MONIQUE BATSON – Bun B’s hometown isn’t Houston; this is Port Arthur – Port Arthur News

At 6:45 p.m., Houston musician Bun B will headline a performance at the Livestock Show and Rodeo.

No, it wasn’t a typo.

“As Houston hip-hop legend Bun B prepares to take the stage…” reads a recent post from KTRK.

He often called him the “unofficial mayor of Houston”. The Houston Chronicle almost uniquely refers to him as a Houston rapper.

And he’s a Houston rapper — now. But over time people seem to have forgotten his legacy started in Port Arthur.

Houston Press almost got it right in a snippet that begins, “Hanging from Port Arthur, Bun B rose to fame in Houston as a rapper – half of the infamous UGK duo.”

(My friends, watch “infamous” before using it.)

Bernard “Bun B” Freeman lives in Houston. He thrives in Houston. And he loves Houston.

But hop on the internet, head over to Twitter, and view his profile.

In the location box, you will find the three magic words: Port Arthur, TX.

And it was on Twitter on Thursday that a friend of mine sparked this conversation by expressing his sadness at “Port Arthur’s erasure in Bun B fame”.

It’s something she and I have talked about in the past, because she worked at Hollywood Video in high school. For those who don’t remember, the rental store was located next to HEB on FM 365. Once closed, the grocer used the space to expand.

Before streaming TV, the kids and I took weekly trips to Hollywood Video. And you always knew when Pimp C (the other half of UGK) was there. He had the only Bentley in the parking lot.

One of the duo’s first music videos features The Port Arthur News. And when Chad “Pimp C” Butler passed away, his funeral was held at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center.

Their history and fame are well preserved at the Gulf Coast Museum, but it is imperative to Port Arthur that they are remembered as a local band. Smaller communities, especially those at an economic disadvantage, are counting on this success to expand their footprint.

On a recent phone call with colleagues across the country, we were explaining a fact about the city we work in, when I used UGK and Janis Joplin as reference points.

And that was immediately greeted with admiration.

While Joplin has spoken of the struggles she faced in high school, her popularity has brought fans from outside the region to Port Arthur to experience part of her life.

Out-of-town visitors mean tourism dollars are spent at local hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc.

There is a big misconception about Port Arthur, and that won’t change if we don’t celebrate the town and its surroundings for their role in creating history.

In 2011, a well-known UGK mural on Proctor Street was demolished.

That day, Bun B tweeted his disappointment, referring to the lasting impact of “what we’ve built”.

Let’s not forget where they built it.

Monique Batson is the editor of Port Arthur Newsmedia and can be contacted at [email protected]

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