In part 1 of my Q&A with Buckshot, one-third of Black Moon revealed his secrets of live performing, explained the difference between working 9th Wonder and the Beatminerz, and spoke about his latest album, The Solution.
In part 2 Buckshot discusses the legacy of Duck Down Records, what it was like working with 2Pac, who the greatest emcee from the borough of Brooklyn is, and his upcoming career change for 2013.
SS: You’re from Brooklyn and there is always a debate about who the greatest emcee from Brooklyn is. It’s usually a 3-way race between Jay, B.I.G., and Kane. In your opinion, who is the greatest emcee from Brooklyn excluding Buckshot?
Buckshot: I don’t know [laughs]. I don’t know, I don’t know. None of my top are from Brooklyn. Rakim is not from Brooklyn he’s from Long Island. KRS-One is from the Bronx. Big Daddy Kane is probably the one that we got left. The best emcee from Brooklyn? I don’t know. I would probably say the closest one would be Kane because he represents what I am but just never did. I’m probably the wickedest dancer that you’ve ever seen in your life but the public never saw that—that’s embarrassing. They stick me with this image of this Bubble Goose guy on the corner with a blunt in my mouth and a skully. That’s one-trillionth percent nothing to do with me at all. How could a n*gga create so many businesses, management companies, promotion companies, groups, and still be on the corner with a blunt in his mouth, a pair of Timberland’s and a Bubble Goose? How? Unless you’re saying he just lucked up on all of that sh*t and got a whole bunch of white men to do it for him.
You feel why these interviews are important? Can we please start getting a better view of what’s going on? When I’m asked a question I don’t just simply answer that question and say ‘next’. The question is relevant but the story is more relevant. When the public gets to read about Buckshot understanding me is more important as opposed to keep feeding them that bullsh*t. I might not have meant to come off that way but people have this image of another n*gga on the corner with some blunts who came out with Smif-N-Wessun. Nah, and to be honest with you the total shock for the world is gonna come when I’m like, I’m the greatest emcee in the world, period.
The emcee from this point on will represent the vast words of what the emcee represents—the master of the ceremony, the maker of creations, the list goes on. To me my main thing that I took from all them was a motivational coach because that’s what I am. When I spit on the mic I’m a motivating coach. I don’t spit on the mic and talk bullsh*t. Anybody can do that so let them do it. Bullsh*t people like bullsh*t stories. The vast majority of the people are bullsh*t because they deal with bullsh*t because they’re programmed to deal with bullsh*t. Birds of a feather flock together. Then they think it’s wrong when they do that but if birds of a feather flock together and you know where the real sh*t is at then why you don’t go there? I’m a motivational coach and after The Solution I’m going into that fully. I’m not going to say the words “I’m retiring” or “I ain’t rapping no more’, because you never know where I’m going to be at or what project I’m going to be into when it comes to the music side of Buckshot. I’ll never make that statement because I think it’s corny but at the same time it’s reality. I know people who have retired and come back forty times. What the f*ck is retirement? Ain’t no rapper ever had a pension or a 401K so how the f*ck you retiring? You mean you’re giving up for the moment. Something else is more important or more interesting but don’t say you’re retiring.
That’s what I’m dedicating my time and energy to, motivational coaching. When I see myself on stage speaking I see myself speaking as a motivational coach. When you go online and look motivational seminars, they blow our shows out of the frame by tenfold—it’s embarrassing. But it shows you where the people are really at. One thing that every single human has in common is we all want to succeed. That’s what life is about. That’s our purpose in life to succeed. That’s what our brain tells us when we pop out of mother’s stomach. We have on the left success, and the right satisfaction.
SS: I read that you’re going to release the One Nation project with 2Pac. A lot of people were under the impression at the time that Pac hated all of New York based on things he said but he worked with you and he wanted to work with Wu-Tang. What was it like working with 2Pac around that time?
Buckshot: Where did you hear he wanted to work with Wu-Tang?
SS: It was on one of their records. It was a Masta Killa record. On one of the last songs on the first Masta Killa solo album there is quote from 2Pac saying he wanted to work with Wu-Tang.
Buckshot: And he said, I want to work with the Wu?
