Photo by Marco Torres

On Friday, March 3 night, Houston icon Bun B returned to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo with a bunch of hip-hop/R&B artists, successfully packing NRG Stadium with people who were ready to take that trip down memory lane.

Bun first hit the stage for this year's Southern Takeover, dropping a couple of sanitized bangers from his days in UGK (Underground Kingz) with the late Pimp C, with a full band behind him. He rocked a black, fringe leather fit, complete with a poncho bearing the UGK logo and a cowboy hat bearing the Monster Energy Drink logo.

Then came the cavalcade of stars. Last year, he stuck to Houston artists: Paul Wall, Slim Thug, several Lils. This year, he opened up the lineup to artists from other Southern states. First up was Tennessee, as he brought out Tela, producer/performer Jazze Pha and duo 8Ball & MJG – all Memphis boys – to do a few numbers.

The crowd got more turnt when Bun introduced Mississippi MCs David Banner, as he and Houston MC Lil’ Flip performed their rambunctious collabo “Like A Pimp,” and Big K.R.I.T., who teamed up with Bun to do a cleaned-up version of their “Country Sh*t” remix.

The stadium rafters truly started rattling when welcoming talent from Louisiana. Lafayette singer Cupid had people line-dancing in the aisles when he sang his hit “Cupid Shuffle.” That was just an appetizer for the main course, which came in the form of Cash Money Millionaires Juvenile and Mannie Fresh.

After Fresh gave the crowd a few bars of that Big Tymers fave “Get Your Roll On,” Juvenile followed with two crowd-pleasers you just knew he was gonna do: “Rodeo” and the one-and-only “Back That Thang Up.” Bun came up unfortunately short with Georgia, a state rich with hip-hop talent.

He got Atlanta-bred Trinidad James, who wore a red, Roy Rogers-style cowboy outfit and did an adequate rendition of his hit “All Gold Everything.” (Houston radio personality HardBodyKiotti did briefly come out to help Bun led the audience in swag-surfing as they performed “Swag Surfin” from Stone Mountain’s Fast Life Yungstaz.)

As for Texas, it wasn’t as bountiful as the myriad Houston legends he rounded up last year, but there were still some memorable moments. A guitar-wielding Scarface did a couple of songs; one of them served as background music for an “In Memoriam” montage of all the local/national rap stars we’ve lost throughout the years.

Screwed Up Click alumni YungStar performed as a trio of slabs – carrying such Houston rap vets as Slim Thug, Killa Kyleon and the Botany Boyz – did a brief promenade on the stadium floor. (One of them was also covered with the logo from Bun’s Trill Burgers business.)

But the final guest was a real surprise. After telling the Houston audience he loved them, Bun showed them how much by bringing out Dallas neo-R&B queen Erykah Badu. Wearing a large coat and an even larger silver hat, Badu stalked the stage and occasionally flashed her grill to the cameras as she performed “On and On” and “Tyrone.”

The latter ended with Badu giving quite the dramatic, high-pitched finale. The show came to a close with everybody coming back onstage to join Bun in performing another UGK classic “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You).”

“We put 75,000 people in here tonight,” Bun told the audience, before all the performers hopped on the back of trucks and rode off the stadium floor. (The show announcer later declared that it was 74,573 audience members— that's more than last year's H-Town Takeover.)

Houston's OG gave an entertaining, family-friendly show that took people back to a simpler time, when people mostly used their computers to burn mix CDs.

Bun B Southern Takeover

Photo by Marco Torres

Hometown hero Bun B surveys a crowd of 74,573 adoring fans at his Southern Takeover.


“Wood Wheel,” Bun B

“Pocket Full of Stones” Bun B

“Get Throwed,” Bun B

“Tired of Ballin’,” Tela, Jazze Pha

“Girls in the Club,” Tela, Jazze Pha, 8Ball & MJG

“Space Age Pimpin’,” 8Ball & MJG

“Like A Pimp,” David Banner, Lil’ Flip

“Country Sh*t (Remix),” Big K.R.I.T., Bun B

“All Gold Everything,” Trinidad James

“Swag Surfin,” Kiotti Brown, Bun B

“Cupid Shuffle,” Cupid

“Get Your Roll On,” Mannie Fresh

“Rodeo,” Juvenile

“Back That Thang Up,” Juvenile

“I Look Good,” Chali Boy

“Knocking Pictures Off the Wall,” YungStar

“Wanna Be a Baller,” YungStar

“Havin’ Thangs,” Big Mike

“Smile,” Scarface

“Mary Jane,” Scarface

“Big Pimpin,” Bun B

“On and On,” Erykah Badu

“Tyrone,” Erykah Badu

“Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You),” Everybody

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Gigantic 50-foot shark's jaw-dropping debut tears into Houston's top stories of the week

this week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Gigantic 50-foot shark dives into Houston museum for jaw-dropping new showcase of Earth's greatest predator. Visitors can meet these fin-tastic friends via a 360-square-foot virtual “shark tank,” where sharks of all shapes and sizes swim by.

