I’m great. My album is fire. Do you want to hear it? Let me play some for you.
(pause while Buck plays the album)
Nice. I like. How much did you grow from Straight Outta Cashville to Buck the World?
I just made another classic album. This record is definitely better than Straight Outta Cashville. If you were a fan of Straight Outta Cashville, you’re going to be more of a fan of Buck the World.
The fans look for artists to reinvent themselves instead of staying the same, which is who they love you for. I’m the same nigga and there are so many places you can take the music. I got Linkin Park on this album and that came out crazy. To me, that’s the best song on the album. That’s an example of how far I went on this record. I opened up. I didn’t go into Linkin Park’s world, because that world is a little too far for me. My world is the ‘hood and anything that can relate to the struggle. That’s what I represent.
Have you grown lyrically over the past three years?
For sure. You don’t get no younger. In this game, if you don’t try to get good with it, you stay the same and people pay their money to hear a classic album. I don’t know too many classic albums that can get by with just the regular cat-bat-rat flow type of shit. I base my music off of real things that I go through. It makes it easier for my music. I’ve been going through a lot of shit in the public eye and out of the public eye, from me just getting out of jail to other shit. So for me to write my shit, it’s nothing. It’s nothing for me to write this music. The whole thing is to give it to the people so they can understand what I’m going through. You’re dealing with longevity when you deal with me. You’re not dealing with an overnight success. It took me so long to get here. I feel like I have to stay working to stay in this position, and even better, get past this position.
It seems like you’re trying to make Buck the World something more than the traditional rap album.
Yeah. I listen to so many different genres of music. I understand everything except country music. I’ve never been able to understand that music and I’m from Nashville, Tennessee, the home of country music, and that’s the only music I’ve never really tried to get into because I can’t understand it more or less. And Linkin Park understands hip-hop. Their music is some hip-hop art-type shit.
When I interviewed you in October, you said you had a lot of tracks for the ladies on Buck the World. Has that changed now?
There’s just a couple more. I did one on the first album and they can expect at least two. My base is in the streets and there’s a lot going on that I want to talk about and there’s so little time on the CD. The ladies are definitely a big part to Young Buck. They’re calling me handsome now. I try to cater to them and give them something special, the real nigga way. Regardless of how gangster you are, I think if you can’t take time to acknowledge the women, either you’re gay or you got no love for them, and I’m not either one of them.
Are you happy with how your single “Get Buck” is doing?
“Get Buck” is making the clubs look like they’re going to crash. I’m getting a crazy amount of spins without even going for them. It’s a big record and people haven’t heard a record like that from Buck in a minute. At the end of the day, I’m excited myself. I know for one, the club response is ridiculous. It’s shutting the clubs down in the South and I’m in rotation in New York City and that’s a blessing. I’m thankful for it. They’re really fucking with me right now. The streets understand me now and they understand where I’m at because I deserve a lot more than what I’ve been given, but I’m loving what I’ve been given. The streets are in touch with me because I tell them the truth. I tell them what it is, period, and that’s what makes them buy my shit. I appreciate it.
You have a song called “Clean-Up Man.” Can Buck the World get G-Unit out of its recent slump?
I know for a fact it is. It ain’t even no kind of feeling. I know for a fact it is. The industry knows. With the wave of the industry, the feeling of it is you already know what it is when Buck steps in the building, just off the energy of my single. I’m consistent with everything I do and I’m establishing myself with this record. I just signed C-Bo. My shit is on some whole other expansion. I’m definitely excited and we’re where we need to be.
We never left the scene, period. A lot of times we get attention because of low record sales, but at the end of the day, you get another gold plaque and it’s like, “It’s another one for the Unit.” That’s because we’re used to selling millions of records. Let’s see what everything does after me. I’m telling you I’m coming to do the damn thing. I’m coming to do 50 and Eminem numbers. That’s Buck’s competition. I want to be respected like them when it comes to business and work ethic. I don’t mind wearing that jacket.
How do you respond to the critics who say G-Unit is falling off?
I’ve never really heard those critics. I know they’re there. I would tell them to look a little deeper and pay attention to the bankroll. That’s the next thing you should do. You can never count anything out. It goes a little further than you can imagine. We’re putting the work in. A lot of times we don’t get the respect we really deserve is because people are left to take sides on the beef shit. We don’t get respect for what we’ve done in the game and how we carry ourselves.
I’d rather here motherfuckers talking about the records we’ve broken. That’s what I would tell them. I would tell them to name artists where every artist in the group has gone gold or platinum. Everyone in the group has done that and I don’t even think NWA can say that. A lot of times you get the bullshit, but it is what it is. We accept it however. It’s all positive energy at the end of the day. We’re waking up and breathing. Regardless of whether we’re doing an interview or a diss record, all this shit is fun to me. I do my thing and get myself in position and let my niggas do their thing, like 615. If it ain’t about no money, I’m not really having it.
