Young Buck: Buck Stops Here

Cashville, Ten-A-Key. The fact that Country Music’s reigning capital has been given a Hip-Hop inspired nickname speaks volumes about the influence of the city’s newest ambassador—Young Buck. Mayor Bill Purcell is probably not too thrilled that his city has adopted a nickname synonymous with copping cocaine at a bargain basement price, but in terms of […]

Cashville, Ten-A-Key. The fact that Country Music’s reigning capital has been given a Hip-Hop inspired nickname speaks volumes about the influence of the city’s newest ambassador—Young Buck. Mayor Bill Purcell is probably not too thrilled that his city has adopted a nickname synonymous with copping cocaine at a bargain basement price, but in terms of Hip-Hop, local artists have been campaigning for his job since Count Bass D and Kool Daddy Fresh entered the scene.

With over 2.3 million albums sold worldwide, it would appear that the city has cast its vote in favor of one David Darnell Brown. Buck has managed to avoid the G-Unit backlash, and despite introducing an agitated spectator to the business end of some table cutlery at the 2004 Vibe Awards, MTV still loves him. While driving home, Buck is in full politician mode—equal parts activist, artist and G-Unit advocate. He may not be kissing any babies, and we can probably assume that the cigars he’s pulling from have been, shall we say, slightly altered, but the campaign trail to a March 20 release date of Buck The World starts here. There are various reports circulating about another DJ

from Atlanta. Can you address the situation between yourself, DJ Will

from Hot 107.9 and the Core DJ’s?

Young Buck: I ain’t put my hand on no DJ ever, just to clear that up.

It was a situation where I was paid to be at a f**kin’ concert and

perform. Don Juan, my DJ, was set up on the stage already and

everything and then the [The Game’s “It’s Okay”] “One Blood” record dropped as I was getting

ready to perform. I stopped the record and asked the man, “Look bruh,

I don’t know if you’re doing that to disrespect me, but if it’s real

disrespect, you’ll bring the record back.” He brought the record back.

He brought that motherf**ka back—he was gangster for that s**t. The

crowd was upset after that because you’ve got to remember these are my

people. I was paid $15,000 to perform and everybody in there came to

see Buck.

Him playing that record not only caused a conflict of interest with

the crowd, but he knows there’s a conflict of interest between the two

crews at that time. Why would you even do that? At that time the crowd

was all the way off base, so after that I told the crowd that I would

try to go over and holler at him and see what the deal was. He tried

to explain in a roundabout way, but there was just too much tension at

the time. I said, “Let me just get up out of this s**t.” I walked off

the DJ booth and headed to the door and that’s when the rumblin’

started. I never put my hands on anybody and he knows that I didn’t

put my hands on him. I think he almost feels like somebody in my

entourage or some of my people actually did it, but nobody in my

entourage put their hands on him. Buck The World was originally scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2006, why the change?

Young Buck: There really wasn’t a reason to release it that early. I was featured on Lloyd Banks, T.I., Trick Daddy’s and some other albums too. Me being on that many albums and a few others that were coming out in the fourth quarter allowed me to push my album back and it also allowed me to free up some clearance time for myself. True. Every commercially successful crew seems to reach a point where they have to switch things up a little bit. In doing so, G-Unit has experienced its share of backlash, but you have been able to avoid that, how so?

Young Buck: We set our standards so high by selling so many records in the beginning of this s**t that the people start to see a gold record, like how Yayo did 750,000, then they see a record go gold after 50 did 12 million, and then two [million] from me and Banks it’s like, “Oh s**t.” Mobb Deep comes through and doesn’t have a hell of a debut like they expected so, at the end of the day, I think a lot of fans don’t know that Hip-Hop has taken a fall overall. We catch a lot of flack over that by having the standards set so high on our own. But, for the most part, The Unit ain’t went nowhere, my n***a.

That’s where I come in at. I’m the cleanup man. I’m so out here in the streets that my presence ain’t went nowhere. I think the streets have been waiting with me on my project, and I’ve just been feeding them through the mixtapes and through other s**t like that. I don’t make my music thinking about selling a record. I make the music thinking about how to make the best f**king music that I can make, because I know that’s going to make the money. That controls the records being sold. Artists limit themselves by focusing on selling records because then you don’t really know your true potential. You have to go into this s**t like, “F**k everything.” You can only do it if you’re getting money outside of just music, and that’s my thing, ‘cause I’m moving around. I’ve got one of the biggest clothing stores in Tennessee coming out, plus movies and other different s**t to keep my money turning. That way, when I come around I’m not worried about how many I sell. I’m just focused on giving my fans the best f**kin’ music they can possibly hear at that time.

N***as don’t think they can do it but I’m about to show ‘em. I like to do what you can’t do. That’s what I shoot for. When a n***a tell me I can’t do something that’s what I shoot for. That’s why I’m rolling around right now with some clocks on my g####### rims. Clocks on your rims?

