Classical Music

Bun B, Houston Symphony Join Forces to Fight the Haters

When last we saw Bun B, the Buddha of Gulf Coast rap also dubbed "Houston's unofficial mayor" - by us, yes, but it fits, don't it? - was all smiles as usual. Saturday afternoon the ever-trill UGK rapper's countenance beamed as he shook hands, posed for pictures, and signed autographs at Cactus Music as part of the release party for his and Rocks Off's own Shea Serrano's brand-new Bun B's Rap Coloring and Activity Book.

Now Bun's reputation as Bayou City Superhero keeps right on growing at a DSL-like pace. At noon today, Bun will appear at a press conference at Tony's Restaurant (3755 Richmond) to help announce the Houston Symphony's "Houston In Concert Against Hate," the orchestra's first-ever collaboration with a hip-hop artist in its 100-year history, scheduled for November 14 at Jones Hall. And really, who else but Bun?

According to the Symphony's announcement this morning, Bun has been tasked by the orchestra to compose original lyrics in tribute to four prominent Houston education and civil-rights figures: Esther Campos, a former director of the HHEC community development corporation; Michael Feinberg, founder of educational nonprofit KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program); longtime TSU professor and debate coach Dr. Thomas Freeman; and Carol Shattuck, President and CEO of Collaborative for Children, another nonprofit that aids early-childhood development.

The concert is sponsored by the Anti Defamation League, which is commemorating its 100th year and will present its Centennial Award to local attorney Marvin D. Nathan. Besides Bun's lyrical sketches, Oscar-nominated and multiple NAACP Award-winning actress Alfre Woodard (Passion Fish, Desperate Housewives) will narrate the evening, with Houston Symphony Associate Conductor Robert Franz on the podium.

Bet Bun looks damn good in a tux, too.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray