Bun B’s All-American Takeover Lauded Black And Brown Talent From Across The Nation

(Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for Crown Royal )

Legendary Texas rapper Bun B is celebrated not only for his solo career but also as one half of the iconic hip-hop duo, Underground Kingz (UGK). His influence extends far beyond Texas, with the Pimp C coined “country rap tunes” sound reaching the masses. His prominence earned him a coveted performance slot at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo for Black Heritage night. It was here that he introduced his groundbreaking “Takeover” concerts, a one-night-only extravaganza that draws a constellation of artists to Houston’s NRG Stadium during the peak of rodeo season.

In his inaugural “Takeover” event in 2022, Bun B spotlighted H-Town’s OG rap talent, assembling a stellar lineup of local stars including Lil Keke, Slim Thug, Z-Ro, Paul Wall, and even Destiny’s Child alumna LeToya Luckett. Building on this success, the following year saw Bun B expanding the scope to a regional level, orchestrating a Southern Takeover spectacle that featured iconic acts like 8 Ball & MJG, Erykah Badu, and David Banner.

Bun B Took Us Across The Country For His All-American Takeover
HOUSTON, TEXAS – MARCH 12: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been altered: Logo removed.) Bun B cheers to the All-American Takeover in the Crown Royal Lounge at Houston Rodeo at NRG Stadium on March 12, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for Crown Royal )

In 2024, the Trill emcee leveled up his “Takeover” concept to new heights with an “All-American” theme, showcasing the diverse hip-hop contributions from across the nation. This event offered a glimpse into the vibrant music scenes of Houston, St. Louis, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. The lineup was a powerhouse ensemble featuring the likes of Nelly, Eve, The Ying Yang Twins, Rick Ross, E-40, and Too Short – a 33-song, 90 minute runtime of nostalgic hits.  

In the promotion and marketing of the show, Bun B slowly and intentionally released the names of the artists that would join him onstage for the All-American enterprise. Ahead of the show, Bun B made the announcement that Canadian rapper Drake would also be making an appearance at the show, but in true Houston fashion, you can never truly know who will show up. 

In addition to showcasing these quintessential talents on the main stage of the Rodeo, Bun B meticulously curated every aspect of the show. Kicking off the spectacle with a dazzling display of fireworks and pyrotechnics, he ignited an electrifying atmosphere even before the artists took the stage. Moreover, to enhance the anticipation and excitement, each performer was introduced via the jumbotron, setting the stage for their remarkable performances. The show began with a dialogue between Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson and Shannon Sharpe, hosts of the acclaimed Nightcap YouTube show, to prime the audience.

Bun B made a grand entrance onto the stage, kicking off his performance with the iconic “Draped Up,” adorned in a cowboy hat and a bespoke poncho featuring his name. As the crowd vibed to his opening song, their attention was soon redirected to the jumbotron, where the charismatic Oakland native, Marshawn Lynch, took the screen. Lynch introduced both E-40 and Too Short, heralding their arrival onto the stage to deliver electrifying renditions of their smash hits, including “Ghost Ride The Whip” and “Blow The Whistle,” igniting the audience with their infectious energy and undeniable stage presence.

Bun B Took Us Across The Country For His All-American Takeover
HOUSTON, TEXAS – MARCH 12: Bun B, right, smiles as he watches E-40 perform during Bun Bs Southern Takeover concert during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at NRG Park, Tuesday, March 12, 2024, in Houston. (Jason Fochtman/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images)

The night was just getting started, promising a marathon of unforgettable performances. Bun B transitioned the energy from the West Coast to the Midwest as Cedric The Entertainer virtually introduced us to the iconic Country Grammar rapper Nelly taking the stage. With hits like “Hot In Here” and “E.I.,” Nelly kept the crowd hyped and moving. Then, the spotlight shifted to the East Coast as Eve, the sole female artist in the lineup, graced the stage. Known as the first lady of Ruff Ryders, Eve captivated the audience with her powerhouse performances of classics like “Who’s That Girl,” “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” and “Tambourine.” 

After the electrifying performances from Philly native Eve, the journey continued southward to Atlanta, where the crowd got crunk with the Ying Yang Twins, grooving to their iconic Y2K era tracks like “Salt Shaker” and “Get Low.” Despite the high-octane energy pulsating through the stadium, the night was far from over. Transitioning seamlessly from Atlanta to Miami, the audience was introduced to the larger-than-life presence of Rick Ross by his “We The Best” comrade, DJ Khaled. Ross delivered a captivating set, focusing on his mainstream hits like “Hustlin’” and “BMF,” keeping the momentum of the evening alive and the crowd on their feet.

Considering all of the hit songs both Drake and Rick Ross have together, naturally fans assumed that Drake was about to hit the stage, however, after the Miami native’s set, the show cut back to the jumbotron to get a message from Houston’s very own Scarface, who introduced Baytown, Texas rapper That Mexican OT to the audience. He performed his viral hit “Johnny Dang.” 

Returning the spotlight to his beloved Houston, Bun B seized the moment to grace the stage with a powerful rendition of “Trill,” accompanied by the thunderous presence of Houston’s own Le$, Slim Thug, and Lil Keke, their slabs serving as a symbol of the city’s culture. Continuing his homage to the city’s rich musical legacy, Bun B delved into the archives of UGK’s seminal album, Ridin’ Dirty, treating the audience to a heartfelt performance of the poignant track “One Day.” Joined by George Ryan Bingham, lead guitarist from the acclaimed television series Yellowstone, the performance took on an ethereal quality, as Bun B paid tribute to fallen legends such as Pimp C, DJ Screw, Big Moe, and Fat Pat. This poignant moment held even greater significance as it marked the first performance following the untimely passing of Houston’s own Big Pokey, who tragically succumbed to a heart attack in June of 2023.

Following a brief intermission, Bun B himself took the stage to introduce Drake, who has long considered Houston his artistic home, as it was here at Warehouse Live where the Take Care artist first made waves and received his breakthrough. Drake kicked off his set with the infectious “N 2 Deep,” a nod to Bun B’s own classic track “Get Throwed,” blending the old with the new. From there, he delved into his extensive discography, treating the audience to hits like “Energy” from If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, the anthemic “God’s Plan” from Scorpion, and the iconic “Hotline Bling” from Views. The crowd was further enraptured as Drake performed “Rich Baby Daddy” from For All The Dogs, culminating in a spectacular finale complete with a dazzling light show and a cascade of fireworks, marking the triumphant conclusion of 2024’s takeover.

As the night drew to a close, Bun B graciously returned to the stage one final time, expressing heartfelt gratitude to everyone in attendance before launching into a spectacular rendition of the Outkast smash hit, “International Players Anthem.” However, just when it seemed the evening couldn’t get any more legendary, a surprise guest emerged onto the stage – none other than DMC of Run DMC. Joined by Bun B, the two hip-hop icons delivered an electrifying performance, with Bun B donning a cheeky “Bun DMC” t-shirt, adding a playful twist to the unforgettable moment.

Featuring an unprecedented lineup of hip-hop icons, this year’s show proved to be a massive success, drawing in the second-largest attendance at the rodeo this season, with over 75,000 fans in attendance, narrowly trailing behind Nickelback’s paid attendance of 75,036. As fans eagerly anticipate what the future holds, speculation runs wild about what Bun B has in store for 2025. With a wealth of talent still untapped and his takeover franchise reaching new heights, there’s no doubt that the next installment promises to be his most spectacular yet, solidifying his status as a senior statesman in the world of hip-hop extravaganzas.

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