowd in the “Cupid Shuffle”, prompting Bun to announce that the crowd had broken records for both.
Highlights of the show included Yungstar rapping his verse from Lil Troy’s “Wanna Be A Baller,” while the Botany Boyz, Killa Kyleon, Slim Thug and Lil Keke swang slabs in front of the stage, Charlie Boy serenading the masses with his hit “I Look Good." And Erykah Badus closing out her set with “Tyrone.”

Bun continues to add more feathers to his cap growing from half of the legendary UGK to an elder statesman of Hip Hop who co-author’s a coloring book with Shea Serrano, teaches a Hip Hop and Religion class at Rice University, continues to release music like last year’s TrillStatik 2 with Statik Selektah and Mo Trill with Cory Mo, and hosts the 2 Trill show on LL Cool J’s Rock the Bells SiriusXM station.

But arguably his biggest venture is Trill Burgers, a pop up eatery that has won Bun Good Morning America’s best burger in America. Trill Burgers was present at last year's rodeo as a pop up as well but since then the smash burger concept has won awards, had pop ups at festivals and city hall, and recently announced its first brick-and-mortar location in the former home of the city’s longest-running James Coney Island. The move continues to show the MCs' appeal in a wide range of successful ventures.

Friday’s show has already been announced as a success with it, so far, the rodeo’s biggest selling night for this year. The sheer size of the crowd was evident as Charlie Boy sang Sam Cook’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” while pictures of fallen artists like Pimp C, Mo3, Gangsta Boo, and Chucky Trill were shown on the jumbotron. As the Texas MC sang the audience lit the stadium with the flashing lights of 70,000 camera phones. 
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Houston Press contributor DeVaughn Douglas is a freelance writer, blogger, and podcaster. He is 1/2 of the In My Humble Opinion Podcast and 1/1 of the Sleep and Procrastination Society. (That last one isn't a podcast; he just procrastinates and sleeps a lot.)