2. Esquire toasts Heights watering hole as only Texas spot on 2023's Best Bars in America list. The bar takes its inspiration from classic dives like Alice's Tall Texan and the Shiloh Club.

3. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo makes history with election of first female chairman of the board. She takes over for departing chairman Brady Carruth..

4. Houston Tex-Mex institution serves up opening date for long-awaited West University location. It joins sister concept Adair Kitchen in the Kroger-anchored shopping center.

5. This is how big Houston apartments get for $1,500 a month. If you head to neighboring Pasadena, residents get an average of 1,180 square feet of space for the same price.

Meet the gifted chef showcasing authentic, home-grown Greek fare to Houston, plus hottest food news

What's Eric Eating Episode 285

On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Mary Cuclis joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Kriti Kitchen. The Pondicheri veteran opened the family-friendly Greek restaurant in January.

The conversation begins with Cuclis explaining how she entered the world of professional cooking. Prior to opening Kriti Kitchen, she trained at Bo Innovation, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong, and spent 10 years working for James Beard Award finalist Anita Jaisinghani at Pondicheri, the acclaimed, Indian-inspired restaurant in Upper Kirby.

At Kriti Kitchen, she honors her Greek heritage by serving dishes she's experienced when visiting family in Greece. Sandler asks her about the ways in which her cooking is different from Houston's other Greek restaurants.

"A lot of the Greek food I found in Houston was very delicious but very much street food. The kind of food I'm wanting to portray is more homestyle, things that I eat with my relatives," she says.

"For example, when you go to a taverna in Crete, a lot of times it's a couple running the whole thing. They invite you back into the kitchen to smell the stew. It's stewed meat and a lot of fresh vegetables with beans and lentils. I don't think too many people see that side of Greek food. I wanted to share a little bit of what I see with my family and what we eat when we're there."

Listen to the full interview to hear Cuclis explain why Kriti Kitchen offers both dine-in options during the day as well as heat-and-serve options that customers can pick up for dinner. She also discusses her goals for the future.

Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Rebecca Masson, chef-owner of Fluff Bake Bar, discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: Nobie's owners Martin and Sara Stayer's plans to open a new pizzeria; Roswell's Saloon opening in Montrose; New York City's Lady M establishing a permanent presence in the Galleria; and Masson's experiences during Austin's Hot Luck food festival.

In the restaurants of the week segment, Sandler and Masson share their thoughts about meals at two new Italian restaurants. First, they recount the highs and lows of a meal at Triola's Kitchen. Then, they share first impressions of Bari Ristorante, a new restaurant in River Oaks District that serves classic Italian dishes.

Mary Cuclis Kriti Kitchen

Photo by Ajna Jai

Chef Mary Cuclis is this week's guest.


Subscribe to "What's Eric Eating" on Apple podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Listen to it Saturdays at 2 pm on ESPN 97.5.

Famed luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo steps into Houston with stylish boutique in first outlet locale


Local favorite Houston Premium Outletshas exciting news for fashion-forward and price-conscious shoppers. The renowned luxury brand Jimmy Choo has recently opened its doors, bringing its signature high-end styles and accessories to Houston.

Shoppers will be delighted to find an extensive range of Jimmy Choo's coveted collection, including trendy shoes, chic bags, stylish eyewear, cute small leather goods, and other must-have accessories.

The luxury footwear brand hit the scene in the 1990s and quickly became a favorite of Princess Diana. Carrie Bradshaw and Sex in the City catapulted the shoe to a household name and the shoes became synonymous with femininity and luxury.

With more than 200 stores worldwide, Jimmy Choo is no stranger to the fashion scene. However, this outlet store marks its first in Houston, making its elevated shopping experience more accessible to a broader array of discerning buyers.

Savvy Houston shoppers will be thrilled to find top-notch designer pieces at prices that won't break the bank. Jimmy Choo joins other luxury brands at Houston Premium Outlets, such as Armani Outlet, Burberry, Tory Burch, Coach, and Cole Haan. It's the perfect excuse to make the journey to Houston Premium Outlets and stock up on summer wardrobe essentials.


Jimmy Choo

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Choo/Instagram

The Jimmy Choo boutique at Houston Premium Outlets includes shoes, bags, stylish eyewear, small leather goods, and other must-have accessories.

Jimmy Choo; Suite 955, near Armani Outlet; Houston Premium Outlets – (Suite 955, near Armani Outlet); 29300 Hempstead Rd. in Cypress.