For more than a decade Buckshot has been stunning Hip-Hop crowds with his fiery rhymes. Whether it was with Black Moon or the entire Boot Camp Clique, lyrics ranged from insightful to riot-inspiring, striking a chord in all that listened. But after 1998, Buckshot unstrapped the backpack and became disassociated with his purist audience. Alone, Buck wasnt quite the same. But as Duck Down plotted its second coming, Buckshot seems to have taken stock in his lyrical assets.
On the new album, Chemistry he teams up with Little Brothers 9th Wonder. This echoes in the likes of an Ice Cube melding with a Bomb Squad, or a MF DOOM and Madlib link. Geography is defied as careers and attitudes are examined in a new light, stirring up plenty of conversation. As Buck turns a new leaf, 9th Wonder continues to resemble Premiers vast body of work a decade ago – only Jay, Group Home, and Bahamadia became Bleek, Justus League, and Jean Grae.
AllHipHop.com brought in 9th and Buck to collaboratively tell their story, get a sense of self, and celebrate creativity in 2005. From Bucktown to Durham, we got this thing sewed up!
AllHipHop.com: Buck, how did you hook up with 9th Wonder?
Buckshot: Evil Dee had mentioned 9th as one of his favorite producers. So we called him and sent him some music. One of the tracks was Alyiha, with Smiff n Wessun. He sent us back the remix, which became Night Riders. It was crazy fire. From there, we started working together. Its been all love since.
AllHipHop.com: Youve been so strongly associated with Da Beatminerz, even in the off years. Was it very different moving from an Evil Dee to 9th?
Buckshot: No. But its obvious that they are two different producers with two different vibes. Evil Dee has mad love for 9th. Thats good because generally, a lot of producers dont get along. The fact that they respect each other and vibe in the way that they do, makes things great all around. 9th reminds me of that Pete Rock, Large Professor sound. Its a mix of Jazz, Soul and a bunch of other stuff rolled into one. Regardless, he still has his own vibe and sound.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about the people saying that youre a young Primo or Pete Rock?
9th Wonder: I take it as a compliment, but I leave it at that. Theres only one Diamond D, one Primo and one Pete Rock. I enjoy the comparisons, but theres only one 9th Wonder. I just let the people make the comparisons. In my eyes, producers like Evil Dee are on another level. Theres only one Crooklyn Dodgers. I dont think that I could ever make something as good as that. Ill be chasing that dream forever. Its eerie for me. I met Q-Tip and Method Man both at the same time. Q came to the studio to do a track with Little Brother, and brought Meth with him. It was crazy. Here I was working with them and Id been banging them on my headphones back in high school. To work with cats like these is a dream that I dont want to wake up from.
AllHipHop.com: Whats it like for you to meet so many artists that you grew up listening to?
9th Wonder: I once met Morris Day. I get excited for stuff like that. Meeting him was more of an amazing thing than, say, meeting the hot artist thats been out for the past two weeks.
AllHipHop.com: How important was it to you to work with Buckshot?
9th Wonder: Ive been a fan since 92. He influenced me to recreate that same sound up til now. I was in a Black Moon state of mind. I try to focus on what Im doing. I wore fatigues the whole week. Timbs and all. I still know cats that live the Boot Camp frame of mind. Boot Camp gives off an aura. I want to do the same thing, only in beat form. Put it like this, Ive been a Boot Camp and Wu-tang fan forever. Theyre both amazing, but to honest with you, Ive always been a bigger Boot Camp fan. Who Got the Props? and How many MCs changed my life. They meant a lot to me.
AllHipHop.com: How was the vibe in the studio?
Buckshot: To be honest with you, I did the whole thing as a one shot deal. 9th gave me the tracks and I went into the booth and did my thing. Its not rocket science. The more you make it that, the more you will fail at the formula. Its not that complex. I did all of it in six days. When people listen to the album they may think that everyone did their own thing. Thats not the case. We laughed, joked and just vibed. Phonte wrote a verse in thirty minutes in his head. That s**t is crazy. It took me the same time to write it out. Because of the good vibes, energy and love, it came out dope. Its beautiful. It was just good chemistry.
AllHipHop.com: 9th, what were listening to as you crafted this album?
9th Wonder: I was big into everything, from 80s Duran Duran to Curtis Mayfield.
AllHipHop.com: Chemistry seems less about you in the writing, and more about the world, perhaps as seen through you
Buckshot: I used this album to reflect and write about what Im about. I used to write and rap and rap and write. I still do, but I deal with simplicity of the art. I do what I feel.
Im telling you, when you palm this album, theres no bad s**t on it. There are no more mistakes in my career. Every song on this album deals with something.
AllHipHop.com: Some people say that Boot Camp has never released a bad album, but have criticized your solo albums
Buckshot: Sure, Im aware. Theyll be like, Whats up with this? Well, Ive gotta move. Whats funny about that is for that time, it was a damn good album. There were no garbage tracks on it. BDI Thug sold a lot of copies. They may not be the traditional Buckshot Shorty albums, but this one is. I did that album early to get it out of the way. Whos to say that I cant have fun on an album? When I did the album, 2Pac was one of my inspirations. Thats why I called it, BDI Thug. Its on some, not limiting yourself on s**t. Do what you do. You have to be versatile and be willing to step out side of the box.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned that haters say, Off with His Head. How do you deal with critics that say, Buckshot doesnt have it anymore?
Buckshot: Ive learned the hard way about worrying about those kinds of things. At the end of the day, youre the one that loses. No one wants to learn the hard way, but if I can shorten a cats trip by dropping some knowledge, then I will. Im trying to focus and go for the gusto. Im doing my thing.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about the heads that say that 9th Wonder is just a flavor of the month?
9th Wonder: Internet cats dont know anything outside of the Internet or Okay Player. We got on because of Okay, but a lot of people know about Little Brother. People get music from mixtapes and about a million other sources. There is at least one out of five that know a Little Brother or Pooh track. Skeptics are gonna be what they are, skeptical. We are gonna be what we are. I could criticize, but I dont care. We do what we do.
Its funny because any rapper that doesnt talk about sex, women or money is automatically labeled, conscious.
AllHipHop.com: What was up with the Black Moon and Just Blaze beef?
Buckshot: That wasnt beef. Listen to Biggies song and thats what I consider beef. The Just Blaze stuff was a disagreement. Ill disagree with a cat all day, but that doesnt make it beef. There is no beef. Just Blaze is a cool cat. For the record, I got mad love for Hov. I shouted him out on my album. Thats my dude. Hes a Brooklyn General and Im a Brooklyn General. Im not trying to get on the Roc. I want to merge. Were too small not to wake up and merge on some Roc and Duck Down distribution s**t. It wouldnt even be about music. Thats what Im talking about. I always shout out to Jigga.
AllHipHop.com: There really isnt any profanity on the album. Was that a conscious decision?
Buckshot: Its just natural. I wasnt conscious of it. Its not easy, but what people have to remember is that there are different areas of Hip-Hop.
AllHipHop.com: Will there ever be another Fab 5 album?
Buckshot: Thats a good question. I dont know. I hope so, but I dont know.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that there will be another Little Brother and Duck Down collaboration?
9th Wonder: You cant force collaborations. They just happen. Its a part of the vibe. Pooh and Phonte are both on Chemistry.