50 responded to Cam on Angie Martinez’ show by telling him that Lloyd Banks has more money than Jim Jones. How long can G-Unit say that if albums don’t start selling?
You have to keep on pushing. You’re always going to have your good times and your bad times. We’re all fucked up the first time we see money. When you have motherfuckers that come from nothing, you shine at first. If ever a situation occurred and records aren’t selling how they should be, then we’d have to regroup. It is what it is.
What was it like working with Eightball and MJG on Buck the World?
Those are my homeboys. They’re right up the street from me in Memphis. That’s like three hours from where I’m from. They always had their own sound established in Memphis. In Nashville, we’re like a mixture of everything. We fit right in the middle. If you go three hours to the left, you’re in Memphis and if you go three hours to the right, you’re in Atlanta. There’s never been a rap artist to come out of Nashville like me. You get a mixture of Atlanta and Memphis in the Nashville sound. It’s a mixture. I was raised off of Eightball and MJG.
You made headlines a couple weeks ago when you were arrested on a warrant for failing to appear in court. Can you talk about your recent arrest?
It was just some bullshit. I didn’t even catch a charge on nothing. They said my license was bad but they pulled me over with ten undercover cars. You know how it goes. It’s hard on me. They know I come from that bullshit. I’m still trying to figure it out. Then they told me there was a problem with the system and that my license wasn’t really suspended, then they asked me some questions about some dumb shit. There’s some shit you go through, but it’s all about how you handle it. Me, I choose to say, “Fuck ‘em.”
You’ve had your legal problems in the past. Are you more conscious to stay out of trouble today?
Hell yeah. You’re damn right. At the end of the day, you have to be.
Cam and 50 are going at each other…
That ain’t nothing. I ain’t tripping. 50 can handle that.
You usually stay quiet when there’s beef.
I measure it out. If it’s real and a situation where I know it’s meant for me to jump in, I will. I knew what was going on with the Game shit so I had to say what I had to say. I don’t really have the knowledge or the whole actions of what it is now to jump in. There’s not enough for me to even bring attention to it. I get it for real out here. A lot of people are dancing behind their microphone, but I’m out here on the corner. I ain’t fucking with it.
Do you see the situation getting worse or fading away?
I see it fading away. Shit will probably fade away. It ain’t about nothing.
Game has said in the past that he single-handedly took down G-Unit Records…
What else does he have to say? Game ain’t did nothing. I’m still right here. My album is about to drop. We’ll see who sells the most. Game is exactly what his name says he is and people understand it at this point.
T.I. just got the most anticipated album of the year from XXL, Lil’ Wayne got the second spot and you got the third. Does that make you work harder?
I look at that as competition. I’m going to try to bust Lil’ Wayne’s ass when I drop. More power to him, but let the games begin. I don’t mean to bust his ass as far as beef goes. It’s a friendly competition. Everybody wants to sell the most records and Wayne’s been doing good. I’m just coming to do my thing.
I’ve said what I’ve said in the past but it was never to establish a problem with Lil’ Wayne. As far as the South goes, you don’t say shit in records if you really don’t mean it. You’ll find a lot of unity with Southern rappers, period, because we don’t do the beef shit through the music. You’re about the real shit. If you say it in a record, either you did it or you’re about to do it. Whatever I say, niggas are going to run to the police because my shit is heavy out here. It’s a different gamble out here for me.
Are you happy with how Lil’ Scrappy’s album, Bred 2 Die Born 2 Live, was handled?
I think you have to deliver the right material at the end of the day. A lot of the times, you have to look at yourself and keep going.
What are you doing with C-Bo?
All I can tell you is that we don’t have a date for his album, but the title of the album is Ready for the World and it’s probably the most incredible album you will ever hear in your life. I can promise you that.
Will you be working with the Outlawz in the future?
We’re negotiating right now. All I can tell you is to stay focused because it’s all going down.
What’s going on with the 615 album?
That’s almost done. That’s me, D-Tay, Lil’ Murda and Hi-C. All I can do is tell you to stay focused.
Are you looking at signing anyone else for Cashville Records?
I’m always looking, as long as the report card matches the talent. If you’re speaking about the streets, have that report card to go along with it. If you’re a skateboarder, have that report card to go along with it. Just make it match.
Are you still doing Cashville Chicken and Waffles?
Yeah. Everything is in the making as far as that hustle goes. The restaurant game, the clothing store, everything is in the making and everything is moving.
What’s a normal day like for Young Buck?
Hustle, hustle, hustle. It’s a constant hustle.
What are your ultimate goals for Buck the World?
To sell a lot of records, establish myself and Cashville Records and throw myself into Hollyhood and do a lot of acting.
What do you want to say to everybody?
You’re a real dude and you ask real questions. It’s not a game so you’re going to get the real response. Buy my album March 20, but get my bootleg first to make sure it’s worth your money, and then go buy my shit. I want you to get my bootleg first to make sure it’s worth your money, and then go buy my album.