A Conversation with Buckshot

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Photo courtesy of MAC Media

Photo courtesy of MAC Media

This is a piece that was originally published on Examiner.com on November 20, 2012. The interview was removed from the site for reasons unbeknownst to me. Part two of the interview was not removed however—makes sense. I recently learned of the interview being taken down and thought I’d share it with the readers of The Real Hip-Hop.com.


Buckshot, the co-founder of Duck Down Records recently dropped his third joint album with producer 9th Wonder titled, The Solution. The Solution is classic Buck spitting witty yet to the point rhymes over 9th Wonder’s tailor-made beats.

The Solution however is just the beginning of what the BDI emcee has in-store for consumers. Buckshot has a whole lot to say. The emcee/mogul has seen a lot in his career spanning over twenty years and he wants to share that knowledge with the masses.

In a recent interview Buck discussed the reason for his longevity in Hip-Hop, the key to putting on a dope live performance, and his new album with 9th Wonder, The Solution.

TRHH: Why’d you name the new album The Solution?

Buckshot: The first album with 9th Wonder was called The Chemistry, the second was called The Formula, and the new one is The Solution because we’re creating a theme. Buckshot and 9th Wonder are in the science lab trying to come up with the ultimate solution. The question is how do we make ourselves better and that’s why we called it The Solution because the solution is you. You’re the answer to how you make yourself better. On the album I constantly say you’re the solution or the solution is you—that’s the outcome.

TRHH: How’d the ‘Change Up’ joint come together?

Buckshot: 9th was playing the joint while I was recording another joint. I was writing to that record and 9th was playing ‘Change Up’ in another spot and once I heard it I wanted to work on that immediately. That shit was crazy. It was one beat after another the same day. I’d be working on something and hear him in the next room working on something else and I’d be like, “Damn I can’t wait to get on this one.” That’s how it happened, I heard the beat and it was fire so I wanted to express this or talk about that on it.

TRHH: You told HipHopDX that President Obama needed to acknowledge the people that got him elected in 2008. Do you feel like he did that in his reelection speech?

Buckshot: I feel like he definitely stepped it up. I said that based on the first debate. Here’s a guy who has nothing on you and you just made him look like he got something. Maybe Barack Obama was feeling him out? I know it was bigger than that because they both knew each other’s strategies before they got there. He was giving him too much leeway and I was like, don’t let him embarrass you! Ain’t nothing wrong with being embarrassed. If you are a dope interviewer and you started asking me questions like, “Buckshot what you have for breakfast this morning?” That might not be an embarrassing interview to certain people, at certain times, in certain places but in certain times it might be. You can ask a more appropriate question depending on the kind of person you are. You might say, “That’s how I am Buck, I was just asking what you had for breakfast,” well maybe you’ll get the answer but the overall picture of your interview may not be as interesting if you had asked something a little bit deeper than that.

I know it ain’t easy for him at all because he’s a black man…. and yo, just when you thought racism was gone! We live in this little word called entertainment where there’s black and white and everybody is together but that ain’t really the whole perspective. When you start doing shit that I do like go on certain websites as an anonymous person, they don’t know me. I can tell them I’m Buckshot all day and they still don’t know who the fuck I am. Places in Wisconsin, Ohio, and PA are still under that stereotypical view that black people are pretty much over there. They’ll tell you they’re not racist and don’t hate black people but they don’t have the mind frame that that’s just another motherucker. They have that old American classism so Barack has to deal with that but anybody who is the head of any big organization is always going to have a goddamn headache. Trust me. We can look at it from our level. If you’re getting a headache on your level this guy must have a migraine. I give him his props all around. After I made that statement I started to see how a lot of people didn’t know what I was talking about but were quick to Barack bash or say something negative. It shows you how cruel the world can really be.

TRHH: Throughout his tenure as President and even more since his reelection I’ve noticed this, people are fucking racist [laughs]. You think things are sweet then all of a sudden it’s nigger this, nigger that, he’s a monkey, etc. I think it’s always been there but since there’s a “nigger” in office people are losing their fucking minds. I think there are white people who just don’t believe he’s in office and can’t accept it.

