BUN B @ THE LOFT: The Autopsy
Contrary to whatever the eff you thought, this blog represents Hip-Hop culture first. Check the column to your top right if you didn't already know. I know I get deep into the political game, but that doesn't mean that I'm devoted to Democrats more than I'm down to listen to your demo. More on that later...
There were mad weirdos in attendance at The Loft for the free Scion Metro concert performance of Bun-B @ The Loft in Atlanta. But it is my eternal opinion that weirdos, not gangstas, make the world go 'round. So that's why I felt so at home when the infamous Bun-B of UGK put on with a live band in my city. Word to world music, it was a great time.
Speaking of which, man, that damn band known as Orgone is all dat and dim sum. I got a chance to speak with FANNY FRANKLIN, the lead singer of ORGONE, and she was mad cool, even if our conversation was to remain off the record... What I will share is that she told me that the band was going through internal issues like all musical outfits, but she felt the love when she hit the stage with the group and she appreciated the fact that I recognized her outside of her stage constume. "That shows you were paying attention..."
By the way, she had an ill resemblance to the love of my life, Sade. So of course I was entranced. But not only was she fine as hell; the band was extra dope. And I can't help but point out that the main guitarist looked a lot like the drummer from the Muppets' band.
My girl in Alabama told me that Bun-B's recent performance this past week in Birmingham was quite lackluster. I told her that it was probably because Bun had no real incentive to give his all to the Magic City. Birmingham is not a major market, therefore it accounts for a very small amount of record sales. Bun-B doesn't really have to care about how the 'Ham feels about him or his stage performance. There is bigger money in bigger markets.
Yet the bigger reason to be excited about Bun's appearance in Atlanta was because he was performing with Orgone. He even admitted on stage that he had never before performed with a live band. Now, I don't know how true that statement is, but I take Big Bun at his word. After all, he does continue to keep it triller than any other rap artist in the game - southern or not.
Bun is naturally dope when fronting a band. It makes a southern Hip-Hop fanatic wonder why he hasn't tried a nationwide tour with The Roots or a southern derivative thereof. The south has a long history and wide heritage of birthing and building great musical artists with live instrumentation. If Bun wants to build a new career, I think he'd do great with a band of seven or eight hard-core cats in the background, not just a DJ. On that note, maybe JD was right...
Of course, Pimp C is dead, so UGK will never be the same. Of course, there will never be another UGK, because we are in a new era of Hip-Hop. Of course, Bun-B is affected by the death of his partner-in-rhyme, because they were the dynamic duo. But that doesn't mean that we can't appreciate the lyrical ability of a solo southern MC that has always been one of, if not the most efficient and exceptional rap artist from the south, besides Andre 3000. When you add the elements of live music in this mix, you might mess around and get pure magic, like last night in Atlanta.
Bun took control of the stage as soon as he stepped on the platform. With Orgone's assistance, he ripped through such classics as "Draped Up", "Big Pimpin'" and other UGK timepieces before cutting his hour-long stage set short around 1:30 a.m. Trust me, I was happy enough to pay my tab and leave after that, but that was before I saw what absolutely blew my mind...
Ceelo, Khujo, Big Gipp and T-Mo - all in the same room in Atlanta. I shook hands with all four of the original members of the Goodie Mob, telling them that I missed their music yet I was extremely proud to see them together again. Trust me, that shit is a major accomplishment. I would go so far as to assume that only one other brother did the same: MAURICE GARLAND. And I didn't even see Garland, but he got the flick, so props to him for having the camera ready.
If nothing else, the Scion show definitely showed that Bun-B is the true king of the south when it comes to Hip-Hop. Not Scarface, not T.I., and definitely not Lil' Wayne. Some will try to say that Bun is too old to claim the crown, but the truth is that nobody has been around as long and can still pull a devoted and loyal crowd like the still-living lyrical half of UGK.
Hip-Hop will never die, especially not in the south. Feel free to kill yourself if you can't stand the reign.