SS: Something like that. I don’t remember the exact quote but it’s a clip of him saying it.
Buckshot: The only reason why I’m asking is because this is someone I sat with every day. The way you’re coming off I would have never known that. I wish I would have known that. It never was known. Pac would have loved to work with the Wu-Tang. Come on, Pac loved the Wu. When he said that he was coming from the best of the East Coast artists and show the East Coast artists that we all need to be one nation. Like I want to work with the Wu, Big Daddy Kane, this one, and that one–that was the angle he was coming from. The One Nation was very serious. He didn’t just pick a compilation. He put together the best minds that he knew he could work with in certain ways. He picked producers for this, singers for this, rap artists for that, and minds for this. We were a part of the mind system.
We lived at 2Pac’s house. No other artist lived at his house. You don’t live with a man unless you mentally connect with this man. He didn’t just invite me to his house because he heard Enta Da Stage and loved it, especially not a man of that stature at that time. I could have been a hater. Why would you let a hater in your house? He’s saying f*ck the East Coast and I am the East Coast. Unless you totally understood my mind that wouldn’t have been wise and Pac was a wise person so that shows you he understood my mind. I understood his mind too and he was a warrior. If he say, “F*ck you and what you represent,” he means f*ck you and what you represent. That could have been New York, Brooklyn, or whatever you represent. That’s the rules of war. If you know war then you know the rules of war. Don’t participate in war if you don’t know the rules of war. That’s why they called me The General of the Boot Camp Clik. I think like a general.
SS: Duck Down Records has been around a long time through various industry changes. A lot of artists have nothing but good things to say about the label, talk about the importance of Duck Down Records and its place in Hip-Hop history.
Buckshot: Wow. I don’t know how you’re going to get all of this in this interview. That’s why I can’t wait to go on the road and dedicate my life to telling this story. Duck Down was started in 1995; www.duckdown.com was started in 1995 going into ’96. There was no YouTube, no Bing, and no WorldStar. Ninety percent of the people you see now were not around in our world. There was no XXL.com; the .com was used to promote porno flicks and business. If you weren’t some geek doing processing people thought you were looking at women having sex. We knew the importance of the internet. We saw the vision and that’s why we named our marketing company Vision because that’s how we think. We see things that are ahead of ourselves. We knew that the internet was going to be important and that was one of the things that separated Duck Down from every other label. They all laughed, even Universal got on late, respect to Monte and Avery. Bottom line is they all got on late and the rest of them just died off. They saw it as a joke and didn’t see the importance of evolving as a company. They felt like it was a stock market in its down period and all you have to do is hold off and it would revive itself. That’s not true. We knew that the music industry is a part of society and society as a whole is evolving. You gotta evolve as a whole and that’s what made Duck Down.com different because we were able to work our system the way we know how to work it and work it toward our market.
We could have done so many different things that we’re able to do early in our stages but we knew what we had to do first. Record labels like Loud, RCA, MCA, Ruffhouse, J Records, some of them are still around and some of them are still hiding in the closet but for the most part their presence in the Hip-Hop community, they just lost it. I’m not as young as I was when I first started but when I first opened up the label I was a teenager. The brain of Duck Down is a young brand and represents the youth and the young people. Even to this very day we have young people that dominate the staff. We don’t have a bunch of old farts on the staff that don’t want to change their mentality or evolve, or get with the new—we don’t do that. If’ you’re an old head and think the opposite, by all means, welcome aboard. If you’re one of those dudes that wants to bring Hip-Hop back then any kind of “bring it back” is going to get you back to where you came from because I don’t f*ck with that mentality. You gotta bring it forward, not back, when I say that I don’t mean the extreme of not wanting to have that passion, love and dedication that we had back then. I mean bring it to the future because if you say, “bring it back” little n*ggas is not gonna respect it. If you say you’re going to bring something new that you’ve never seen before then little n*ggas will respect it. Little n*ggas was wearing Cazal’s and slim jeans and we was doing that in the 80’s. Because they presented it like it was a new style and little n*ggas went to it like it was a new style but the old heads was like, “We been did that!” It’s not what you present it’s how you present it.
