Great artistry doesn’t just happen – it’s cultivated by countless hours of practice, studying the masters, and honing one’s craft. The annual selectees in the lauded Red Bull Music Academy know just that; they are among a chosen few to receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in an international “musician’s boot camp” of sorts.
This year’s Red Bull Music Academy recruitment phase is in full swing, as the master class series brought its stage to New York City last week to recruit new applicants and spotlight an industry success story. For this stop along its nationwide tour, the Duck Down Records label family was on hand to recall the story of how they were formed mainly out of their frustrations with the industry in the 1990s.
Duck Down Records label head Dru Ha and business partner/rapper Buckshot recollected the early days of the imprint that spawned legendary, grungy New York rap groups such as Black Moon, Smif N Wessun, Boot Camp Clik, Heltah Skeltah, Random Axe, and more.
Hip-Hop, as a rebellious and relatively young musical genre, is full of tales from its early days, and as it turns out, the late Tupac Shakur played a little known role in Duck Down's early development and music recordings. Check the clips below as Dru Ha and Buckshot share personal accounts of their memorable time spent at Shakur’s California home shortly before his murder, during the height of the "East Coast vs. West Coast" tension in 1996:
Applications are being accepted now for the next Red Bull Music Academy. Download an application HERE.
Image courtesy of Photo Rob