FOR HOUSTON’S UNOFFICIAL MAYOR BUN B, his profound passion for championing the city and giving back is second nature to him. And his brand-new radio show, The 2 Trill Show, fully embodies his ingrained selflessness and highlights a musical slot he’s well-versed in: classic southern hip-hop.
On April 14, the Texas rapper, who's real name is Bernard Freeman, premiered his radio show on SiriusXM’s Rock The Bells, a music channel founded by LL Cool J. With this channel serving as an endearing ode to hip-hop, Bun B believed that creating a haven glorifying southern rap could support both up-and-coming and veteran Southern rap artists.
"I want to open my doors up to the O.G.s from the South, let them come in and we honor them, give them a platform,” Bun B said in a statement. “This is not really about me. I want to celebrate us. And I feel Rock The Bells is the perfect place to make that happen."
Aside from a rotation of iconic Dirty South anthems, the show will also feature special weekly guests (Atlanta-based rapper Trinidad James starred in the debut episode), interviews, and unfiltered commentary with Bun B’s wife, Angela “Queenie” Walls.
For decades, Houston has been a hotbed for bustling penmanship and producing distinctive hip-hop instrumentals. From DJ Screw pioneering the infamously syrupy chopped and screwed technique, Scarface's rippling lyricism and presence in the Geto Boys, and the everlasting people's champ Paul Wall, to more recent acts like Megan Thee Stallion and Travis Scott, we're only grazing the surface of Houston's enriching hallway of rap. With this, Bun B wants to keep the city's legacy afloat by boosting the southern lifestyle in any way he can.
“I'm excited because this allows me the opportunity to create a hub for everyone that appreciates all of this classic southern hip-hop music that we have to offer,” Bun B said. “I also understand that, if you're not necessarily from the South, there are a lot of very small, regional groups who maybe didn't get a big push to make a name for themselves on a national scale, but in their areas, were very big deals, musically.”
Before stamping a position as a cultural ambassador and guest lecturer at Rice University, Bun B rose to stardom as one half of UGK, or Underground Kings. Alongside the late Pimp C, the innovative duo’s gritty rhymes and indelible charm pushed the South’s hip-hop scene to the mainstream in the early ’90s.
Earlier this year, Bun B reflected on the group’s vaunted musical roster on The Donnie Houston Podcast and unveiled that a VERZUZ battle with Memphis rap duo 8Ball and MJG is in the works. Spearheaded by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, VERZUZ—the DJ battle web series is possibly the greatest invention to come out of the pandemic—showcases some of hip-hop and R&B’s biggest forces duking it out through legendary cyphers. Though there’s no set date for the showdown, we’re hoping he’ll drop a couple hints about what’s to come in their battle during future episodes of 2 Trill.
For now, the lyrical giant will use his personable approach and 2 Trill to steadily bring Southern rap to the forefront.
"I want to make sure that everybody has this hub that they can come to when they're making new music," Bun said. "We can celebrate these people and give them their flowers while they're here. and just have a nice, warm, welcome place, reflective of southern hospitality."
The 2 Trill Show airs Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and re-broadcasts during the week. The schedule can be found here.