With Black Moon’s 1994 release Enta Da Stage acknowledged as one of the landmark East Coast hip-hop records of its era, lead MC Buckshot solidified himself as the front man for his gritty Boot Camp Clik crew with his uncompromising approach. An album collaboration between Buckshot and producer du jour 9th Wonder was definitely not one many could have foreseen because of their stylistic differences, but this unlikely duo make the collaboration work. Indeed "Ain’t No Comparison” features 9th’s typical heliocentric boom-bap while Buckshot resurrects the melodic sing-song flow he deployed a decade ago to create a melding of styles that silences any doubters. However much of Chemistry, doesn’t just feature 9th Wonder the producer doing his usual beats and Buckshot his usual lyrics, as both push themselves outside of their creative comfort zones. 9th Wonder takes a back seat as it’s clear he’s tailored his beats specifically for Buckshot’s rugged poetics, as the brass-infused bounce of "Sidetalk” and the top-heavy percussion of "U Wonderin’” would suggest. Likewise, Buckshot slips into the role of a wizened observer, musing on violence ("Now A Dayz”) and blue-collar life ("Slippin’) adding to his inimitably grimy style.
What was the collaborative process between you and 9th Wonder like?
Buckshot: He gave me some hot-ass beats and he gave me a hot-ass environment. He made it easy for me to just go in there and do what I do. I was conscious of the album needing those changes of concepts and just going, "Stick to topics of what you do and what you’re really interested in saying. And just stay natural Buck, just stay you.”
You weren’t looking to do an album at the time the opportunity presented itself?
I did this album at my lowest point, my lowest resources and I did it at with such a "from the heart” aspect. You can’t, if you will, dictate what it is that you want to blow. You gotta have good music and you gotta have a good system after you have good music.
Why did you start wearing a backpack?
I did it because I was late to do a show and I couldn’t put my book bag nowhere else. That’s all we wore around my way. Nobody else in hip-hop was doing that because that just wasn’t what you do. You don’t go on stage dressed like you’re about to go out, but I was like, "Fuck that. I’ma go on stage and do my whole show looking like I’m about to get the fuck off.” And for some reason people just thought that shit was cool. (Duck Down)