Buckshot of Boot Camp Clik: Rebooted

C

rews, posses, clans, and cliques; the Hip-Hop landscape is littered with “supergroups” whose dreams of collective success became the CDs we now use as coasters. As the co-founder of Brooklyn’s own Boot Camp Clik, Buckshot is one of the few people to avoid such a fate. With over three million units sold independently, a loyal international fan-base, and enough successful business ventures to make Russell Simmons respectfully tip his Phat Farm fitted, you would think Buck would be satisfied with his position in the game. Not so. The man Tupac Shakur affectionately dubbed the “BDI Thug” is intent upon further solidifying his position in the game and gaining the recognition of all who tried to take the trademark BCC sound-by any means necessary.

To hear him tell it, former peers who have failed to acknowledge his contributions to their careers and media types who he feels have disrespected him have Buckshot ready to “George Bush the button,” and declare all out warfare. A nationwide summer tour and the release of Boot Camp’s The Last Stand, will serve as the initial salvo, but should things turn ugly Buck and the rest of the Duck Down staff have enough ammunition to last well into the better part of 2007. That’s just one of the benefits of being in the rap game, in some capacity, for over 15 years.

AllHipHop.com: You got your start interning for Hank Shocklee and Eric Sadler at Soul Records. Do you remember how that contributes to your current situation or any demanding tasks?

Buckshot: Just watching everybody and watching what they do. Most of the s**t that I know is based on ambition, intuitive knowledge, focus, and dedication. All of these things are common intuitive tools that you need. I didn’t go to college, I didn’t finish high-school, so I had no choice but to be successful at what I do. I had to learn and be good at what I do because there was nothing else for me. That’s not just rap, I knew that I couldn’t rap for the rest of my life, so I did that first. I knew that the records could stop tomorrow, the people could be like, “Nah, we’re not feeling your whole s**t,” tomorrow. So I gotta make sure that I’ve got a foundation today. So I did the record thing simultaneously, if not before, I got the deal as an artist ‘cause I knew what was more important. And I’m not saying that every artist should do that because some people are just not built to own labels.

AllHipHop.com: It really seems like everyone wants to play CEO these days…

Buckshot: That’s cool, because they’re all recognizing that they are where they are and there’s a respect that goes along with that. No one can sit there and tell them that they’re not going to be nothing, but man, if I could tell so many of them to stop what they’re doing and just do something else. I would never want to tell anyone to stop. A motherf**ker could be in the street doing something totally assed backwards style wise, label and all that and I still wouldn’t be like, “Man you need to quit,” because who am I to tell you what to do as far as quitting?

AllHipHop.com: So it’s more of a guidance thing?

Buckshot: A lot of times I just keep my opinion to myself. Honestly, some people do not belong in this music industry. I can’t tell that person not to be making records. That just goes to show you that all the people that say rap is wack they’re supporting a lot of the bulls**t that’s out. It’s crazy, ‘cause it’s a lot of snitch issues; I’ve got a lot of snitch issues. Rap is a full time sport, this is a game, this is a hustle. Get your grind on, don’t complain, just do what you gotta do. For one thing people are like, “Yo where’s Boot Camp at?” Let’s deal with those issues.

AllHipHop.com: It seems hard to believe that you have to deal with those issues considering the types of moves you guys have made.

Buckshot: That’s what makes you work harder, I don’t ever want to be that dude that’s always complaining. But, sometimes you can’t avoid certain conversations when you’re on the other side of the fence. Everybody’s doing what they do, everybody’s making moves and you’re at the crib on the grind, so you’re not trying to sit back and be quiet when it’s your time to say s**t. Like, [BBC Radio One’s] Tim Westwood.

AllHipHop.com: What happened with Tim Westwood?

Buckshot: That’s a big dude; he’s a huge name. Tim Westwood is the n***a who basically runs London. That n***a got on some f*ggot s**t! Now, I never was the dude in the music industry to be like, “F**k this n***a,” I swear to God, if you hear an interview from me, that s**t would go everywhere else but talking down on some other dude.

AllHipHop.com: How did he disrespect you?

Buckshot: He played himself and he played us. Here’s this dude that I’ve known for over 13 years, we helped build his career! And he’s acknowledging this over the air. So we come up to his station, we from America-we not even from London, and we’re coming all the way up to your station to promote the fact that we’re on tour and we’re doing things now. We got s**t jumping, it’s not like we’re sitting back and collecting dust. And he sat back and s**tted on us for some nobody [artist] that doesn’t even have anything jumping right now, when he had all eight of us in the studio. We were in the booth and he’s like, “Yeah I’ve got blah-blah-blah here,” or whatever. Then at the last ten minutes he gives us our acknowledgement like, “Oh yeah, we got Boot Camp up in here.” This n***a gets on some bulls**t like, “Oh man, my fault I don’t have any of your records with me. I know it’s the last minute but I don’t have any of your records.” We have ten minutes before the show ends and he doesn’t have any of our records so we’re talking over other peoples s**t on top of the fact that it took him another ten minutes to acknowledge us after we walked in. So, I’m just saying all of these things that go down, that’s when I turn into the beast. I’m a ‘Pac breed, so you’ve really got to watch your step because you don’t want me to cross that line. That’s why my n***a came and got us, that’s why we were the only n****s he f**ked with. We them n****s that are ultimately righteous, but if you make us flip one time and get us hot, it’s a wrap.