Young Buck: Straight up, bruh. They’re called “Timekeepers.” Them s**t’s keep time with perpetual movement and everything. You’ll see them in your next magazine. When a n***a says the word “can’t” or even has that thought in his mind then he’s already f**kin’ up. Now that G-Unit has different generations are you passing that type of advice on to newer members like Spider Loc and Hot Rod?

Young Buck: With Spider Loc, I tell him a lot. He comes straight from the motherf**kin’ streets. Spider Loc is a gangbanger, bruh—he’s a Crip. He’s dealing with a situation where he’s coming strictly off of the block and dealing with rap. I spend a lot of time letting him know that he needs to make sure his surroundings are on the same page that he’s on. You’re going to have ups and downs with this music s**t and the s**t is not always going to look beautiful.

I love Hot Rod so much for just being himself. Hot Rod don’t have that real gangster upbringing, and he never portrays that life. He gives you that party feel and s**t like that. So, for me, the only thing I could really tell Hot Rod is, “Yo, man give me some of your hoes,” ‘cause his life is different from my life. I can tell him little things about the industry, but as far as day-to-day living, we live two different ways. I come up…you know how I came up—straight from the block. Judging by the title of your first album, I would assume that Dr. Dre has been a great influence on you as well the rest of the G-Unit.

Young Buck: You’re damn right. That’s like the f**kin’ mentor right there. Dre is everything to not just me, but ask Game what Dre means. That n***a say Dre name in every other f**kin’ rhyme. That n***a says Dre’s name more than me, and I cut a n***a’s ass up for Dre. I’m like, “G#######, let me say his name so I can give him some love.” [Laughing] Nah, but it’s all good, bruh. Dre is exactly what he is, and they picked the perfect nickname for him—Doctor Dre. That n***a really fixes s**t. He could hear something totally different that nobody else is hearing. My first time ever meeting him in the studio was when I was rapping and he was like, “Yo, that was dope, but spit that s**t like this.

For a rapper it’s hard to just sit and listen to another n***a to tell you what to do, but this is “The Doctor.” How many n***as you know that will say something back? So I did what the n***a said and it ended up being some of the best s**t I ever did in my life. Based off of that, I knew off rip why they call this n***a “The Doctor.” That n***a fixes s**t. No doubt. Being that he helped build Death Row and you had a brief affiliation with them while Juvenile was setting up UTP, did the topic of Death Row Records ever come up?

Young Buck: Nah, I ain’t never had a chance to explain my situation to Dre about being over there. It’s never came across his mind to say anything to me about it. I just know it ain’t no bad blood between me and Suge Knight. My situation at Death Row was through Juvenile, and when Juvenile didn’t make his situation with Suge happen, it didn’t cause conflict with me and Suge. They respected Buck, and how I get down and I respected what they do. I just don’t play that s**t about my life or none of this s**t—period. A n***a gotta kill me first before they take my respect or any of that type of s**t. These days you’re respected as both a soldier and a leader. You were influential in bringing Spider Loc over to G-Unit as well as getting 50 to co-executive produce Lil’ Scrappy’s album.

Young Buck: In order to be a good leader, you’ve got to be a good follower. I know my position is a soldier, and I have a boss. My boss is 50 Cent. I do have my own direction. I’m a man, and I’m my own individual, so I’ll always voice my opinion in any situation right or wrong. Opinions are like a#######, everybody’s got one. I think my opinion carries a lot of weight with 50. Being in a position that 50 is in, where he’s always made the decisions, he’s really open minded in paying attention to me and recognizing my input. I’ve showed this n***a what I can do, and that’s what has allowed me to have my own label, Ca$hville Records. The biggest supporter of my label is 50 Cent, and that’s very seldom seen in this game. He’s my CEO and still the biggest supporter of my label. Hold on, man I got DJ Drama on my other line…

[Several minutes later] Considering that G-Unit revolutionized the way the mixtape was used, do you worry that the RIAA tried to charge Drama and Don Cannon with racketeering?

Young Buck: That n***a Drama gone be good, man. Shout out to Drama and his camp. Make sure you write that the feds ain’t s**t. They can suck two d**ks and die on a cold Thursday! Drama’s my dog. I don’t know the full extent of his situation, but I’m sure it’s a misunderstanding on their end. As people, it’s really hard to go against whatever decisions they choose to make. The word on my end is f**k ‘em. That’s all you can say about the feds, f**k ‘em, straight up and down, f**k ‘em.

I think Drama will be alright regardless. In any situation when you’ve got a n***a like him, that was built from the streets, you can take him out of the streets but you can’t take the streets away. If anybody thinks that n***a gone be through, they’re crazy. Drama is good, that n***a is laughing at them suckers as we speak. They just made Drama the biggest DJ in the world. That’s what you’re supposed to do though, you take that negative s**t and turn it positive so you can use it against them. It’s kind of like how ‘Pac said, “Get your weight up with the hate and pay ‘em back when you’re bigger.” That’s how I tell my n***as. I done been out here and done it, so I tell Drama, “You’ve been out here and you know how it goes.” I done ducked and dodged them b***hes my whole life—you know how a n***a get down, cuzz.