Bun B has mourned the death of legendary Houston rap executive Russell Washington, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this week.
Washington was best known as the founder of BigTyme Recordz, which included Houston acts like Point Blank, PSK-13 and Wreckless Klan.
He also is known as the man who discovered UGK and DJ Screw, releasing the former’s first few projects before they signed with Jive, including the Southern Way and Banned EPs.
Bun wrote a heartfelt tribute to Washington on Instagram on Thursday (March 30), expressing his “eternal” gratitude for believing in him and Pimp C during their early careers.
“Thank you Russell Washington for believing in 2 kids from Port Arthur with a dream to put their small town on the map,” he wrote. “We did that and way more than we ever could’ve imagined.
“Without you there would be no UGK as we know it and for that I’m eternally grateful. You and Pimp chill out up there until I see y’all again. UGK and Bigtyme for life!”
“Trill In Peace,” Captain Jack wrote, while Three 6 left several prayer hand emojis via their Instagram account.
The Houston Hip Hop Museum also paid tribute to Washington on Twitter, saying that he will be “truly missed.”
A cause of death has yet to be disclosed.
Rest in Peace to the CEO of BigTyme Recordz: Russell Washington. An absolute legend in Houston who founded the record label in 1991.
He signed artists such as UGK and DJ Screw who went on to make a huge impact in the Houston hip-hop scene.
He will be truly missed 🤘🏾🕊️ pic.twitter.com/LF8teS6MKd
— HTX Hip-Hop Museum (@HTXHipHopMuseum) March 30, 2023
Bun B’s tribute comes shortly after he celebrated his 50th birthday by renewing his vows with his wife Angela “Queenie” Walls.
The ceremony took place at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston on Sunday (March 19), which coincided with Bun and Queenie’s 20th wedding anniversary. Per Essence, the ceremony was tiny and intimate, but the Texas rap legend was surprised with a massive birthday party shortly after.
Meanwhile, Bun B recently reflected on his time with UGK in an interview with B High ATL, and spoke specifically about his experience with major labels, including Sony.
“So, UGK was signed before, we were right there, but we took an advance on the last two albums so we had to wait,” he said. “Because we took the advance in ’07 I think, we have to wait seven years after we hit that. There was a seven-year period when we took money after 2000, so once we hit 2027, I believe our balance is clear.
“So, UGK was signed before, we were right there, but we took an advance on the last two albums so we had to wait. Because we took the advance in ’07 I think, we have to wait seven years after we hit that. There was a seven-year period when we took money after 2000, so once we hit 2027, I believe our balance is clear.”
He continued: “UGK has never made one dollar in royalties from the selling of our music and we didn’t have our own publishing for about 17 years.”
Bun said he believed the numbers weren’t necessarily difficult to find out if you had a good attorney, and that he was still learning about the mathematics behind clearing UGK’s debt to Sony.
“I think UGK is still at least two million dollars in the red with that label,” he added. “It’s built on a percentage. This thing is never built on how much money your art makes, it’s about how much money you make of what your art makes.”