Buckshot (Black Moon)

Hip Hop Icon Series

card_buckshotBuckshot is one third of the legendary hip hop group Black Moon, with 5FT and DJ Evil Dee, co-founder of Duck Down Music Inc, and leader of the Boot Camp Clik. During the early 90’s Black Moon, along with their Boot Cam Clik squad comprised of Smif N Wessun, Heltah Skeltah and O.G.C. brought NY street sounds back to the forefront of the hip hop scene dropping classic albums and singles like Who Got the Props? and I Got Cha Opin (remix) along the way.

I heard you just got back from Europe, how as that tour?

It was good everything was cool. I hit up Sweden and Norway. It was a real good thing.

How was the fan reaction out there in Norway?

Hip hop is good out there. It was sold out. It was a lot of people about 2,000 people a spot. That’s a very good number to rock in front of, it doesn’t sound like a lot but when you actually in front of 2,000 people it’s different. We did MTV while we were out there and a couple other spots so our presence is known out there.

I’ve been reading a lot of your interviews and I love em because you are just bringing it to cats, throwing out names whatever. I’ve seen that girl Lumidee’s name out there a few times during your interviews I was like damn did she piss you off or what? Haha!

Nah it’s nothing personally it’s just that she’s just trash. I be like yo that is terrible when I hear certain things. It’s like how the hell? Certain things be just bad.

What you think about the Ying Yang Twins and shit like Shake it like a Saltshaker?

That’s bananas! That’s garbage but people like that. Somebody asked me today what do I think of the state of hip hop and the direction it’s going in and I’m like it’s just how Rakim said, constant elevation causes expansion. The game is constantly elevating so its causing expansion so when we expand, we grow and more things come to the table. The key is not to deflect stuff that’s growing, it’s to maintain the realness that set the foundation of the table itself. You could have some garbage on top but if you’re legs is weak your whole foundation is sitting on weak floors.

I think it’s the fact that you say it though that just stands out because people like to pretend certain stuff ain’t wack.

That’s because a lot of them feel like they don’t want to upset nobody. They’ll tell you but not if it’s an interview or something where the dudes might find out. There might not be chump dudes but they’re not willing to stand behind their opinion. I’m willing to stand behind my opinion. I don’t start drama. I’m not that type of emcee. There’s a lot of dudes in the game like that. It’s not as many as we would like but I know a lot of people in the game just like me living the real like Ghostface, Black Rob, and so many emcees. Hopefully we’ll go back to the times where people will come back to supporting the real. You and I might get out supported but just because a person gets voted in as the president doesn’t mean he was built for the job. That’s the best way to explain it. I personally wished Al Gore would have been the president. Al Gore was the real and then all of a sudden the devil George Bush comes out of nowhere and he wins because of the Electoral College. That’s how the politics of the music industry relate. I could be compared to the Al Gores saying that if it wasn’t for the people I wouldn’t be here so if I’m here it shows that the people are with me but I don’t have the support of the votes like the commercial labels, commercial package, rented house, and rented cars.

Well since you brought up politics have you been following the Democratic race going on right now?

A little something. All of them up there are clowns. They just put a bad name on Democrats. Come on man, let’s be for real Al Sharpton? That’s my man. He’s a cool black dude but listen to me and hear me good first of all cut that thing off your head. Get a low I’m going bald kinda fade. Don’t try to save that crap on the top of your head. He looks like he don’t belong. He’s making some good points up there but the bottom line is something as simple as your criteria shows your not in it for war. You’re already making personal decisions that we’re not with. This is what white America is saying. You’re not prepared to cut your hair to go to war, so that means if you went to the army you’d be one of them niggas like I ain’t cutting my hair I’m out of here. You know how many other decisions you gonna make on account of that too like later for that crap I’m the president now! Are you out of your mind. There is a difference between America and Black America.

When you first think about hip hop culture what comes to mind to you because I heard you started out breakin’?

To me hip hop culture is all the elements and although they are not glorified it’s expanding. Go to Japan, breaking is still a real big thing out there. Graffiti is an art form. It may not be respected in America because we moved on. We harnessed and passed it on. We’ve given that away and onto something new, that’s just the nature of how we are. If that wasn’t the case you would never hear Buckshot. It would have been Kurtis Blow or Bizzy Bee to this day. We knew about that hip hop but we weren’t in tune with that hip hop. There were cats who were in tune with that and were like I’m gonna represent that to this very day and we were like you know what Kane is hot. Then we came up fast with that era. Now its ten years later and some more since 1992 and Buckshot is still in the game and our fans are not in tuned with all of the stuff that’s happening now like that. My little nephew is and my little brother is and the kids nowadays do. What about my son? He loves hip hop and is apart of hip hop and for Christmas he asked me to get him the G-Unit album, Missy album, and a few other albums. He asked for them. He’s ten years old and was like you know what I want, I want G-Unit, Missy, and Da Band but that’s my son. The bottom line is let your son make his decisions. Let him take on the responsibility to listen to G-Unit and Da Band CD and going this is good and this is terrible or maybe I like both of them. He’s not a rapper and he don’t want to be an emcee and he is not in tuned with the discrepancies of what’s good and what’s bad so I’m not gonna bring that on him. I respect it and love the fact that he made his own decisions on what he wanted to listen too.

