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Were you famous yet when Pam photographed you? ST: I was underground. I was doing local music, I started doing that back in 1998. I started on underground mix tapes, rapping on other people's beats. Around that time is when we started rolling up more, getting more nationwide success. Later, around '03/'04 is when I ended up signing with Pharrell and putting out my first real album, Already Platinum, to nationwide success. Same thing, '03/'04 is when "Still Tippin'" dropped, which is like my biggest song. It took Houston to the next level, basically. BUN B Bernard James Freeman — also known as Bun B, one half of legendary Texas rap duo UGK (Underground Kingz) — has a hand in one of the most important legacies in Southern music. Hailing from Port Arthur, UGK found acclaim in the '90s as one of the most successful rap groups of all time, with Houston eventually claiming the duo as an important piece of the city's cultural tapestry. Their seminal album, 1996's Ridin' Dirty, celebrates 25 years as a hip-hop classic. His musical partner, Chad Butler (aka Pimp C), self-produced a bulk of UGK's music using live instrumentation, creating a new sub-genre he lovingly dubbed "country rap tunes." Infusing elements of Nashville country and blues, rock, jazz, and zydeco, their innovation, influence, and legacy cannot be overstated. Aside from being one of hip hop's most skilled lyricists, Bun B has worn many hats after earning immortality with his run in UGK, which officially ended when Pimp C passed away in 2007. Bun has moonlighted as the maestro for one night with the Houston Symphony, taught a class on hip hop and spirituality at Rice University, became an ambassador for racial justice after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, to more recently entering Houston's food scene with Trill Burgers. Thoughts after Christine Starkman shared Pam's images with you. Bun B: You know, it captures an aesthetic, right? It captures, as far as hip hop is concerned, a forgotten era. A lot of these guys were very new to the industry, very new to making music. And now they're all considered veterans. Seasoned veterans, at that. So it's very interesting, how the photos capture those moments in time. And that's the beauty of photography: You go back, you look at a photo, and it takes you back to that time. To that moment. You start to remember things that you've forgotten as you've gotten older, as time goes by. On Pam's portrait sessions. BB: She was very easy to work with. She was not an intrusive photographer. She was not overbearing; she was not aggressive. She had an idea of what she wanted to do, but she was definitely open for collaboration. Sometimes artists can have a vision, and it's very singular. And they're not open to any kind of adjustments. It's "this is how it has to be, or it won't be at all." Pam was nothing like that. This was our fourth album when she shot us. [The record label] basically just put the music on the shelf for release and let it do what it did. But the album prior to the album that Pam shot for us, Ridin' Dirty, became a critical success. So they became a bit more invested in the group. They went out of their way to find a professional photographer and hired Pam to showcase us in a better way than we had ever been shown before. Everything had been kind of made to look gritty on purpose, right? Not a lot of color, and not a lot of definition. And this was the total opposite of it. These are some of the best photos we have. When I look back — the clarity you see in these photos, the definition, the resolution — they're beautiful, and they deserve to be celebrated. Not just the photos that Pam took of myself, but everyone else's photos. And there's this common look of people being very solemn, you know, at peace with themselves. They're all so beautiful. And I'm so glad that she was able to capture us in the way that she captured all of her subjects … so beautifully. "Pam Francis Photographs: Musicians," at POST Houston for its grand opening, on view November 13, 2021 – January 11, 2022; Pam Francis Photographs, $150, book@pamfrancis. com, Pam Francis' Lil' Flip, 2001 Pam Francis' Destiny's Child, Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Michelle Williams, 2001 81

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