Buckshot conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Buckshot: Still Determined

February 2005

When rap first started solidifying itself, artists like Black Moon and the B.C.C. came out of the woodworks, adding another facet to the New York rap scene. Buckshot and Black Moon started their solid reputation with "Enta Da Stage," moving over 350,000 units in 1992. Now, thirteen years later, Buckshot and the label he helped start (Duck Down records) are still going strong, set to release three albums over the next few months including Buckshots "Chemistry," recorded alongside 9th wonder on May 24th.

MVRemix: How did things originate with you and Dru Ha?

Buckshot: Buckshot of Black Moon InterviewDru was an employee of Nervous Records when I first met him, and I was signed to Nervous. So, I would see Dru every day and we just grew a tight bond from there. One day we sat down in front of my building in Crown Heights and came up with the name "Duck Down." "You know what, lets just start our own situation" and we did from that point on. In 1992 we started Duck Down management and it was a management company for about a year and then we went straight into running a label. So from '93 until now, we had Duck Down records but for a year we had the management.

MVRemix: Did you prefer Hip Hop when it was less popular? When you had to justify why you were a fan because of the controversy... Or, do you prefer the situation now, where it's normal to like rap because the music sells well these days?

Buckshot: I think people have got to recognize the power of Hip Hop and what's going on. What I would like to raise is the colour question and the colour barrier, 'cause I don't think it's a negative thing. I think it's something we should actually be looking at. White people deserve more credit, the white boy emcee needs more credit than what they're given. I don't know how to do that without making it a race issue. "Oh, are you saying that Hip Hop wouldn't survive without white people?" I wouldn't want to say that or bring that up as an issue. But I do want the white fans to acknowledge that they are acknowledged. I want them to know that people like myself - the majority of the percentage of people that buy my records are white and a large percentage of fans that support my record; are black.

I would like to acknowledge the way the two work because they have to in order to keep Hip Hop alive. A lot of people wonder why Buckshot don't put out records anymore. It's because people in my neighbourhood don't buy records for ten dollars. Records only sell for five dollars now due to the bootleggers.

MVRemix: Few people are aware the Duck Down tried to sign Eminem prior to Interscope, can you tell me about that?

Buckshot: I mean, quiet as kept. Em is a real cool guy, he's real cool with Dru and I'm cool with him, but he really knows Dru better. Him and Dru had like a personal relationship, and Paul (Rosenberg) where they would talk to each other a lot. There was one point in time where we really tried to help him out with his deal and his financial situation but unfortunately we had a lot of resentment that we were met with during that time. So we wasn't able to make anything happen for Em. We really did try to sign him on Priority records. I'm glad we didn't because who knows how his career would have been. But we're still cool though, so that's the bottom line. As long as he's still cool with us.

MVRemix: Describe a day in your life around the Enta Da Stage era.

Buckshot: Enta Da Stage was really rough for me. It was a really rough era. A lot of people don't know what I went through personally. I think I had just turned eighteen and I had the pressure of running a management company as an eighteen year old shorter than 5'6. I had that problem of people taking my company and my representation seriously. So a day in the life around the Enta Da Stage era was based on constant struggle and lettin' people know you respect Duck Down management as a real management company and not just as some little cute thing that Buckshot is doing. Nah, for real, we're management type deal.

I was battling keeping Smif N' Wessun in a good deal, I was battling trying to get Heltah Skeltah a good deal. I was battling trying to bring my record company into existence, so it was a really hard time.

MVRemix: What makes your music as relevant today as it was back then?

Buckshot: The fact that as long as you have guys like me who are putting out these records, these certain types of self conscious, underground, lyrically content - I'm an option you know. I'm an option, that's why I'm relevant. If you don't have an option, then you don't have a choice. If you don't have a choice then why be original? I give those fans out there who don't want crunk music, who don't want "whatever's being done on stage to please the fashionable eye." Buckshot is an artist who's gonna do what he's gonna do, when he's gonna do it and where he's gonna do it as he pleases. Because he has an attitude like that, his music reflects the same thing.

[strong phone interference]

MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the Hot 97 airing of the "Tsunami" song?

Buckshot: About the Tsunami thing? I don't know. I performed for a Tsunami benefit last night at B.B. Kings. I don't know, I hope whatever monies are collected go to the relief fund if that's what you talkin' about. I think it's a good thing that people get involved. For some people it's just a good excuse to get things going at work and for others it's really genuine about helping to raise money for people who can't raise it themselves. That's how I am. I know how it is to be broke, so just imagine bein' in a fuckin' country where the whole country is broke and the whole country can't get no paper. Just imagine that. Then start talkin' about your cars and your whips and your chains and all the shit that you don't got. 90% of Hip Hop artists are liars and they're fronters. It's all lies, and it really doesn't help anybody to be lied to. People believe that shit. People watch VH1 and they believe all these rappers is spendin' all this money and none of it's true. None of it. Rappers are not spendin' that type of money on jewelry. I got jewelry that I have access to, that I can wear any time I want, anywhere I want for as long as I want - $500,000 chains, $100,000 rings - but they're not mine! So why would I want you to do an interview on me wearing a $100,000 chain when I really don't own that.

>> continued...

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