Interview: Young Buck Talks Second Chances, Wendy Day's Support And The Best Music Of His Career
Hip-hip isn't into giving second chances. For one, rap is a young man’s sport. Two, nobody wants to hear a has-been whose shine has come and gone as quick as Trinidad Jame$’ record deal. To be real, UPS is always hiring.
Tell that to Young Buck, though, and he'll just laugh. After falling out and reconciling with G-Unit, going through financial issues, and an 18-month Federal bid for weapon possession, the MC that made his fellow Tennessee brethren proud by bouncing back like a tennis ball is ready to buck up the world again.
Fast forward to 2014, the Nashville native is rolling with the G-Unit squad, and his music is rattling the streets like a Caddy trunk filled 12-inch sub-woofers. And his buzz-worthy solo tracks, “New Years Cake Freestyle,” “Wasted,” “Gas Up,” with Cap 1, "On Tha Way," and “Anybody" are proof. Oh, and have you peeped the double entendres that Buck splashed all over G-Unit’s comeback EP Beauty of Independence and his first single, "Bring My Bottles," off the Unit's forthcoming EP The Beast is G-Unit?
“Hell yeah, you hear that energy,” Buck yelled through the phone from his Atlanta home. “My career is coming full circle, I’m relevant and I’m blessed for it. You see me smiling, jumping around and pouring liquor and shit. Nigga, I’m doing that for real. And I’m having fun doing it.”
Buck’s vigor isn’t anything new. He's been mobbing with that Ray Lewis pre-game enthusiasm for a minute now. When the animated MC joined G-Unit’s roster in '03, he blessed the Queens crew with unequivocal bounce. Buck’s vibrancy and inflexible authenticity made him a favorite among the Unit, especially after catching an assault charge for helping Dr. Dre during a fight at our second annual VIBE Awards in '04.
“The fans are going to have their favorite," says Buck about G-Unit fans. "I get it a lot from the Southern fans, but at the same time I get that from people all over the world. But it doesn’t do nothing for me. Fans will come up with to me with 50 standing next to me and be like, ‘Say bro, 50 alright but Buck I like you.’ But it doesn’t change any feelings because we brothers. We one. I’m only as strong as my brother.”
What makes Buck so special? He's not lyrically adept as Lloyd Banks, as honest as Tony Yayo. Nor does Buck have Fiddy's star-like appeal and business keenness. However, Buck brings a distinguished recalcitrant attitude that's meshed with honest content and unflinching candidness. This dude is authentic as Scarface.
“Coming from the South, the music, the art and the way that we gravitate to it it got to match. The truth has to match with whoever in front of that mic,” explains the rapper.
But too much realness can be dissenting, as Buck found out. According to Fif', Buck was booted from the group for publicly unbolting G-Unit business, and for feeling like he needed to go against what 50 was doing. Then the IRS came looking for their money, followed by weapon charges and the prison bid. Buck’s rapid downfall was the perfect quip for Dave Chappelle’s When Keeping Real Goes Wrong.
“You and I both know that I was counted out,” Buck said. “During the whole time that I was counted out, I was somewhere in the cut counting up. I was getting my shit right because I’m counted on by so many people.”
Momma Buck, his son David Brown Jr, daughter Jayla Brown and his fans are pulling for Buck to keep his head screwed on. But Buck has someone else in his corner also -- Rap Coalition’s Wendy Day - the woman who had his back during his 18-month sentence.
"Wendy Day walked with me through my whole time in prison. She was even with me during time away from 50. So if y’all really want to know who’s been there for Buck, Wendy Day. Whatever I decided to do, she said, ‘I got your back, go do it.' And I’m able to sit here today and say, ‘Wendy, look at me, I’m moving momma. I’m on my way momma. I love you, Wendy. I love everything that you've done for me.’"
Day's support while Buck was on lock down was especially comforting for the rapper, being that it was his first time in the big house.
“I never experienced penitentiary time. I was one of the ones that played every part of the streets but was blessed to escape that card. And I was proud about that. You don’t wear a patch on your back and say, ‘Hey, I’m the man. I went to the penitentiary.’ I was wearing the patch and saying, ‘Yeah, I’m the man and I ain’t never been to the penitentiary.’"
While in prison, Buck read and studied books like Jay Z's Decoded, Russell Simmons' Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money + God, and books on finance. But prison's trife life made him a student of survival as well.
“I can’t speak on the craziest things I saw in the penitentiary. But some stuff that I can speak on are some of the ways I had to survive. I found myself cooking in a trashcan. Making bowls in the trashcan from not having a stove, using two batteries and a strip for a lighter, shit like that. On the yard, I had to keep that muthafucka on me in case shit popped off. To come in that muthafucka with a head full of hair, and come out looking like Homey the Clown with a bald spot in the middle. I felt like the walls were closing in on me. That’s what I experienced.”
Now that all that is behind him, Buck’s main focus is music, which he’s been creating a lot of as of late.
“I’ve gotten to a point in my career and in my life where shit has been so real that I just go in there and spit. That’s where I am at with this music and that’s a blessing. I’m making some of the best music that I ever have in my career. Everything that I’ve been through is basically coming out in the music. Ain’t no cut nowhere on it."
When asked about G-Unit’s forthcoming project The Beast is G-Unit, Buck added, "Look forward to what’s coming, I’d be a damn fool to give you a release date. You and I both know that. I don't know when it's coming out, any day now. Just pay attention 'cause ain’t no telling what 50 Cent gon’ do. And the EP is crazy. It’s another six song EP. The energy is there. It’s just the classic G-Unit shit that the people have been waiting for and wanting. Just know that it could drop any day now. That's all I can say on it."
As far as Buck putting out a solo compilation, he said,
"I can tell you this. Everything that you get from Buck and everything that you gon' get is a preparation for something else. I want to make sure everything that I do… let get me get the pot all the way full before I stir it. I’m making some of the best music in career now. I don’t want to give you this plate and you be like, ‘Damn Bruh, I wish I would’ve had some chicken on the plate, or it ain’t enough fucking macaroni on here. I saw a muthafucka on Twitter that was like, “Boy, you happy as hell that 50 gave you a second chance.' And, I’m thinking to myself that you are too muthafucka cause you supporting."
Before hanging up the phone, Buck had one last thing to say:
"You’ll never see this shit again in your life. They won’t never see this shit again so they got to pay attention to us." -- darryl (@)
Stream G-Unit's The Beauty of Independence below and purchase it on iTunes.