trillest parade ever

Houston hip-hop legend Bun B named grand marshal of Art Car Parade

Houston hip-hop legend Bun B named grand marshal of Art Car Parade

Bun B The Ion
Bun B greets adoring fans at the Art Car Parade announcement event. Photo by Alex Montoya

Houston rap legend Bun B is having the best month ever.

He just made history with his epic H-Town Takeover at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as the first Black male headliner from Houston (read our review of the big night here) that featured a who’s-who of Houston hip-hop. Speaking of the rodeo, Bun debuted his fan favorite Trillburgers there. This weekend, he is performing an intimate Rock the Bells show Sunday, March 27.

Now, Houston’s Unofficial Mayor will head up the city’s official tribute to all things auto and audacious. Bun B will serve as the grand marshal of the 35th Annual Art Car Parade, the organization announced. The beloved parade rolls out downtown on Saturday, April 9, the centerpiece event of the annual Art Car Weekend (April 7-10).

“It’s a great time to be Bun B in Houston,” the local icon noted with a laugh at innovation and community hub The Ion, where the announcement ceremony took place. “It’s a great thing for families, and we haven’t had a lot of opportunities in Houston to really have a great event where everyone and their family could come out and enjoy it, but the Art Car Parade is going to provide us that and I’m so proud and honored to be the 2022 grand marshal.”

Other luminaries and celebs who have marshaled the iconic parade include Dan Aykroyd, J.J. Watt, Cheech Marin, The Art Guys,  Annise Parker, Kinky Friedman, Lynn Wyatt, and George Clinton.

To that end, Bun B (born Bernard Freeman in Port Arthur, Texas) is more than deserving of the title. The pioneering rhymesmith fostered the Southern and Texas rap movement as the founding member of the seminal dup Underground Kingz with his fellow emcee, the late Pimp C. He has sold millions of albums and become an pop culture phenom, sharing his keen wisdom and insight on music, politics, film, dining, car culture, sneaker culture, academia, and social justice (witness his work at the downtown George Floyd march).

“I can’t think of a better person to serve as Grand Marshal for the 2022 Art Car Parade,” emphasized Mark Sullivan, co-Chair of The 35th Annual Art Car Parade Weekend. “Both Bun B and the Orange Show are united in collectively speaking to Houston’s singular spirit, which is one that celebrates diversity, individuality and artistic expression. I can’t think of anyone more on brand for Houston’s most treasured parade than our most beloved global ambassador, and I can’t wait to see him rolling through downtown in a bright slab car with top down, rims spinning, and music slow, low, and bangin.”

Fittingly for a trill, Bun-marshaled parade, this year’s event will feature more than 250 artfully crafted cars and a  large contingent of “slow, loud, and bangin” slab cars — much like the ones Bun B rolled out onto rodeo dirt during his Takeover show.

Other new attractions include more than 100 new and never-before-seen Art Cars from around the country such as Riders, bike and skater groups,  wheeled contraptions, bejeweled roadsters and custom-crafted classics along with the fur-covered, metal-modified,  fire-breathing varieties, according to a press release. The event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.