February 03, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) For Houston rapper Bun B, Sunday's Super Bowl will be a win for him no matter who takes home the trophy.

That's because the Grammy-nominated performer has close friends on both the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots.

''I have a friend on each team. My friend Jonathan Babineaux plays for the Falcons and my friend Elandon Roberts plays for the Patriots, but we're all for the same town; really, really small place - Port Arthur, Texas,'' Bun B.

Bun B made the comments Thursday in Houston at the launch of his New Era H-Town 9FIFTY Snapback Collection at the Lids store in The Galleria. He said he was excited to welcome folks to his city for the big game.

''It's amazing because as a Southerner, we love to show our hospitality, we love to host people, we love to feed them, make sure they have a good time - so this is the entire city of Houston extending their arms to the world,'' he said.

Bun B, part of the rap duo UGK with the late rapper Pimp C, is one of hip-hop's most respected lyricists. The duo was known for hits like ''International Players Anthem (I Choose You)'' with Outkast and ''Big Pimpin''' with Jay Z. Bun B has also collaborated with a number of artists, including fellow Houston native Beyonce.

His last solo album was 2013's ''Trill OG: The Epilogue,'' but he says he's cooking up some good music.

''It's been about four years or so, but once you get ownership of everything you can make music as you want to, and not because you have to, it's a different situation,'' the 43-year-old said. ''But yeah, we got back in the lab and we're jamming and hopefully by the time summertime come we'll have some real jamming (stuff) for people to have.''

Bun B, born Bernard Freeman, has also been keeping busy with his visiting lecturer role at Rice University in Houston. He said teaching students about hip-hop has been rewarding.

''It really gives people a deeper understanding of what hip-hop is as a culture and art form,'' he said. ''(The students) really are not scared to test me and push the limits. It makes for great conversation in class and makes for great interactivity, which is really what my class is based around. Not just memorization and regurgitation, but we really want you to get involved and ask questions and test the limits.''

Last month, Rice launched the Pimp C Collection, part of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning's Hip-Hop Archive, and includes handwritten lyrics, fan artwork and more documents.

''To see an institution like Rice University honor someone like that is an amazing thing,'' Bun B said of Pimp C, who died in 2007. ''Just the fact that, after 25 years in the game, people recognize what we've done as a cultural contribution, not just as making music to play on the radio. It's something that I'm proud of and I'm sure Pimp would be proud of, too.''

Bun B even said there's a chance there may be an old Pimp C verse that could see the light of day at some point.

''The problem is that the estate controls all the music as far as Pimp C is concerned, so I don't really have any Pimp C music or verses. But I've always worked closely with the estate and who knows, there might still be one more left in there somewhere,'' he said.

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