Extracted from the AOR Vault: May 2008

What’s up Buck?

Buckshot: I’m feeling good. I’m feeling great. I’m feeling blessed to be here and I feel blessed to be alive.

So this is your second album with 9th Wonder. What can fans of the first album expect from The Formula?

Buckshot: The good chemistry 9th and I possess together. Raw music, talent and new conflo-sation in a form of a flow and poetical content. It’s going to be real good man. I call it a summer album because it really is a summer album. It wasn’t intended to be that for one thing and it’s dropping April 29th. It’s not the summer but it’s getting closer to nice weather

What is it about 9th as a producer that draws you to work with him?

Buckshot: You’re trying to put together something you can’t describe. Here’s someone who’s very soulful, very respectful and very conscious. He’s a Hip Hop connoisseur. Very talented. You put all that into one person and you have 9th wonder. For me to be someone who’s around and has been influenced from a person like that, it’s visible and you can see his character in his music. Together we blend music through our conscious. 

Does a switch up in the style of production bring anything different out of you as a lyricist? 

Buckshot: When you listen to the music sometimes you intend for something to happen and it doesn’t. I got in the mind frame of adult contemporary Hip Hop, meaning Hip Hop that’s still raw with a certain type of quality that you don’t have to feel alienated or outdated just to like it. That was our goal when we made this. Make a sound that falls into that type of criteria so when you listen to it you feel the chemistry. With The Formula; you get all of it. It’s going to be a real interesting vibe. When you hear the Chemistry and the Formula it’s dealing with a lot of different topics, angles, styles, skills, flows and pronunciation

Who are some of the featured guests on The Formula?

Buckshot: Only Talib Kweli and that’s because he’s a really close friend of mine. We’ve always gone on the road together. We’ve known each other for years but never made a record together. I got Kweli and I got Dru on it. I’m all about the future. I’m all about promoting the future. I was on “Who Got the Props” when I was 17 years old. I’m all about giving the artists that really have the talent and are young with it. They have a future ahead of them if they keep doing what they are doing now. It’s not to say if you’re older you have no future. If you’re younger then the more longevity you have to transform that future. Arafat, Big Chops, they are young MC’s that are 9th wonder’s artist. Then we got Swan, Tyler Woods, Keisha, everyone who’s on the formula is actually new artists or supporting artists. They are like a supporting platoon.

Who are some of the featured guests on The Formula? 

Buckshot: I let the music dictate that. To be honest with you there are very few artists I like or get a chance to work with. The ones I do like the technicality of working with them becomes a reality. So when I do music I just do it naturally. I’m a fan of music first. I love the fact that I know this and am able to acknowledge it. No one can tell me about this music. I’ve been doing music for a while and I’m at a age in life that I’m supposed to be a certain way. I never followed the rules. I’ve always broken them. Another thing I love is music will always dominate the reason I’m like that. As long as it’s music I feel I don’t care what people think. People are going to get the image of Buckshot the more and more you see what Buckshot’s like, what Buckshot fucks with or supports. Then more people are going to go to that too because then you know, “I like Buckshot because I would do it the same way.” 

If you don’t like certain people or certain artists that’s cool. I’m not just going to jack you just to do what’s in. I’m a talented musician man. I love Mariah Carey, I love her new shit with T-pain. T-pain is fire. Like you could say he’s only good because he’s got that modulation but you can’t do that as an artist. As a person who flows it takes a skill in order to use that modulation and flow together. So T-pain is another pop locker, look at him. When he sings he pop locks cause he’s feeling the flows and that’s what the flows are. See I can relate to that. There’s certain things that I do that are on the same level. Other people would go, “Man I don’t like T-Pain”. What generation are you from? Where’s the haters at? Nine times out of ten it’s probably them. A lot of people like T-Pain. The guy is good. Anyone else who will try to deny that for any other reason gets knocked cause I’m not that type of dude. Now that doesn’t mean I like everybody that’s new. If you’re good you’re good. Lil Wayne is fire. You can try to deny that all you want it doesn’t matter. If he wasn’t fire he wouldn’t be where he’s at right now.