Werd, we can respect that.

And before you ask me for the record I love Jay-Z. You got good, dope, great, phenomenal and then you got spiritual which is the top to me. To me Pac is spiritual he hits your spirit every time but Jay is phenomenal. He used more than one track on the Total Eclipse album. Prodigy used a track. I feel good when I hear myself other places because I feel like that lets me know people hear me. Just Blaze did a couple interviews and was like I didn’t bite Buck and that I love them dudes and I feel like people know Buckshot.

My friend and me were listening to Total Eclipse and I loved it, but my man heard it and said it sounded like some shit from 1993. To me that was the dope part but he was saying you guys needed to update your sound. What do you think of the sound you have now and do you think it needs to be updated?

What’s crazy is if he said it sounds like 1993 I did my job. You can’t go back to ’93, but at the same time when I made ‘Total Eclipse’ the first thing I thought about was everybody is gonna say where is that sound? Ya’ll need to have that original Black Moon sound, so if you’re gonna tell me it sounds like something from ’93 then that means it has that original Black Moon sound. As far as updated music when you hear certain people they are not updated they are just real hard good tracks. I got producers on there that produce today, they just gave me something that they knew Black Moon needed to have. So for that dude don’t worry because I know all I gotta do to string you is rock with the niggas that’s out now which is coming. That’s all I gotta do for them type of dudes. When they hear me on somebody else’s new shit it becomes easier for me to marinate into my own new shit from them. If they don’t ever hear me with any collabos, then they are gonna be used to hearing me with this type of style and this type of music. It’s whatever dog I lived with Pac. I was one of the only east coast niggas that he got with and I was the only nigga that lived in Pac’s house. That was big. He don’t mess with you and you damn sure not coming in his crib. So for me real recognize real.

I saw you perform in DC at a Lyricist Lounge tour and you were hosting but when you came on you just started rocking the crowd. I was like damn this is how you are supposed to host a show. What’s your mentality when you get on stage?

I go into the zone that god created me for. Right away I’m on some other and stay in tuned with the crowd. Some of the things I love is when I’m in the crowd and I hear people say things like come hard or you better represent or naming they click when I’m rhyming. There are always some clowns that get down like that and I love it because I’ll drop my song and bust a verse to shut them up quick and have the crowd like who is he talking too? You don’t want to do that at my show because I’ll embarrass you in the crowd. I’ll have niggas looking at you like your not even a rapper and Buck just shredded you down.

Every time I’ve seen you perform it has never been a let down.

That’s why I give thanks and that’s why the most high keeps me around because I didn’t blow to the extent that I could or should but I know that I’m here. I get records played and interviews to speak my mind and that’s what this whole thing is about. There’s a lot of rappers like De La Soul and a bunch of other people that are gone that’s not going to get a chance to do that. My album ‘Melody Man’ is gonna be fire. I’m working on something right now.

I know ya’ll was cool with Pac what was it like being with someone who hated so many people.

He had legitimate reasons. We had drama with Big at the time but Pac didn’t stress that like oh ya’ll got beef with that bitch ass nigga too. Before I got up with Pac to do that album everyday I woke up in the morning I wouldn’t brush my teeth or wash my face until I pressed play on this cd to play ‘All Eyez on Me’. I know that whole album by heart. I listened to that album everyday and I think that had a lot to do with me being brought to Pac because our energy just connected.

By you being so close to him what went through your head the moment you heard he was killed?

I died on the inside kid. I was tore down kid. It did a lot to me spiritually and music wise and everything. I believe but I don’t believe it to this day. I cringe when I start thinking about it but I get over it and deal with it. When Aaliyah was taken it was the last straw because I did a song with her too. She was like a cousin of Tek. Her father and Tek’s father were real tight. That’s how we got to meet Aaliyah and do the track. I sat in the studio and wrote the chorus with her and she just got in there and just sung. She was just a talent from the jump. When I lost her it was like you’re kidding me. I got on stage with her. She brought me to the Garden, I never been on that stage in my life. The only time I had been on that stage was at a big concert with her featuring Bone Thugs and me and Busta Rhymes came on with mics because I had ran into her backstage.

