Bun B, Erykah Badu, JJ Watt and more celebrate at RodeoHouston

Bun B, Erykah Badu, JJ Watt and more celebrate at RodeoHouston
Bun B, Erykah Badu, JJ Watt and more celebrate at RodeoHouston

Last year’s H-town Takeover was the first of its kind, an all-star Houston rap revue that featured more than a dozen acts, including Chamillionaire, Paul Wall and That Girl Lay Lay. It drew nearly 74,000 people and showcased the power of Houston hip-hop.

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This year’s Southern Takeover expanded the map to several states, including Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Bun only revealed a few names — Juvenile, Mannie Fresh — before Friday night’s show. But the advance hype put it at the top of the first-day ticket sales. The final number was 74,573, higher than last year.

The big surprise of the night was Dallas native Erykah Badu, whose two-song set included “On and On” and “Tyrone.” But she was just the pinnacle of an hour of energetic performances.

The show started with a video intro featuring Mario Elie, Ric Flair, Calvin Murphy and JJ Watt, among others. Bun B took the stage in a black cowboy hat and UGK poncho over a fringed jacket. Enthusiastic songs, the first of many, accompanied “Pocket Full of Stones” and “Get Throwed.” Bun has an effortless charm on stage and is good at leading an audience through the action.

The show was divided into sections by state. Tennessee was represented by Jazze Pha and Tela, who performed the suave hit “Sho Nuff.” They were joined by 8Ball & MJG, who hyped up the crowd with their own “Space Age Pimpin’.”

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A commanding David Banner reprized Mississippi, and was joined by Lil Flip for “Like a Pimp.” Big KRIT brought Bun B back on stage for “Country Sh**.”

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Dressed in red leather and white fringe, Atlanta rapper Trinidad James was an animated, exuberant presence during “All Gold Everything.”

“For yourself,” he urged the crowd.

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