Bun B made his first apperance on the Juan Epstein podcast with Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds and it's one of the more revealing episodes to-date. The three started the conversation reminiscing about Pimp C, Bun noting that Pimp's incarceration unintentionally helped him prepare for building a career without Pimp by his side. He also said that he apprciates other people's stories about Pimp, as he might not have been able to remember them otherwise. The conversation expands to a broader range of topics, including pornography, sports, and a hypothetical sitcom about the three living together in a condo in Bushwick, Brooklyn. But the most noteable highlight comes when Bun shares an incredible story about the first time he met the Notorious B.I.G. Read a transcript of the anecdote and stream the whole podcast below.
Rosenberg: Did you have any Biggie run-ins?
Bun B: Oh yeah. I have a great Biggie story.
Cipha Sounds: Here we go!
Bun B: So I'm in Atanta, at the BMI offices. I'm on promo, promoting Supertight. We're in Atlanta that day, and they're like, "You guys come into the office, we're doing this big thing for Craig Mack." "Flava In Ya Ear" had just went gold, "Juicy" was still at like maybe 420, 430. People may not remember how quick Craig blew and then Big just kinda came and eclipsed it. But Bad Boy was killing it.
CS: Yeah, but Craig was first.
Bun B: Craig was first. Craig opened the gates for Bad Boy. So we go into the thing and we're in the room and whatever, they've got different people in different places, and I see Big. And here's another thing that people probably don't remember: The Biggie album, the first real album, was out for seven, maybe eight months bootlegged before it hit the streets?
Rosenberg: The first version was a while before.
CS: Oh really? I didn't know that. It was different, though?
Bun B: Yeah, it was different.
Rosenberg: The one that recently came out again.
CS: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Rosenberg: I didn't hear it back then.
Bun B: So I was a big...I was big on this kid. Like: 'Yo, this dude is nice, for real.'
Rosenberg: And you've always been the way you are now, where you're aware of everything that comes out?
Bun B: Oh, without question. No question.
Rosenberg: His nerd game is serious.
Bun B: So when we get there, everybody's like, "Oh, Craig Mack," I see my way in, I'm like, "Oh, I gotta go talk to the big man," and—
Rosenberg: People were more like this, though: "AHHHHH! CRAIG MACK!"
Bun B: You're the worst.
Rosenberg: Sorry, sorry.
Bun B: [Laughs] So I go over to Biggie, and I introduce myself: "Yo, I'm Bun B, I'm with the rap group UGK."
And he's like, "Oh yeah! You got the 'Pocket Full of Stones' joint on the Menace soundtrack. I was with MC Eiht in LA, and he kept trying to play his song, and I kept telling him to play y'all's shit again. Like: I like that real street shit." So I was like, "I appreciate it. I heard your shit, I like it—real street shit—we're about to go outside and smoke if you wanna smoke." He was like, "Yeah, no problem." So we go out to the car, I'm trying to be a nice guy: "Yo, you can sit in the front seat". And [Biggie says] "Nah, I'm gonna sit in the back." I'm like: "….aight. Okay. Cool."
Rosenberg: Whose car is this?
Bun B: It was my car.
Rosenberg: What were you driving?
Bun B: It was a rental car, 'cause we were on promo.
Rosenberg: So, like, a Buick?
Bun B: Maybe a Buick. Maybe an Impala. Maybe a Ford Tempo. This was '93. Maybe a nice Tempo, or a Taurus.
Rosenberg: Taurus is nice. That means you're going mid-size, at least.
Bun B: So, Biggie gets in the back seat, and he doesn't close the door! He's just sitting there. I'm like, "Yo, close the door, keep the smoke inside," you know? He's like, "Nah, I'm all good." And I'm thinking this all seems very strange. It didn't occur to me until later: He sat in the backseat so that no one could sit behind him.
So we go out to the car, I'm trying to be a nice guy: "Yo, you can sit in the front seat". And [Biggie says] "Nah, I'm gonna sit in the back." I'm like: "….aight. Okay. Cool."
CS: On some mafia shit?
Bun B: Yeah. And then he sat with the door open so that I couldn't pull off with him.
Rosenberg: Which is crazy, because at that point, my thought process would be: 'I'm just gonna go ahead and not gonna smoke with these guys.'
CS: Nah, you gotta smoke! [Laughs]
Bun B: Nah, he's gotta smoke! But under his terms and conditions.
Rosenberg: At some point, could you see that he got comfortable?
Bun B: Yeah, eventually. I mean, he was comfortable enough to come out and smoke, but I think he was just mentally trained to react in certain ways in certain situations.
Rosenberg: Not only that, but also, at that time, people were about their shit, and you were rhyming about street shit.
Bun B: So you never know!
Rosenberg: So you might've been more than an artist, you might've been someone who was trying to…"Oh, Biggie's talking his shit in New York, he thinks he runs shit…"
CS: How old was he then? 18? 19?
Bun B: He had to be about 20.
CS: Yeah, from Brooklyn, that's the attitude when New Yorkers get that bad rap, when they go outta town and that, it's also some of that careful New York shit, always watching your back.
Bun B: Well, you gotta move a certain way in New York City. Coming here over 20 years, I understand New Yorkers better, because I understand New York better. If you don't have that extensive experience of being in New York—and not just being in New York, like, 'I'm staying at the W,' that ain't New York—I'm talking about being in Queensbridge with [Noriega] at 4, 5 in the morning. That's that New York.
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Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds also tried to break down all of Bun's ventures outside of music, which include his coloring book with Shea Serrano, his food blog, the course he teaches at Rice University, and his numerous clothing ventures (he is apparently getting seeded clothing by both Nike and Reebok at the same time). Within the realm of music, Bun just released his latest album, Trill O.G.: The Epilogue.
Speaking of Biggie, footage has surfaced of a British documentary, Passengers, that did a profile on him back in 1995. The episode shows Biggie buy jewelry and perform in Los Angeles in the midst of tensions between the East and West Coasts. It also has cameo appearances from both Lil Kim and Faith Evans.