Bernard “Bun B” Freeman

As one-half of Underground Kingz, Bernard “Bun B” Freeman created much of the language and style that informs modern street rap, whether it’s the gleaming “candy paint” of tricked-out classic Chevys, or simply being “trill,” or too real for haters. He rose to fame in the influential rap duo UGK, winning numerous awards including a Grammy nomination. Bun B has also been featured on albums with several other notable artists with guest appearances on the Jay- Z hit single “Big Pimpin” and Beyonce’s chart-topper “Check On It.” His solo projects include Trill (which opened at #6 on the Billboard Hot 200 and peaking at #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-hop Album chart), Trill OG was released in 2010 and Trill OG: The Epilogue in 2013.

Today, Bun B has grown into an elder statesman, collaborating with and mentors younger hit makers like Kirko Bangz, a young Houston rapper. More importantly, he has often spoken about the unique subculture of Southern rap, and why it deserves as much respect as any form of popular music. Since 2011, Bun B has been a guest lecturer on religion and hip-hop culture, in a course taught by Professor Anthony Pinn at Rice University in Houston. A practicing Baptist, he’s married with two children and a grandchild. He also co-owns a food blog,, which features exotic how-to tutorials like “cooking with Himalayan salt blocks.”