Definitely different strokes for different folks 

Buckshot: My thing is that’s what we are made out of. You know how many people are like, “Man I don’t fuck with that East Coast shit, Buckshotis ill but he’s ill to you”. The difference is once we start to open up our mind the more we become one with this music shit and get back to how we used to be when we used to listen to “Sledgejammer” by Peter Gabriel. It wasn’t cause we were trying to be white it was just because it was a good song and it was on. We just had an open mind. We’d listen to house. The minute we start subsidizing ourselves with these little trap mind frames and thinking that’s “cool”, fuck thinking that it’s personable thinking that it’s “cool”. That’s what keeps it personable and that’s what makes it cool.

You make a good point of how we lost the balance. 

Buckshot: Exactly. Why wouldn’t we lose the balance? If something is going more to one side than the other than there’s an in-balance in the balance. It’s messed up you have people saying they love the 90’s or the golden era, blah blah blah. The artists and kids of the 90’s were the products of the 80’s. In the 80’s it was black and white people and it was rock and roll, it was this, it was that. It was music in the 80’s period and those people made the 90’s. So of course if the people in the 90’s closing their minds off for the people in the 2000 then we aren’t going to have nothing to remember. 

The video for “Go All Out” was released with an appearance by Charlie Murphy. What’s the response been to the video?. 

Buckshot: A lot of people love the video. Charlie is a friend of mine. We met in 1994 and we’ve been cool since then. Charlie was part of a group called the K-9 Posse. A lot of people don’t know that. They be fronting like they know Hip Hop but they don’t know that. It’s like they front they know basketball but they don’t know all the teams. Be like “you know about the Mavericks”? “Uhh I know about Jordan, I know Kobe Bryant.” Motherfucker you don’t know real basketball. You only know about this shit when it comes on Friday nights and on the weekends. I ain’t mad at you either but don’t front on this shit cause there are people who really love this and know this shit.

That’s crazy. I remember seeing K-9 Posse on MTV Raps and I never realized it was Charlie Murphy.

Buckshot: Yeah he was in K-9 Posse. Charlie’s Eddie Murphy’s brother. Charlie is what a lot of people wished Eddie Murphy was. Eddie is a very versatile person and very funny too but Charlie was in “Murder was the Case”. Charlie was in a lot of West Coast shit that Death Row has done. Charlie is in so much shit as that “G Nigga” but you don’t really know. His claim to fame is when he got over 10 million viewers for being known for slapping Rick James. He’s done a lot before that. Charlie’s my man,  Charlie is on a road right now on a comedy tour busting them down.

You also have a video for “Hold It Down” with Talib Kweli and Tyler Woods. Who are the directors you worked with on the two videos and do you

Buckshot:  It was directed by Dru Ha and Rik Cordero. I did another video called “The Formula” and I worked with Bill Green and Antman. They also did the animation for the opening of my website. They were the best to work with so far. If it was up to me I would work with them on every single video that I could do from this point on. The only thing is they are in Virginia so it’s not an easy thing. Dru Ha has done every other video I’ve done besides “Who Got the Props”. Everyone else has just been assistants or collaborated with Dru. But Dru’s always has been the director from “Operation Lock Down to “I Gotcha Open” to the new stuff.

We asked this question to Sean P a while ago, but what has Dru-Ha meant to the legacy and development of Boot Camp over the years? Is he like the unsung hero?

Buckshot:  Yeah I would say that. I also would say that he gets his props. He is definitely that dude. Dru is behind everything. From a studio date, to a video, to a marketing plan, to getting your IO’S, Dru is behind everything when it comes to the business side of Duck Down. That’s because again Dru Ha and Buckshot as partners are the best of the best when it comes to marketing and I take pride in that. Because the Marketing is what makes Duck Down who we are. That’s the reason we can go outside of Duck Down and get ESPN, History Channel, youtube, the myspae deal and so many other things that are coming that deal with business.

Will there be a tour to go along with the album?

Buckshot:  Yeah, I hope so but I can’t say. We are going on a Paid Dues tour featuring us. Rakim is going to be on some of the dates and other artist like Kidz in the Hall but we are definitely getting this Duck Down tour going.

