Face to Face With the King of Trill
I got to meet Bun B and it was real.
By Anne Harris,
11:21AM, Fri. May 23, 2008
I'm handing the reins over to Chronicle City Beat editor Anne Harris today for a very special episode of Schadenfreude. Please enjoy.
Let's take it back to the night of Wednesday, March 12, since we probably spent it together. We shook our heads and rattled our South by Southwest badges on the curb in front of Fuze, stunned at being shut out of the most significant Texas rap show this year – Bun B's memorial for Pimp C of UGK. It was live inside without us while a band no one has cared about in a decade swanned around outdoors at Stubb's where there was plenty of air for everybody. Standing out there next to the cameraman and boom guy from BET while their on-air fox batted her lashes in vain, I momentarily assessed my own charms, then left bitter. So, so bitter. Yeah, I'm a fan. It's personal.
Fast forward to Music Mania, Wednesday, May 21, 6:54pm. That's the time-stamp on the photo at right. It matters because it was one of those moments that never happens: not one single bubble burst. Wearing no protective shades or masked expression, the King's presence and open charm were impressive given the long line of fans that waited for an autograph. And interesting. This is Mr. Woodgrain, the Sultan of Snow. But he's quiet. He conserves his words in a way more of us should edit ourselves. His eyes, the same ones staring back at us from the cover of Trill, net everything around him. His expression was warm as he introduced his wife, Queen, whose bearing lives up to her name. She outshines the other stuff on his arm and he's proud of her. (Edit thyself: I heard myself offering her a ride to Neiman's if she ever needs one.) I hugged him goodbye and told him I'd keep it 100. He laughed and said, "That's what it's about!"
Later that night at Emo's, two different scenes swirled it up in a cup because of Bun. (Please excuse the beer bottles rolling around under your feet.) I also have to hand it up to great local opening acts like Mr. & Ms. 512, Pimpin' Pen, and Dred Skott, who rolled it out for big guns from Memphis and Houston. Rep your city.
And Bun. Bun. All I know is that sometime between 7pm and midnight, the shy, truth-seeking gentleman with the warmest face you've ever known became a heat-seeking gangsta who burned down that stage. He must save it up somewhere.
Sometimes your dreams sneak up behind you. Be ready.