Young Buck: A Lesson in Black History

What does it mean to be Black in America in 2007? The past year watched Sean Bell’s murder and Michael Richards’ rant prove that White on Black racism in America is very much alive. But in certain lights, things are a changin’. For instance, some project that Young Buck’s Buck the World album could certify the rapper as the biggest music star in Nashville – Nashville.

In a city with racism in its history, is Buck’s “Cashville” nickname an attack that would stifle Elvis’ appetite or make Johnny Cash walk the line? As the tattooed G-Unit star open stores, shoots films, and gives jobs to his city, is revolution occurring? You can decide, as Young Buck, soon to release a highly anticipated album discusses Black History on local and national levels, and as his reputation indicates, it’s “By any means necessary.” Being raised in Nashville, and being a parent yourself, does it trip you out that they honor people like [Confederate Civil War Hero and Ku Klux Klan founding-member] Nathan Bedford Forrest?

Young Buck: Yeah, there’s some wild s**t out here. You know exactly how it goes with that racist s**t down here. In line with that, as Black History Month approaches, can you remember someone that was influential in your life?

Young Buck: I consider my uncle in the penitentiary one of the most [influential] political prisoners that I’ve seen in my life. His name is L.T. and I get a lot of the knowledge that I have from him. He’s sitting in the penitentiary doing life. He’s the biggest political prisoner that I know and he keeps me up on things. He’s my uncle and he shot down a police helicopter down here in J.C. Napier, in the projects, I don’t know if you’ve heard about that. They gave him life and s**t, but he really changed me as far as looking at the broader picture.

I look at people like Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davis and folks like that. I like soldiers. I believe in Martin Luther King’s message up until the part about turning the other cheek. In this era, turning the other cheek will get you knocked out. Back then you might’ve been able to turn the other cheek and just walk away with a bruise, and back then it was probably a good message. People like Huey P. Newton and Angela Davis had issues with the government going against them. There are lot of the different political motherf**kers that I pay attention to.

Believe it or not, Tupac Shakur and Muhammad Ali, those are all political motherf**kers. I come from the 2Pac and Biggie era. A n***a just 25 [years old], so for me, that’s where I kind of locked in and really started to learn music. I’ve heard them all—N.W.A., D-Nice and Kool Moe Dee when I was young. I was just hearing them, but I actually learned about the music through 2Pac and s**t like that because I was coming of age during that time. Everything from “When My Homies Call” to “Brenda’s Got A Baby” was made when I was becoming a young man and understanding what life was all about. ‘Pac was one of the realest n***as we’ve ever seen on the face of this earth when it comes to this rap s**t. Those statements contradict many people’s opinions about you. I think you managed to change a lot of people’s minds when you walked through that door marked “Illuminati” in the “Stomp” video.

Young Buck: [Laughing] What you know about that, right? I just know that they are the real f**kin’ gangsters. It’s some wild s**t, man. The politics of America is all f**ked up. That’s why I’m quick to tell a motherf**ka’ , “Before we start worrying about racism and Black and White, we all need to come together because Bush is gonna’ get us all before this s**t is over with if we aren’t careful.” That’s some revolutionary talk. I think a lot of people hear you calling yourself “Buck Marley” and assume it’s only a reference to smoking marijuana.

Young Buck: Yeah, they really do. What they don’t understand is that the cat is way over here on this political movement. I find myself a lot of the time paying attention to stuff I don’t know about just to find out about it. I find myself even just looking at this stock market, even though I don’t know what the f**k it is. But, if I look at it so much I’ll start to realize what it really is. That’s pretty much how I catch on to a lot of different things. I educated myself—I dropped out of school in the ninth grade. The streets were calling too much, and as I was trying to chase that school never was a part of me.

The way a n***a thinks and the knowledge I got you would think a n***a damn near made it through college, cuzz. It’s just about game—that’s why a n***a could never tell me you have to have a diploma or this or that in order to be successful.

It’s just about being open enough to be able to receive information. As long as you stay in what I call sponge mode, then you can soak up every f**kin’ thing from everybody. I had to raise myself out here. That’s what my reality was, and that’s what got me to where I’m at. I don’t even know where my father is at now. Straight up and down, I’ve got a reality show coming out on MTV that’s already signed sealed and delivered. The title is Buck The World, and it’s going to be released around the same time as my album. That’s something to stay focused on. I’ve got a big movie that I’m shooting down here in Cashville in the next two or three weeks. It’s gonna’ be about my life, and we’re releasing the first one straight to DVD. We’ll see after this one, but once it’s finished they’ll see that I am the f**kin’ man in Nashville. If y’all thought Wesley Snipes and all those motherf**ka’s were tough, just wait. I’m going to get to the money, but I’m going to show them the skills first.

My biggest fear is going back to where I came from. I’ll be damned if I get a little bit of paper and then say, “Alright, I’m through.” Y’all n****s are gone have to kill me with a mic in my hand! I’m God’s best friend. I’m that n***a that’s sitting right next to God. When a n***a get up to those gates I’ve got the power to tell God, “Look, let him in,” or say, “F**k ‘em, send him on back down.” So n****s be cool with me, I got this. I’m good.

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