Few can understand the outsize buzz that has accompanied Drake’s hotly anticipated debut, Thank Me Later. However, Houston hip-hop stalwart Bun B, who first started out with Pimp C in the influential duo UGK, said that he relates to the frenzy the Canadian MC has experienced during his rise to stardom.
“To be honest, I was Drake,” Bun B told Vibe magazine. The Texas MC said he can relate to artists like Drizzy and Kid Cudi — who both leveraged their undeniable popularity as unsigned artists to score successful mainstream success — because he grappled with the same type of attention and hype from the industry while he was still grinding on the indie circuit.
“I was in the same predicament in terms of being a new artist,” he said. “I was involved in a bidding war when we first came out independently. Labels were calling us and inviting us to meetings.”
Bun B also told the magazine that his ability to stay relevant and uphold UGK’s legacy after being in the game for years has endeared him to the younger generation of MCs. “We were able to work it out in terms of UGK’s legacy and longevity. And we have inspired a lot of cats. I definitely get calls from up-and-coming artists about how to stick around for a while. I feel like some of these cats could use a little direction.”
Bun also defended Drake against detractors who say the Toronto MC’s blending of lyricism and crooning isn’t authentic hip-hop. “I don’t know what they are talking about, personally, because if you are saying that, then that means you are trying to say that people like T.J. Swan, Slick Rick and Biz Markie are not hip-hop. Come on … all of those guys sung on their songs,” Bun said. “Singing in hip-hop is nothing new. We’ve always had people that incorporated singing in their raps. And believe me, if MCs could sing, they wouldn’t get singers to sing on their albums.”
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