Bun B isn’t finished making history. On Friday, March 11, 2022, the Houston rap legend staged Bun B’s H-Town Takeover, assembling a once-in-a-lifetime cast of homegrown hip-hop to perform at NRG Stadium in front of 73,259 fans––as of March 13, the largest crowd of any RodeoHouston concert thus far in 2022.
The first Houston-born Black man to ever headline the Rodeo, Bun made a move that has become as signature Bun B as trill: Instead of taking the spotlight for himself, he shared the stage with promising new talent, visionaries deserving of a wider audience, and his fellow pioneers of Bayou City hip-hop, all while MCing the entire evening like a proud ambassador of Houston culture.
Song by song, Bun B’s H-Town Takeover lineup unfurled thrillingly, like a perfectly curated, decades-long Houston mixtape, encompassing giants Paul Wall, Willie D, and Slim Thug alongside electric young voices such as That Girl Lay Lay. Lil Flip, Lil Keke, ESG, Ronnie Spencer, and Z-Ro delivered, as did Tobe Nwigwe, LeToya Luckett, Devin the Dude, Baby Bash, Big Pokey, Frankie J, and H-Town. In a crowd-rousing surprise, the unannounced Chamillionaire appeared. Another sublime moment arrived courtesy of influential music executive and promoter J Prince, who showered love on the sold-out audience, proclaiming from the stage, “Houston, you showed up and showed out!”
Bun B’s H-Town Takeover laid out Houston’s massive contributions to hip-hop for the entire world––but perhaps most importantly, the night served as a thundering, self-affirming love letter to Houston itself. As rappers weaved through rhymes and brightly hued slab––tricked-out––cars pulled onto stadium dirt, more than 70,000 fans sang along to every word. When Bun closed the night with his Pimp C tribute “Big Pimpin’,” followed by “International Players Anthem,” tears streamed down Bun’s cheeks, visible on the jumbotron––and finding any dry eyes at NRG became difficult. What began as a mini-festival turned into a defining cultural moment that reflected and embraced the art and people of the city on the city’s biggest stage.
“It was such a surreal moment,” said Paul Wall. “Performing in my hometown, with my idols and mentors, at the biggest stage imaginable, and on my birthday at that! It’s been difficult to choose my favorite aspect of the show, but the birthday song really touched my heart. Behind my Versace shades, I was holding back a few tears of gratitude.”
“It was a monumental moment for me and my entire family,” said Tobe Nwigwe. “From our city’s biggest legends to Houston’s next generation, only Bun could’ve pulled this off. Me and Fat are truly grateful to have been included. Much love to Bun and Queenie for this monuMINTal experience.”
“First off I have to say it was truly an honor to be chosen to open up for such a special night,” said That Girl Lay Lay. “The rodeo means such much to me and the city, and I can’t believe I performed there with all of the best artists in Houston. I’d like to give a sincere thank you to Bun B for trusting me and letting me show out for all the kids I love that love me. Truly a dream come true.”
“There was a concerted effort to include as many Houstonians in this show as possible,” said Bun B. “We didn’t want anyone to have a good reason not to come. I also want Houston hip-hop artists to realize there is strength in numbers, and as a united front, we can do anything and be anything we want to be. This is the most Houston-centric the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo performances have ever been.”
Bun B’s H-Town Takeover Setlist
“Draped Up” – Bun B
“You’re Everything”- Bun B
“Stop Playin'” – That Girl Lay Lay
“Thug” – Slim Thug
“Sittin’ Sidewayz” – Paul Wall and Big Pokey
“Still Tippin'” – Paul Wall and Slim Thug
“Ridin'” – Chamillionaire
“The Way We Ball” and “Sunshine” – Lil Flip
“Southside” – Lil Keke
“Swangin’ and Bangin” – ESG
“Mo City Don” – Z-Ro
“Give Me That” – Bun B
“”Knockin’ da Boots” – H-Town
“Suga Suga” – Baby Bash and Frankie J
“Torn” – LeToya Luckett w/ Slim Thug
“Doobie Ashtray” – Devin the Dude
“Mind Playin’ Tricks On Me” – Willie D
“Fye Fye” – Tobe Nwigwe
Pimp C Tribute/”One Day”- Ronnie Spencer
“Get Throwed,” “Big Pimpin'” and “Int’l Players Anthem” – Bun B
ABOUT BUN B
A true Houston icon, Bun B made his debut on the rap scene in 1992 as part of the rap duo UGK. Along with the late Chad Butler, the two Port Arthur, Texas, natives pioneered a sound that has become synonymous with Southern rap music. Bun B has been successful as a team and as a solo artist, releasing five solo albums throughout his career. His debut solo album, “Trill,” reached the No. 6 spot on the Billboard 200 charts. His four following albums, “II Trill,” “Trill O.G.,” “Trill O.G.: The Epilogue,” and “Return of the Trill,” all charted on Billboard’s prestigious list, as well. The rap legend has also worked with stars including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Lil Wayne and Drake. Bun B has expanded his reach beyond the music industry. He created “Bun B’s Rap Coloring and Activity Book” with author Shea Serrano, the “You Gotta Eat This!” food blog and recently announced his next step into the Houston restaurant scene with his burger concept, Trill Burgers. He is also an active member of the Houston community, dedicating his time to various philanthropic endeavors.