A bunch of people kept saying you was dissing Busta on the Stay Real joint when you said ‘Frontin like you from the ave, Busta bus this.’ Any truth to that?

Hell no! That’s how one track minded people are. When I said busta that’s just Cali slang for sucka ass nigga. The god is cool with me and that’s really it in a nutshell. He’s from Long Island but he been in Bk so long I give him that respect. That’s childish. People kill me. They think I’m a weak minded person but then when they speak to me they find out the total opposite and that’s why I’m able to survive in this game so long.

The issue with Rock has been publicized a lot but I heard he performed with you guys at the Total Eclipse album release party. What’s the situation with that? Is that dealt with and maybe there is a possibility for a Fab Five reunion or is it just a cordial relationship right now?

More cordial. Rock was never my enemy. He made a lot of decisions I didn’t agree with and he made a lot of decisions that I was like what are you doing but I had to respect the fact that he made those moves on his own. I was the type of dude that sacrificed my whole career and my whole life because I didn’t want anybody telling me what I could or couldn’t do. I wanted to give him the opportunity I didn’t have so how would I look being a hypocrite and not let him go do that. I said you want to go do your own thing then do it and it was what it was. The album never came out whatever but Ruck and Rock are working on a Heltah Skeltah album called ‘Dirt.’ I don’t know if your going to see a Fab Five reunion because you got OGC still dealing with issues themselves. You will see another Heltah Skeltah album, Ruck got his album coming out right now called ‘Monkey Bars.’ Rock had a chance to do his thing and he wasn’t with us, now it’s Ruck’s turn to do his thing and he is with us so Rock will see Duckdown is an independent label that rocks the commercial level. We on that major label plateau but at the same time we aren’t there because we don’t have the money to pay off people but we get played on Hot 97.

Total Eclipse was like the first completely independent joint for Black Moon. How happy were you with the sales and overall noise the album made?

I wasn’t happy at all. Not at the sales. I was happy about the response. I heard Busta Rhymes and Rah Digga did a mixtape mix over ‘Looking Down the Barrel.’ People hear the songs and hear the album and I think everybody who has heard it has given it a good opinion. Now its like Buck keep coming we not going to throw our hands up to you now, come again. The bottom line is while you have the satisfaction now is the time to come and that’s why I’m coming with the solo album. It’s going to be bananas and there is a such thing as coming with today’s sound and your gonna hear that. I’ll tell you what you not gonna hear, you not gonna hear Buckshot rhyming to no ‘Stand Up’ or any type of beat like that.

To wrap up give us some more info on the solo album and what we can expect?

Well again it’s called ‘Melody Man.’ On this album I demonstrate how no one can flow like I flow and the topics I have is there. I don’t care if people bite rhymes or beats but I do not like when I start to see people bite flows and have people starting to think they started that flow. Before me nobody was flowing like that. Niggas never knew about flowing like that. Everything was really choppy like EPMD, LL, Kane these dudes don’t flow like Buck. Their voices don’t become a melody. I’m not trying to over emphasize it too much and every song or verse aint gonna be like that but you will know I am the master at that. I don’t care who comes after. That’s me. You listen to ‘I Got You Opin’ or ‘How Many Emcees’ and those tracks will let you know that.

When do you think you’ll be finishing that up?

I don’t have a date yet. I don’t know when its gonna be done. Whenever its finished.

The Bullets (stupid questions we ask anyway)

Which would be cooler for TV: reality TV shows going off the air or Madonna tongue kissing a girl with herpes?


Would you rather see MTV’s Wild Boys get attacked by an annoyed safari beast or one of Ashton Kutcher Punk’d jokes go horribly wrong with Mike Tyson?

Ashton Kutcher joke going wrong with Mike Tyson definitely.

Would you rather see The Crocodile Hunter get pummeled by a gorilla or the Hilton sisters move to Mars?

The Hilton sisters move to Mars. I don’t even understand two rinky-dink, slinky asses being an important issue.

What do you hate the most grown men calling you buddy and champ every other word they say to you or niggas that keep smiling at you every time they pass by you throughout the day?

The second one. I don’t give a damn if you call me buddy and pal you’re just a goof ball but if you smiling at me I don’t care what your reason is if it’s a joke either put me on or something’s going down kid.

Politicians that think everyone should kiss they ass because they kissed an urban kid on the forehead or celebrities that date minors and think they can get off because they got money?

Politicians I don’t care who they kiss.

Who do you hate most niggas who put rims on a fucked up car or ones who put a big loud system in a jacked up car?

The first, you know why, I’ve actually seen a Buick century with a pair of hubcap spinners on it.

Date: March 10, 2004