Bun B Republik, Calgary AB December 11

Bun B Republik, Calgary AB December 11
The Republik is more commonly an indie rock and metal club, but fans of UGK rapper and solo success Bun B transformed the venue into something that resembled a high-budget rap video. Tough-as-nails gangster types and their barely clothed lady friends filled the club with a cologne-heavy musk and grinded on each other, making it a bit of culture shock for the casual rap fan. But when Bun took the stage with his unbridled intensity, it was well worth the toll on one's comfort zone.

The sound of live rap music is always an issue unless you're okay with hearing combusting bass and the muffled yells of the MC. Depending on where one was standing in the Republik, this was mostly the case, to the point where the well-known beat at the start of of UGK's Jay-Z collaboration "Big Pimpin'" was unrecognizable until Bun was halfway through the song.

Sound quality hardly matters to most patrons, however, as Southern rap is, at its very core, party music, and every corner of the near-capacity club was losing its mind from start to finish. Bun B moved back and forth, rocking the crowd with enough energy that he almost didn't need his hype man. Still, the extra presence on stage did keep things interesting, especially since Bun B's DJ practically pressed play at the start of the set and drank beer the rest of the time.

For an hour straight, Bun covered a wealth of material without stopping, including numerous UGK tracks and highlights from his solo career, including the poppier tracks from his recent Trill O.G. album. Even undeniably corny material like the T-Pain-assisted single "Trillionaire" were a ton of fun in a live setting. Bun B's repertoire has enough potential hits and he's enough of a rap legend that he still has the potential to blow up as an arena-ready performer, so seeing him at a relatively intimate venue like the Republik was a real treat.