Bun B For Mayor: Could This Ever Be a Thing?
Last week Houston voters re-elected Annise Parker as the city's mayor by a wide enough margin that no runoff was necessary. According to the Los Angeles Times (which noticed), Parker defeated her main rival, attorney Ben Hall, by 57 percent to 27 percent, which even apolitical types recognize as an old-fashioned country ass-whuppin'.
Photo by Erik Quinn/ImagesbyQ Bun B (left) and Dr. Anthony Pinn at Rice University
But this was also Parker's third time to be elected to Houston's highest office, and thanks to term limits she'll be well on her way to a senatorial or gubernatorial campaign in a couple of years, some think. Meanwhile Hall, an attorney whose tax troubles were successfully exploited by the Parker campaign, hardly emerged as her heir apparent, despite his words "you haven't seen the last of Ben Hall" in his concession speech.
So to whom might the Bayou City turn for leadership through the latter half of this decade? The field is literally wide open, with only the usual allotment of ambitious policy wonks and green City Council members jockeying to move up in the municipal ranks at the moment. It might even be time to consider an outsider -- in fact, someone whose nickname is already "Houston's unofficial mayor."
How does Mayor Bun B sound?
Laughable, according to the popular Houston rapper, whose latest album Trill O.G.: "The Epilogue" came out Tuesday and who performs at the Houston Symphony's "Houston In Concert Against Hate" Anti-Defamation League gala Thursday night at Jones Hall.
"Too many skeletons in the closet, lol," Bun told Rocks Off recently via email.
But what about those skeletons? Certainly Houston voters have proved they can be a tolerant lot, and Bun B the OG rapper now has plenty of company in his bio, with Bun B the Rice University comparative-religion professor, Houston Symphony collaborator and trusted friend/adviser to Houston's existing mayor, who asked Bun to sit on her task force to combat texting and driving in April of this year. People have certainly run for mayor with fewer credentials than that.
UGK's lyrics frequently criticized the guns and drugs that were rife in their hardscrabble neighborhood, while Bun and late partner Pimp C were never shy about celebrating the psychotropic indulgences that temporarily removed them from their grim surroundings. But they also never backed down from a fight, and never, ever rolled fake. Surely many voters would flock to a candidate like that, not to mention someone who understands the finer points of grippin' grain and switchin' lanes.
One of Houston's leading political analysts says that kind of street cred could be invaluable in a mayoral campaign.
Story continues on the next page.