Buckshot: I mean of course they can’t! We’re going through so much and I’m going to be honest with you, do you know how long it took me to get to the point I’m at right now? If you only knew what I’ve been going through. Dog, I don’t even know where to start at, all I know is I’ve evolved. I’ve always been an evolutionist in the music industry and in life period. Here you are interviewing me and I got so much to say but the shit that I got to say is relevant and it’s not just relevant from the point of view of just the music that I make. I made Enta Da Stage twenty years ago, its 2012 and there are still people that are locked into Buckshot of Enta Da Stage. I don’t have a problem with evolving but there are people that are actually stuck in that vibe. That is a big problem, dog. That’s a huge problem.

TRHH: I think I know what you’re saying. People like Nas get this too. If you make the perfect record people will always glom on to that. People will always go toward that special record.

Buckshot: Pardon me for babbling but this is the result of buffering. There is too much information coming out of one stream at one time. When I said Enta Da Stage I mean the whole lifestyle, not just the record. If you tell me you love Enta Da Stage I love all of that. That’s not a problem for me. The people that come from my era show me that they’re stagnant in their mentality and they stagnate society with that mentality and we all suffer from it. A lot of the people from my era aren’t even internet savvy. I know this because I was here before the internet came and I’m here as the internet came. My kids won’t know about when the internet wasn’t here. That’s a big, big difference. What that’s saying is the people from my generation this is your opportunity to get y’all’s off now. Y’all missed the telephone, you missed the TV, but now is the chance to be a part of the growth and development of something that’s ill like the internet. Play your part and position; stop saying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Right away when you bring an invention to someone their initial response is doubt. You gotta spend your time trying to motivate people out of that.

I can’t do it on the music tip. You know what people don’t peep? Enta Da Stage was called Enta Da Stage for a reason. I told people enter the stage because I knew which stages I was going to take them through and which stages I was going to go through. I don’t know why Wu-Tang called their album Enter the Wu. I love that though. I think it was because of Enter the Dragon one of my favorite Bruce Lee movies. I never got a chance to ask them.

TRHH: I think there was a movie called Enter the Wu-Tang.

Buckshot: OK, my bad for even being ignorant to that. As crazy as it is we all work right beside it each other but that shit skipped past me because I got other things that are priorities in my brain. I just knew that Enta Da Stage was the stages that we were going to take you through and Dah Shinin’ was the birth of that stage. Enta Da Stage was saying get ready for me to take you through the stages, enter the stage of the Buckshot Shorty–that was a record. I took them through those stages from then to right now. I knew about the internet before it came. As an artist I knew this was the road you had to travel. Don’t be a slave to the record label because they want you to be a star, I’ve been through those things.

TRHH: Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Enta Da Stage. To what do you attribute your longevity?

Buckshot: Business, straight up and down, business. Being business conscious and knowing how to be goal conscious. To be honest with you it’s studying because it’s too much for me to say–understanding the balance. Because when you wake up you spend 80% of your day with entertainment. You don’t think so, you may think you’re working but entertainment is described as a tension relief activity. When a person listen’s to some Buckshot they’re relieving their tension. If they listen to some Wu-Tang, or get a cup of coffee, that’s a tension reliever. If they wake up in the morning and get in their car that’s a tension reliever. If they go to work and start talking about last night’s game that’s a tension reliever. So 80% of your time is spent on entertainment and not education. For me it’s the opposite, I’m addicted to education. What you see from Buckshot is just a result of my education.

I’m not an artist saying I’m a rapper and Enta Da Stage is my life, Black Moon, and to this very day I’m trying to put out another album, no. I don’t even want to hurt the people by telling them that. Music is a part of everyday communication so if I tell you I’m not even on that vibe that you’re on it’ll hurt a lot of people. That’s why I ask to do certain interviews. Interview me at this point because I don’t want the album to come out and you start asking me the same irrelevant questions—maybe it’s relevant to the album for people who want to know. You don’t do promotion for people that know Buckshot you do promotion for people who don’t know Buckshot. So when we do interviews and videos we often do it for the people who know us and we call it going to our market but that’s not what you do.

TRHH: I saw you perform at Rock the Bells in 2009 and you were my favorite performer hands down.

Buckshot: Thanks.

TRHH: No doubt. I interviewed Sean P and he told me that you and Steele taught him how to rock shows. What would you say is the recipe to putting on a dope performance?

