DALLAS — Bun B has simple but perfect advice for all the artists in Dallas trying to blow up and put their town on hip-hop's national radar: "Just rep for your city," the Port Arthur, Texas, rapper said from Maximedia Studio.
While Dallas' support of hip-hop has been a staple, Bun said the city's artists haven't gotten their proper shine.
"Dallas has always been a big supporter of Houston hip-hop," Bun said. "A lot of us would not have broken on a major scale if Dallas hadn't been there to be that second major market to pick up on us and help break us. A lot of artists in Houston got broken in Dallas first before they got broken in Houston in a major way. A lot of people will be surprised that Dallas has always been the number-one market for UGK. Dallas has always bought 10 to 15 more copies of every UGK album than Houston."
"I probably did more [shows] in Dallas than Houston," Short added. "You can come out here every two weeks, and you gonna sell out."
Bun said part of the reason Dallas' hip-hop scene hasn't gotten bigger is that the artists have been trying to find their identity. At times, they've tried too hard to distinguish themselves from Southern neighbors Houston and have lost a bit of focus.
"Dallas' scene and the Houston scene is really only different because [of] the geography," Bun said. "[Houston] is a little closer to the water. We're a little bit more flatland. It's a different mentality that comes with that. We get a little more sunny weather, a little bit more wind. You come up to Dallas, it gets a little colder. They got a lot of hills, so they ride a little different. It's just a different mentality. Houston people and Dallas people talk different."
"Hold up, they talk a lot different," Short corrected his friend with a smile. "It's a totally different Southern slang."
"But they sound just like St. Louis people," Bun added.
Short and Bun are pleased to see that Dallas in on the upswing, with Play N Skillz winning a Grammy at the past ceremony and Trai'D and the GS Boyz signing major-label deals recently. Both acts have been fast-tracked to drop LPs this year, especially with the GS Boyz's "Stanky Leg" looking to be this year's "Crank That."
"I'm happy to see my region is showing up for them in numbers like they showed up for us," Bun said.
Dallas has a lot to offer! In the coming days, we're bringing you details on the city's burgeoning hip-hop movement — from dances to fashion to hairstyles and, of course, the music. We got it all, so keep checking back for more during Dallas Week.