AllHipHop.com: By all accounts, Brooklyn is not an easy place to make it out of. How much of that mentality do you take in the boardroom as a businessman?

Buckshot: I’m just one type of individual, and there was always my type of individual. I’m a conscious person and I’m proud of it, I come from a school or a breed of n****s that are the same way-conscious but will kill your ass. That s**t is dangerous, no one wants to be that way, but we’re f**king warriors man. Shaka Zulu was that way, he had mad love, he didn’t want to kill people, he had another reason why he did what he did.

AllHipHop.com: In line with that, can you take us through the progression from Buckshot Shorty to B.D.I. Emcee to where you are today?

Buckshot: As Buckshot Shorty, I was a teenager, very young, and I was relentless about getting my business done and reaching for the stars. Buckshot became an older version of that. People think Buckshot Shorty was less conscious, but I was more conscious as Buckshot Shorty than I was as Buckshot. I was more in to my Deen, I was more into Islam, more into my Arabic, more into the Quran, more into the Bible than I was as Buckshot. I definitely wasn’t on some ignorant, smokin’ weed, “Yo b***hes, n****s, what, what,” type s**t and then I became Buckshot like, “Hey I’m this intelligent man and I’m going to try and find myself because that’s not the way anymore.” Get outta here, I been conscious. I was conscious at 11-years-old in the mosque making Salat.

AllHipHop.com: The game has changed a lot, what do you think is the ideal situation for you?

Buckshot: The system that I’ve got over here gets me paid, all I gotta do is sell the records. The one thing that I didn’t want to do was to start babbling off like, “Yo Navarre is straight, it’s love over there. I’m getting guap, and this, that and the third.” I’m not about to start spreading none of that because I was there when Koch first came up and nobody was f**kin’ with them. Quiet as kept we were promoting them, and then the next thing you know everybody’s at Koch. People would call me up like, “Yo Buck, how’s Koch treating you?” And now they’re doing the same thing with Navarre like, “How are they treating you?” They’re treating me the motherf**king way they’re treating me, get on, do you and go find out yourself. I’m done with that.

A lot of people are just whoremongers; they’ll come around and eat off of your information and won’t even acknowledge you. I can’t even get a phone call from certain people, or acknowledgement. I may not be as hot as I was, but always acknowledge me. You may not want to give me the bonus package that I had when I was hot, but acknowledge me when I call you. If we were doing business before, and you really want to say to my face, “Yo Buck, I’m saying you not hot like before,” then say that. Don’t disrespect me and try to play me by not even acknowledging me or not even taking my phone calls because I’m going to see you again.

AllHipHop.com: Buckshot and the BCC in general seem to have a strange connection with Tupac Shakur, how do you explain that?

Buckshot: It’s f**ked up because ‘Pac basically said, “Oh s**t, I really f**ks with them n****s from New York.” And we lived with ‘Pac, so that’s what’s real about it. We broke bread, shared the same bed, me and ‘Pac f**ked the same b**ch. It’s way beyond rap. It’s because we share a certain soul, it’s like being soulmates of a friend. When you meet a n***a and you just know that you were meant to be friends-you feel it. So when ‘Pac passed, the s**t was a killer. Yeah, more of the world would’ve knew about us off the strength of that relationship, but a lot of those people are major d**k riders. Part of the people genuinely have it in their heart. Everybody else wasn’t even riding with ‘Pac until he got major, and he got major when he flipped out. He got major when he was like, “F**k y’all. I’ma give you n****s real speak. This is what y’all want-fast cars, money and hoes? Then f**k y’all n****s then! Take it-fast cars, money and hoes! What’s crackin’?” The f**ked up thing is that people still grab on to that like little kids. They still pay attention to the money, cars and hoes part and just say, “Aww f**k all that other s**t ‘Pac was talking about.” But that’s the ways of the world man, 85 percent of the population will always be deaf, dumb and blind. They’ll always be led like sheep to the slaughter.

AllHipHop.com: So do you take the same approach as Prodigy from Mobb Deep, he said every once in a while you have to sneak some medicine into the peoples food?

Buckshot: That is true, man…it’s funny because Mobb Deep’s record came out and their first week they did 100,000. The second week they did 28,000 and the third week they did 18,000 copies so what does that say? Does that mean that Mobb Deep is over? Are you saying they should try to be negative to get people’s attention? Prodigy did it, but I think he spazzed out a little too much.

Related Stories