Bun B, Paul Wall & Trae the Truth reflect on George Floyd’s music
Before George Floyd -- the man who was killed at the hand of police last week -- moved to Minneapolis, he lived in Houston's Third Ward and was a rapper and affiliate of the legendary DJ Screw's Screwed Up Click. In honor of Floyd's life, fellow musicians paid tribute to him in new interviews with Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Houstonia.
"It automatically ties him to a legendary legacy," Bun B told Rolling Stone of Floyd's affiliation with Screwed Up Click. "By having that level of proximity to DJ Screw you are automatically afforded a certain status in the city of Houston, and held in high regard.
Bun B also told Houstonia that "the entire hip-hop community of Houston and—from the words and messages I’ve gotten from people around the country—the entire hip-hop community nationwide, mourns and grieves the death of George Floyd, as well as adamantly pushing for justice for George Floyd." He added, "Even if he wasn’t a rapper, we in Houston would still be standing up for his memory and for the injustice committed against him. We don’t want his legacy to be the video of him being tortured and murdered. ... We would love to see that George Floyd’s death at the hands of the police would be the last act of that kind in this country. I think that would be a wonderful, lasting legacy for George Floyd."
"[Big Floyd] would rap on tapes, but you would also hear other rappers say his name on tapes. Big Pokey saying something about Big Floyd. Lil’ Keke saying something about Big Floyd. Mike D saying something about Big Floyd," Paul Wall told Rolling Stone. "For the people that would come, it would be people from everyday walks of life. His mixtape [Chapter 007:] Ballin’ In Da Mall, that’s one of the ones where there’s like legend behind the mixtape. He supposedly worked at Foot Locker, him and some other people. It was one of their birthdays. I think it was Big Floyd’s birthday and they come. And ‘What you want to do for your birthday?’ ‘I want to do a Screw tape.’ ‘Aight, on my birthday we’ll go over there.’ That’s what a lot of people would do. It’s your birthday, you’d go and make a Screw tape."
"Anybody who rapped on those tapes became legends, icons," Wall told Houstonia.
Trae the Truth told Pitchfork that Floyd "was definitely one of the most genuine, humblest people, man. Real, real big dude, but he also had a real, real big heart at the same time. He was one of those people who don’t really care about opinions or what people think. He just stood for what’s right. And he loved music."
Trae and Bun B also both traveled to Minneapolis to protest and demand justice for George Floyd, and Trae spoke about that as well. "With the people, it was pure love. But then as it got deeper into the day and officers came out, that’s when the tension got worse. Because it’s about respect. And if they’re not respecting people equally, then you’re gonna get that type of energy back. You can’t just mistreat somebody."
Rising Houston rapper OMB Bloodbath, who knew Floyd since she was a child, also penned an essay on him for Billboard. "He was everyone’s uncle and godfather. If you came up in that area, you knew who he was," she wrote. "He was just a very warm-hearted, nurturing dude. Anybody who was young and coming up, doing something with their lives, he made it a purpose to give them encouragement."
Stream some of Big Floyd's music:
For ways to help fight racism and police brutality, and demand justice for George Floyd, we put together a a list of resources.