UGK emcee Bun B is one of the forefathers of Texas rap and, alongside Pimp C, created one of the most successful Southern rap groups of all time. Most known for their 1993 single ‘Pocket Full of Stones’, UGK was among the first wave of rappers from the South to start turning heads.
As one of hip-hop’s many regional pioneers, Bun B (real name Bernard Freeman) has always been a respected voice in hip-hop. However, akin to many rap artists such as Lil Wayne and Pharrell Williams, Bun B is also a fan of Rock music.
Rock and rap music have always been very compatible genres. Although some have done it better than others, the rebellious spirit of the two art forms has led to some incredible productions and acts such as Run-DMC and N.E.R.D prove how well the two cultures marry.
In 2004, Jay-Z released Collision Course EP to great success. The collaborative EP with California rock band, Linkin Park was a fantastic example of how rock can transform into hip-hop music with the right arrangement.
Another group that has proven capable of this is N.E.R.D. Comprised of Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shay Haley, the trio explored the realms of alternative hip-hop in the 2000s and how it could be fused with rock to create new, exciting sounds such as their 2001 anthem ‘Lap Dance’.
That said, in an interview with Pitchfork speaking about rock music, Bun B unveiled his favourite rock album and disclosed that his favourite project of all time was Radiohead’s 1997 album, OK Computer.
Opening up about how he fell in love with the album, Freeman explained, “Summer 1997. I was in a very strange place at this time. I was more famous than I’d ever been due to the recent release of Ridin’ Dirty. I was also in the first year of the relationship with my now-wife Queenie. So there was a lot of professional as well as personal stress on me. I couldn’t find anything to relax me.”
He continued, “Then one night, watching MTV, I saw the ‘Paranoid Android’ video. Suddenly, for some reason, this calm washed over me. It seemed like this song was speaking to me. I bought the album the next day and everything about it made sense. While very dense and layered at times, it was still very melodic and easy to listen to. And a lot of what they spoke about then still resonates to this day.”
The Houston legend concluded by admitting, to this day he still listens to OK Computer, divulging, “So even now, when life starts moving too fast, OK Computer is still there to help slow it down for me.”
You can listen to ‘Paranoid Android’ below.