Cornerstone Credentials: UGK and Tupac Shakur
Bun B knows he has an angel in his corner, with Pimp C looking down on him from up above. And Bun smiles as he talks about a record off of his upcoming LP, Trill O.G. The song features Pimp, Trey Songz and the late Tupac Shakur. The Port Arthur, Texas, legend says that it feels like a higher power intervened allowing the cut "Right Now" to come to fruition.
"I don't know, the big man was with us on this one," Bun said of his late UGK partner, Pimp C, earlier this week in New York.
"It was a song that was originally recorded in one version for a Tupac tribute album. Whatever reason, it didn't make the [Tupac] album and ended up getting locked up in a vault. Somebody opened up the vaults and was like, 'We got this record y'all did. Do you still want the record?' We put some new music on top of it to get it back to a fresher feeling and give it more of a party vibe. When you listen to it, it really was a party record. [Producer] Steve Below put a real good beat behind it. I went in and did a fresh verse, got a new hook to it.
"I always knew we would have to get somebody new to sing the hook because that ain't my job. I'm an MC. We called up the young boy Trey, he was more than happy to fit us in his hectic schedule. He was getting ready to go out on the [Blueprint 3] Tour. He worked it out for us. I think we put together something people are going to be playing for a long time."
Bun said the track also captures his UGK partner's essence.
"Anybody that knows Pimp's personality, this is classic Pimp C — definitely talking about the ladies, definitely talking about getting money," Bun said. "Same thing with Tupac; to me, this is the 'Let Me See It' Pimp C-meets-the 'I Get Around' Tupac. It's a fun time had on this record. I think a lot of people will have a good time when they hear it. The craziest thing about this record is when you think about it, Tupac's verse is from the '90s. Pimp C's verse is from the 2000s. My verse is from 2010. We got a song that spans across three decades and is just coming out now. And it's gonna crush anything that's out there. It sounds like we all literally came out the booth yesterday. It feels natural."
With such storied careers, it's easy to imagine UGK and Tupac would've collaborated while Pimp and 'Pac were still around, but oddly, Bun said they didn't cross paths.
"We never got to meet 'Pac," Bun said. " 'Pac got our album, I believe Edi [from the Outlawz] was saying, maybe two weeks before he passed away. Scarface gave Tupac the UGK Ridin' Dirty album. 'Pac went to Edi and said, 'I don't know who these dudes is' — this is what Edi is telling us — 'but they gonna be down with us. They talking about the same thing we talking about. These dudes is gonna be down with us, they on the same thing we on.' It was crazy because Edi told us [Tupac] got the album and he was listening to it. And in one week, he lost two cousins. 'One Day' was a big record for him. Literally, one day [his cousins] were here, the next day they were gone. That [song] was something that helped them get through what he was going through at the time."
Trill O.G. comes out August 3, and besides features from 'Pac and Pimp, Young Jeezy, Drake, Gucci Mane, LeToya Luckett, Yo Gotti and the aforementioned Trey Songz all appear on the LP.