When should we look out for that?

Buckshot:  Look out for that in the late summer. Not only look out for it but call up your local club and request that particular tour package to come through your town. The Duck Down Tour which is Buckshot, 9th Wonder, Krs-One, Kidz in The Hall, Smif N Wessun and DJ Revolution from L.A . He’s DJ’ing for the night. We are calling it the Duck Down night of entertainment. We might have Charlie Murphy come down and set it off by doing a little hosting. Then introduce each act and It’s definitely going to be a Duck Down Summer.

The Duck Down camp has been bringing in a lot of outside artists lately. When did you guys decide to look outside of Boot Camp?

Buckshot:  We always tried to slowly but surely leak that in there. We always tried to marinate certain situations. I would say with the connection with 9th Wonder that opened up a door to bringing in new artists. Sean Price definitely kicked the door down even though he’s not a new artist but he’s a new entity. Therefore it brought Kidz in the Hall, Edo G. and the Special Teamz then from there we brought in Krs One. We got other artists I can’t mention now but their equivalancy level is ill.

You guys also have the new Kidz in the Hall album dropping soon. Did you drop a verse on that?

Buckshot:  Yeah I’m on there. People are going to be looking forward to that album and it’s going to be really, really good.  We got our people on there. Bun B is a good friend of mine, Travis from Gym Class Heroes is a really cool dude. We don’t just have artists that are coming through, these are our people. Kweli’s on the Formula Album, he’s been part of my click for years. I stay on the road with Kweli, just me and Kweli on the road together hard body.

Are you working on an album with Krs-One?

Buckshot:  Yeah

Any details in terms of producers?

Buckshot:  The production squad is what I like to call the Criteria and the Criteria is a problem. You’re talking about some of the people who have produced some of the hardest bangers in Hip Hop period. We got IllMind, 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Marco Polo, Oh No, etc. We are not playing when it comes to the Criteria. The Criteria alone is like a group of super producers. The only reason why it’s not an official thing is because I made that up. They aren’t a group but they are a group of producers that for the sound that’s relevant. Not similar but hits the same criteria.

How did it come about?

Buckshot: I was first introduced to Kris in 1993. Recently we both decided we’re both on the independent thing so why not do it together? So we went on this joint venture with this album doing the Batman and Robin thing. That’s pretty much how we connected. He brought his company to the table and I brought my company to the table and we’re going to put out the project.

That should be an interesting contrast.

Buckshot: Yeah it’s going to be really interesting. The styles are so complex, melodic, jazzy and hardcore. It just was a really good time doing the album.

Is Black Moon working on any new material?

Buckshot: Yes. The name of the Black Moon album is called “The Moon is Black”. It’s going to be like throwing a black bucket of paint over a full lit moon. The way we are going to drip drop over the public is going to be bananas. The feeling you’re going to get when you hear this album is like you walked outside at midnight and saw a moon with black paint dripping off it. The way that moon makes you feel is relaxed and melodic, that’s the way you’re going to feel. Like you’re in a trance.

What are some other Boot Camp projects that fans can focus on this year?

Buckshot:  I think their focus should be on am I the next one honestly. I’m all about the future, I’m all about putting artists out that can change the world, artists that can change the whole dynamic of society. If you are that artist than your focus should be as a fan; “what’s my position? Can I play a part in revolutionizing and changing Duck Down”? If you feel that you can be don’t just support the music because you like it. Support the music because you like it and you’re supporting a movement that can allow you to come in later and change it. That’s what I want fans to look forward to.

Last words?

Buckshot:  Nah man you got it. We used to call ourselves the model for the major because every major would ask us how we do that, or how did we do this. We aren’t bad people so we gave away a few secrets, we didn’t charge all this money. We didn’t care, it just wasn’t positive. Now I’ve learned to say Duck Down is one of the most powerful Marketing/Record companies. I want people to understand that the marketing company is what makes the record company. Record companies don’t make the marketing company. Not with Duck Down. Dru and I come from that type of background. We understand it’s the marketing company before the record company because if you don’t know how to market these records they are just hot records nobody hears.

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