the king and the queen
Houston rap icon Bun B is a bona fide media star, with his role as part of the legendary hip-hop duo UnderGround Kingz, his successful solo career — his new album drops on March 16 — and his hilariously revealing appearances as a political correspondent on Vice. His interests have made him a rap Renaissance Man: Bun hosts a popular (and comical) Trill Meals cooking show, and frequently serves as a talk show pundit, and as a guest lecturer at Rice University.
Bun and wife, Queenie, are widely heralded as Houston’s most trill couple. In their first foray into dating advice, the pair shares with CultureMap tips on how to nail that first date, and how to make sure the trill is never gone.
CultureMap: What’s the best place for a first date?
Bun B: You want some place public — you don’t want some place intimidating, with dark corners. You want something well-lit, open, and somewhere friendly and has really good service.
Queenie: Somewhere like The Grove, downtown, open air, a lot of light, romantic. You can take a walk in the park.
CM: Dinner and drinks — who picks up the tab?
Bun: I think it depends on who asked whom out. (I’m sure Queenie will have a different view on that.) But, I think if you’re the man who asked the woman out on a date, it’s kind of expected that you pay for it. You’re only gonna be thinking about not paying for it, if you think the date went well.
So, don’t go asking somebody to go on a date, and you’re not prepared to pick up the tab.
Queenie: Whoever asked the other on the date, should pay. But, based on how I was raised, I think the man should pay when he sees the woman is willing to pay.
CM: What’s a safe way to make your move to show you’re interested?
Bun: There’s a lot of sexual assault stuff going on right now, so you’re gonna have to do it with your words, and with your eyes. Be careful what you say: Women will tell you that you can talk your way out of a good situation easily — she could be ready to seal the deal, and you can over-talk yourself.
Make eye contact. Let her know you’re interested in what she’s saying, and let her know you’re interested in her.
Queenie: Be a flirt — be a good flirt. Don’t be an overbearing flirt. Tell him, "I’ll call you when I get to the office." Don’t just text — hold a conversation.
CM: As a rule: kiss on the first date?
Bun: It really depends on how the first date goes — you can tell how it’s going. (I didn’t kiss Queenie on the first date, but she’s not a big kisser in that sense.) You’ve got to be able to read body language — if she’s been receptive and has been laughing and touches you, she may be open to being physical with you. But you’ve got to read those signs right.
Queenie: Yes, you can. If you’re into that person, their teeth are clean, and their breath doesn’t stink and you’re feeling each other, you can kiss on the first date.
Bun [to Queenie]: You didn’t kiss me on the first date!
CM: How soon do you call or text after the first date?
Bun: If you really hit it off, you’re going to be texting by the time you get back to the car. But if you like the person, it’s safe to wait until you get home, maybe an hour after the date. Don’t be clingy.
Queenie: I’m calling as soon as I get in the car. After the date, if he asks me to call him, then I’ll call him. But once he stops answering the call, I stop calling.
CM: If you’re married, can you ever stop giving gifts for Valentine’s Day?
Bun: As a man, you still have to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I was a big rose guy. I started with a single rose, then a dozen, then several dozen, then different colors — then it got to the point where Queenie said, "You don’t have to do this anymore." She has gone from gifts, to memories.
Queenie: Valentine’s Day is every day, if you’re married and in love — it’s not just one day out of the year.
CM: Is there such a thing as setting the bar too high with gifts or planning for a special occasion?
Bun: I don’t think you should throw money at gifts. You should really listen to your partner, the things that they like, something they might have said in an offhand conversation, that they didn’t realize you paid as much attention — set the bar high. But it’s not how much you spend. I remember I would always do air guitar, that one yea, Miss Freeman bought me an actual guitar.
Now, she didn’t know I couldn’t play guitar — because I was so good at my air guitar.
Queenie: There’s never a bar too high for a gift. Never let anyone talk you out of a gift you want to give, if that gift’s from the heart.