Early last week, rapper Bun B made a very confident assertion about his most recent business venture, Trill Burgers. “I really think I have the best burger in the world,” he told the hosts of iHeart Radio’s The Breakfast Club.
Two days later, Trill Burgers was named Good Morning America’s Best Burger Spot, representing his hometown of Houston, and beating out competitors from Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Miami.
The final competition, which took place last Friday morning in Times Square, was the culmination of a week-long contest during which the GMA team relied on local judges in each city to select a winning burger in a head-to-head matchup between two of that city’s favorite burger joints.
Wait, Bun B Has a Burger Joint?
Yes, he does! In fact, what makes this victory all the sweeter is that Bun B only officially entered the culinary space a little over a year ago, after restaurateur Andy Nguyen and publicist Nick Scurfield approached him with the idea of opening a pop-up burger shop.
The surviving member of the seminal Houston duo UGK had been looking for an opportunity to get into the food business. But it was his first taste of Nguyen’s creation that pulled him in. “When I tried the burger, I was like, ‘Yo, this is a real good burger. Can it get better?’” Bun B recalls. “And they were like, ‘Yeah, give us a couple of days, we think we can improve on it.’”
The second sample had him convinced.
Trill: A Name with a Legacy
As for the name, they drew from a legacy he and his late partner in rhymes, Pimp C, established. The latter introduced the word “trill,” a combination of “true” and “real” coined by his friend Spoon, through UGK’s music in the 90s.
“We got a brand with 30 years of blood, sweat and tears equity,” he explained during his Breakfast Club interview. “[If we] call it Trill Burgers, everybody will know what it is; as long as they see my name associated with the name, they’ll know it’s official.”
What’s in a Trill Burger?
Trill Burgers offers a very simple menu, which Bun says allows them to keep the product consistent. The current offerings include three burgers: the rapper’s namesake, the Trill OG, which features two 1/4-pound beef patties, two slices of American cheese, pickles, and their patented Trill Sauce on a Martin’s potato roll; the Onion Burger, which adds the titular topping to the OG; and a Veggie Burger.
But more options are on the way, including lamb and turkey burgers. “We wanna have a menu that gives everyone an opportunity to come in and try a Trill Burger,” Bun said. “I know a lot of people in communities of color are embracing a healthier lifestyle. We wanna be a part of that, so turkey burgers and chicken burgers are something we have to consider.”
Where Else You Can Find Trill Burger
Since launching at the Tastemaker Awards in Houston in 2021, the brand has been introduced to burger lovers across the country through a variety of pop-up appearances and private catered events. But Bun says hip-hop festivals have been his best marketing tool to date.
“Festivals allow me to be in the same place for three days,” he explained. “The cultural cue point works because it’s a hip-hop festival, my brand works in that space. So, I’ll get people to show up just to show love and be like, ‘Well, let’s just see if the burger is good.’ And they’ll try it and realize the burger is great. And now they’re in one place for 3 days. And each day, the line grows.”
On August 6th, Trill Burgers will play host to several other hip-hop themed restaurants as the anchor vendor at the Rock The Bells Festival’s Trill Mealz Food Court. The festival was conceptualized by rapper and actor LL Cool J as an extension of his SiriusXM radio station of the same name, and is set to take place in his hometown of Queens, NY.
But now that Bun B and his team have some extra seed money, who knows? A new Trill Burger could be opening up near you, pretty soon!