SS: Will we ever hear another Black Moon or Boot Camp Clik album?
Buckshot: To answer both, I really, really hope so and hope soon. The true answer is everybody is all over the place. Everybody is older, some n*ggas got families, some got jobs. For the love of it like a reunion type of vibe one day of course we’ll come back and do the album. Will we come back and do the album thinking we’re going to take over the world and it’s the same Boot Camp of old? Hell no, hell no. That’s not respecting the reality. When you respect you get respect. Respect is y’all little n*ggas is a part of evolution. We have to evolve—we need the new.
When we put another Boot Camp album together we’re going to do it in respect to the music like, this is another contribution from Boot Camp to the music. We’re not doing this to sell a million records. We never did it to try to sell anything. We only did it to get it to the people that love our music. If you do it to sell you’ll change up your style in a minute. You’ll say, “This is hardcore and I’m not. Let me get some champagne and some Gucci frames and tell people that side.” You’ll get a little love on that side and that’s the side you’ll stick with, but that’s cool. It’s like putting on an outfit everyday for some people. For other people they got other agendas in mind. Me, I can’t do certain things. We all want success, champagne wishes and caviar dreams. You may tell yourself that sh*t in the closet and come out and say, “No I don’t!” But you’re lying to yourself. Tell yourself that you want champagne wishes and caviar dreams because that’s a part of satisfaction. You don’t even eat caviar but those things are just a representation of satisfaction when you’ve succeeded. Only when you succeed can you be satisfied.
SS: What’s next up for Buckshot?
Buckshot: I think more and more I’m loving that question right there. What’s next up for Buckshot is exactly what I told you. I’m really going to dedicate myself to the next level of what an emcee is on my level. When you go from an 18-year old master of ceremonies artist and you’re 37-years old now, I don’t know about everybody but I get the urge to travel down the emcee line. The next one for me is a motivational coach. That’s what’s next up for Buckshot. For the next couple of months I see myself going to seminars, holding seminars and events and giving these people what they need to succeed. Just to add on to what you need to succeed. The one thing I know for a fact is that when you want to do something and do it right the best thing that you can do is ask the professionals. When I say professionals that’s the people that have gone through the trial and error of what you’re trying to do already and they’ve kind of got a grip on what it is. Now ego is the number one thing that stops that. When you open up a cabinet and it comes with instructions do you know how many people throw away the instructions and say, “F*ck that I’m going to try on my own”? Because they don’t have the patience to read the instructions and the instructions are the professionals. Those are the ones that are saying if you want it to look like the sh*t in the store then follow these instructions. If you want to do it your way and have it leaning to the side a little bit where you have to put a book under it or move it to the side of the room that’s wobbly just to keep it on a straight angle then do that! But all you’re doing is going half-assed. You’re eating half a cookie.
I want people to know that I’m dedicating myself to that aspect of life. I’m going to be a motivational coach. I’m not going to be sitting behind a microphone putting out records to try to get that vibe that I had at one time. I’m not saying I won’t put out records, or be on a soundtrack, doing scores for movies, or doing commercials. I don’t give a f*ck. The bottom line is I’m not doing it under the mind frame that Buckshot is back! One thing that you don’t see no emcee doing, and this is primarily the reason I want to do it, is KRS-One. KRS-One has his own platform where he does the motivational thing with the Temple of Hip-Hop, but mine is not necessarily dedicated to Hip-Hop. Mine is dedicated to life coaching and motivational coaching, period. One session may be about multi-level marketing. One session may be about how we can be better representations in multi-level marketing. You don’t know what that is, there’s people who do. I’ll explain how to get your websites up and running and make them efficient. I’ll explain how to put yourself in a better position. At the end of the day I say, look I’m doing these things, I’ve done them, and I’ll continue to do them. I’m not trying to come up off any of you right now. There are people that do what I’m doing and their goal is to come up off of you. Whereas with me I’m just attracted to that phenomenon and knowing that I can get more this way than I can with 16 bars in a verse. That represents Kenyatta Blake, who I am in life. Sixteen bars cannot represent what I was born in this world to be.
Purchase: Buckshot & 9th Wonder – The Solution