Over two years have now passed since
Cashvilles finest Young Buck released his studio album Buck
The World. When speaking to him it becomes immediately clear that
he has matured during this time, perhaps unsurprisingly after having
to overcome a number of career obstacles throughout this turbulent period.
Following the constant stream of rumors circulated by a number of media
outlets, Buck wants to move past any negative preconceptions but not
before setting the record straight regarding several matters with AllHipHop.com,
as he acknowledges that to avoid certain subjects would be to ignore
the proverbial elephant in the room.
Having clearly learned a lot from his
experience in the industry so far, Buck explains how his separation
from Hip-Hop supergroup G-Unit has encouraged him to become "more
focused" as a businessman, "paying more attention to the moves that
[he] makes as an artist and as a CEO." Following the aftermath of
the situation, he now realizes that when you are in the public eye,
you have to be a little more careful with the course of action you take.
He notes that throughout the entire sensationalized saga, "there was
a lot misconstrued and a lot of s**t tossed in the media." Still a
self-proclaimed "street n***a,"he claims to have "become more
wise" over the past two years. "I wont say that Im perfect
or that Ive done everything right out of this situation but Ive
done more right than wrong," Buck says proudly. "Im man enough
to admit my wrongs and correct [them]." On that note, he is quick
to add that as an artist, he really just wants "to move beyond the
whole thing." "It was a phase in my life that came and
went and it was good while it lasted but right now its about Buck."
Never one to place a veneer over his
genuine feelings on a situation, Buck admits that the last few years
have been far from easy. Not particularly content with the sales of
his last release, Buck explains, "The second album is what they call
the sophomore jinx; its traditional that most artists second records
numbers are lower than their firsts numbers." Still, drawing on
his ever-positive outlook he jokes, "Mine happened to drop but luckily
they didnt drop as low as some of these cats out here!" After all,
as he correctly points out, "I'm still considered a platinum
artist. My first album went beyond platinum, second one gold." Buck is hoping that labels will recognize his worth, though he states
that he is ultimately "just looking to be successful with Cashville
Records period, whether its independently or from a major label standpoint."
In fact, he is moving swiftly forward toward that goal, investing all
of his energy and hard work into making sure that Young Buck and
Cashville Records is the biggest movement for the years to come.
Through his trials and tribulations
in the music business, he has certainly learned to empathize with the
unsigned or inexperienced artist. He maintains, "Instead of showing
the individual what he would need to be shown," many so-called industry
professionals would rather "take from that individual." As someone
who has been through all types of difficulties in this rather corrupt music industry, Buck can say with authority that "90% of this game
is made up of those type of individuals that [are] not going to show
you what you dont know, theyre only going to take from what you
dont know." Still he encourages any artist that has faced the same
obstacles in this business to stay positive and persevere, as "you
have what you call karma and things of that nature tend to roll around."
Be it due to karma or his unstoppable
grind, success is beginning to roll around again for Young Buck, as
his mixtapes are really beginning to cause a stir and gain the attention
of some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop. He proudly describes his next
album as potentially being the biggest record of [his] career
when it finally comes into fruition. Excitedly he announces, "I think
all the labels know because to be honest with you Im getting a lot
of different phone calls that I never expected in my life." Perhaps
not so subtlety he then adds, "Shout out to Jay-Z!" Until then,
Buck intends to flood the streets with a steady flow of quality music. "At this point I wouldnt consider myself number one in the mixtape
game but I would consider myself definitely in the top three," he
claims. "Im really keeping my presence out here and I would consider
my mixtapes as almost albums. Theyre actually better than half of
these rappers albums."
Buck states with pride that he aims
to make each of his mixtapes "feel like a classic." He explains, "I want people to actually anticipate my mixtapes as well as you would
an album and the only way to do that is by delivering a mixtape in that
format." His well-received Back On My Buck S**t mixtape certainly
achieved that goal, although he feels that his latest effort Only
God Can Judge Me, hosted by Freeway Ricky Ross (the infamous 80's drug kingpin) and DJ Bigga Rankin,
has raised the bar yet again. The tape provides a reflection of exactly
where Buck stands as both an artist and a person, mapping his growth
and development during recent times. He clearly understands the importance
of progressing as a musician, stating as an artist thats what
youre always looking to do; you always want your next thing to be
better than your last thing."
Through working on his mixtapes he
has also had the opportunity to learn about his own place within the
game. "Its just about staying consistent and staying relevant,
because a lot of mutherf**kers are just not relevant right now," he
explains. "The blessing about being a real individual, is that all
I got to do is just make music, the reality music [about] the real
s**t thats going on and thats keeping me relevant." Exploring
this "reality music" is also allowing Buck to gain a better insight
into his own work. "Ive found my 'swag' I should say," he jokes.
The projects have allowed him to do a fair bit of lyrical conditioning
too, which is proving to be very beneficial to his career, which is
beginning to blossom once more. "To be honest right now Im in Detroit,
about 2 miles away from Eminems studio, so you know my lyrical game
is getting good, he says excitedly. "Shout out to my D12 mob n***as!"
Passion courses from the heart of his
two latest projects and when speaking to Buck, his genuine love for
Hip-Hop cant help but shine through any preconceptions. In fact,
as he jokes, his passion for the music is not always beneficial in todays
cut-throat industry. He exclaims, "Im a cat that loves the music
so much that I put the music before the business and in this game its
90% business and 10% talent!" He explains, however, that his love
affair with the genre has its positive sides too. "People are really
hearing more of the passion in the music, because I do my music
and speak from the heart with everything," he continues. "You can
kind of hear my state of mind and see where Im at by just listening
to me." This industrious, genuine and typically-Buck approach radiates
from a number of noteworthy Only God Can Judge Me tracks, particularly "Nuthins Gonna Stop Me" and "That Work."
"I wont sit here lying, saying
I dont have hard times. I got hard times, going through hard times,
been going through hard times but I dont know an individual who dont
go through it. Laced with real stories yet oozing his witty, charismatic
personality, Bucks unique brand of "reality music" is creating
a dialog with his listeners, exploring the experiences that we all
face in life. "Life is not all diamonds, cars and f**king jewelry; life consists of bills having to be paid, baby mama drama,
people getting killed, babies having babies and everything else," Buck says.
Tapes like Back On My Buck S**t
and Only God Can Judge Me are injecting the rap scene with an
overdue dose of authenticity. He explains truthfully, "Im one of
the artists thats pouring his heart into the music, not the next
mans heart or the next mans life."
Nowadays, Buck just seeks to move past his past. The media seems largely unwilling to move away from it though, he laments. As for
his label scenario, he jokes that a "street n***a got to go the political
way about this." He remains positive though, stating "Itll work
itself out one way or the other you know, youll get an album any
minute from Young Buck. Up until then, Im
going to be giving you a mixtape every f**king month." He really is
trying to make his "Next move [his] best move," Regardless of which
route he decides to travel next. Addressing previous negative media
preconceptions, he asserts, "Theres two sides to every story
and you always remember that." Just when you thought you had this
seemingly complex web of contradictions named Young Buck figured out,
he simply drops one final enigmatic bombshell.
"My story is yet to be told."
For more information about Buck and