Bun B is a household name in hip-hop. As one-half of the legendary Texas duo UGK, alongside Pimp C, the emcee (real name Bernard Freeman) accumulated several hits, including one with the Billionaire artist Jay-Z in 1999 as featured artists on the anthemic Timbaland-produced track ‘Big Pimpin.’ However, the Houston native has revealed it was around this time that Bad Boy Entertainment Founder Diddy was lurking and attempting to lure the group into signing his newly founded label Bad Boy South.
During the early 1990s, Bad Boy Entertainment was untouchable and, alongside Death Row Records, was ruling the charts. The label’s roster was star-studded with acts such as The Notorious B.I.G., Mase, Craig Mack, The LOX, Lil Kim and Shyne. However, with its relevance waning, at the turn of the millennium, Diddy was on a quest to bring some Southern flavour to his empire with the launch of Bad Boy South.
Some of the label’s early signings included the likes of Yung Joc and Young Jeezy. Still, in 2003, the music executive (real name Sean Combs) was keen on signing UGK.
In an in-depth interview with B High ATL, Freeman reflected on the period during which Combs approached him with a deal. Detailing how his partner Pimp C was incarcerated at the time, the Teaxs native explained: “Pimp was locked up at the time; I remember Puff had this big party in Houston, and we went to the party. We went to Puff’s section, and they had him behind all the rope and whatever. Then they let me and my wife over.” However, the ‘Get Throwed’ artist explained that Diddy didn’t present him with a deal but instead attempted to win over his wife in order to back him into a corner.
Elaborating on Combs’ sly tactic, Freeman continued: “We sat down, and Puff said, ‘With all due respect B, I need to talk to the wife because I know the wife is the boss.’ He told her he wanted to sign UGK. He says, ‘I’m gonna give your husband this much money. I’ma give his brother this much money. And when his brother comes home, they’re gonna be Bad Boy, we’re gonna do this.’” However, when his wife relayed the message to him, Freeman knew it wouldn’t be right to give his rights and brand to Diddy while Pimp C was still imprisoned.
Explaining his decision, the star stated, “I said [to my wife], ‘We didn’t come this far to sell this. We gotta ride this out. I can’t have [Pimp C] come home, and he work for somebody else now. It’s just not gon’ work.’” Still, perhaps it was for the best as everyone that Diddy signs he seems to have issues with, including The Lox and Mase.
You can watch the B High ATL interview with Bun B in the video below.