It's been a tradition for nearly a decade now: the day of celebration known as Bun B Day. But, for this year, the beloved Port Arthur rapper will turn his day into a full-fledged weekend.
Things will kick off on Friday, August 30, with the release of his new EP, aptly titled Bun B Day. "We knew that we were planning things for Bun B Weekend, and I thought, you know, my fans are always asking for more music," Bun (government name: Bernard James Freeman) tells CultureMap. "And I thought it would be fun just to drop a couple of songs to coincide with the weekend."
On this five-track release, Bun will be rapping alongside such young guns as T.Y. (the son of Cash Money rapper B.G.) and fellow Port Arthur rappers GP of 4/5 & P.A. Yung’n. "I always wanted, like, Bun B Day to be a day where you kinda gave back, right? So, I thought what would be a good way to give back to the hip-hop community if I'm gonna drop music on Bun B Day. And, so, I came up with the idea of only having young artists from the next generation. ... I wanted to put them on the album and show that I'm embracing the next generation of MCs that are coming up in this industry right now."
A trill brunch
As far as festivities go, the man has gone all out. On Saturday, there will be a "Trill Brunch," from 11 am to 3 pm at Chris Shepherd's One Fifth Gulf Coast. Bun will join forces with Chef Roble Ali for this gathering, which will also raise funds for mental health awareness.
"This comes from the heart of my wife," says Bun, who has just recently collaborated with Antone's Famous Po' Boys for a sandwich that also benefits Second Servings of Houston. "My wife is very adamant about mental health awareness right now, and she thought that we should bring light to that situation. Because, in our community, we don't really talk about mental health. It's really a taboo subject in the African-American community, and I wanna help break down that wall and make this a conversation that we can start having on a larger scale and start getting people the help that they need."
Trill roller skating (!)
Other events going on this weekend include a skate party (known as "Trill Rolling") at Just Rolling Skating Rink on Saturday night, and an evening of UGK karaoke at Warehouse Live on Sunday night.
Bun and the Astros
But the big day for Bun will be a few days later, on Thursday, September 5. That's when he'll throw out the first pitch at the Astros vs. Mariners game at Minute Maid Park, as well as announce the latest collection of special-edition Astros hats he helped design. This time around, the hats are a tribute to the blue-and-gold, Bagwell-and-Biggio years. "The blue-and-gold color wave of the Astros doesn't, I feel, get enough love and consideration," he says. "So, I thought, you know, let's bring back that color wave, and let's do something really good, as far as I'm concerned."
As always, Bun wants the good people of Houston to appreciate what they have in their own backyard. As he says, "We're planning these events to obviously bring people together and have a good time — then also bring awareness to a great cause."
For tickets to the Bun B Weekend events, visit the official site.