Buckshot: Learn from KRS-One [laughs]. Straight up, that’s who taught me. I learned from KRS. I could tell you pointers like always stay focused with your eye contact with the crowd. Don’t be afraid to get on the mic and get directly to the people because until you do that you’re really not with them. You can rap over their shoulder but that’s like talking to somebody and not looking at them. You don’t really get the true impact that you want. They say always look a man in his eyes. You’re never get the true impact that you’re looking for unless you look a man in his eyes. That’s what KRS always taught. He also taught breath control. I would always teach my guys how to utilize your breath in the right way. If you’re on the stage and putting your breath to the wrong things it can result in you being out of breath.

There have been plenty of times when I didn’t know those techniques and I’d end up hoarse by the fourth song. There were times when I was hoarse by the second song in my early stages because I didn’t know where to put the energy. I was too hype. I would see rappers that are too hype or I’d see rappers that aren’t hype enough. I didn’t want to be the type of rapper that wasn’t hype enough. I hate those dudes that walk from side to side. I’ve seen rappers do it like Rakim, and nobody could see them at that style of doing it. Me particularly, I’m an entertainer and I grew up around entertainment. I got bit with the bug of people putting that style on me. When you look at my shows I’m all over the place. If people start seeing Buckshot with lights, camera, and action on stage they’ll think it’s corny. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but that’s your version of me. Maybe that’s your brain telling you that’s what hardcore people do. I don’t even give a fuck about being hardcore. You’re either hardcore or not and when you’re really hardcore you don’t promote that shit. You’ll either slap the shit out of a nigga or you won’t. Don’t go around telling people or promoting that.

TRHH: You have a song on the album with Rapsody called ‘Shorty Left’ and you also performed on her album. What qualities did you see in Rapsody to make her get the Buckshot co-sign?

Buckshot: Wow. It’s self-explanatory. For anybody who is reading this the best way and the only way is for you to go and listen to her. I’ll never be able to translate that. Dope is dope. I could say her flow or her words. She’s different; she doesn’t just pick ABC words. ABC is fine because little niggas gotta do that but I’m an adult so work with me here. I don’t wanna read intelligent books and instructions in life but when it comes to my rap and music I’m going back to ABC. Motherfuckers is going jump, dump, pump and that’s intricate? No. My mind wants to be entertained so if you’re telling me something that’s simple and plain and I’m able to get it, it becomes boring. The only ones who are entertained with boring stuff are boring people. That’s what causes fights between certain places and certain cultures.

New York is a pace of its own so it’s get bored with shit right away. A lot of people from certain places don’t move that fast so it’s not boring to them. New York is like, come on dog. At one point in time New York music dominated the world and everybody wanted to move at a New York pace. If you peep it, without that happening you think Hip-Hop would have spread at the rate it did, that fast?

TRHH: Nah.

Buckshot: Exactly. You needed the fast paces to move Hip-Hop at first. Then you needed to slow it down—like a motor.

TRHH: How’s it different working with 9th Wonder than working with the Beatminerz?

Buckshot: I can’t wait for the Buckshot documentary to come out. It’s got me at 15 dancing and doing interviews when a record deal was nowhere in sight. I used to front like I was getting interviewed and what not. I used to be on the rooftop of my building and tell my man what to say to interview me. I say that because Beatminerz are my brothers and I love them. I can never say anything about my foundation—my beginning. It’s just that we evolve. Beatminerz has a style that I hope one day will return to the music. They’re my brothers but with the evolution of music there are going to be new artists and new producers that come along and they’re going to make the mark that you need at a point in time—that just happened to be 9th.

I was blessed to work with 9th. That happened by chance. I could have worked with him and people would say that combination sounds like trash. We knew what we wanted to do but we never knew the result of it. The people spoke. Beatminerz, when they make music they go into their own zone. They used to be like 9th. They would produce the track right there on the spot. Then it would vary. 9th produces right on the spot, Beatminerz would say give me a day and I’ll get back to you. They both come up with dope stuff it’s just that 9th Wonder is a student of Beatminerz. He’ll tell you that all the time. He was watching them when they were coming up doing their thing. He was influenced by that and added his own touch to it. That’s the reason why it matches Buckshot because it’s influenced by the Buckshot era.

Read part 2 of A Conversion with Buckshot

Purchase: Buckshot & 9th Wonder – The Solution

About Sherron Shabazz

Sherron Shabazz is a freelance writer with an intense passion for Hip-Hop culture. Sherron is your quintessential Hip-Hop snob, seeking to advance the future of the culture while fondly remembering its past.
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