Buck 65 Situation

Buck 65 Situation
Almost, but not quite, a concept album, Situation positions 1957 as the year everything happened. Against the backdrop of the escalating Cold War, rock’n’roll broke, the Beat Generation emerged and youth culture as we’ve come to know it began to take shape. The track "1957” features Allen Ginsberg’s famous first words from Howl ("I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed”) and develops into a catalogue of people, places and events of the period that somehow avoids derailing into a hip-hop "We Didn’t Start the Fire.” What, besides 1957, do we get here? Two of the best straight hip-hop bangers on a Buck 65 release in years, for starters. "Cop Shades” opens with lines from the Sebutones’ Psoriasis tape from a lifetime ago and "Benz,” produced by DJ Signify, features a solid guest appearance by Cadence Weapon. Situation is the midpoint between the two extremes of the Buck 65 oeuvre, with the Cohen-esque musings of Secret House Against the World on one end of the spectrum and the cocky underground hip-hop of the gone-but-not-forgotten Stinkin’ Rich persona on the other. Fans of either, or both, should be satisfied.

With the Strong Arm mix-tape and now Situation, are you coming back to something more recognisably hip-hop after stretching out in some other directions?
Definitely with Situation, particularly because I was collaborating with young Skratch Bastid on this record, this was going to be a back-to-basics hip-hop record. In the last two years since Secret House came out, I’ve worked on a lot of music and some of it has been obviously strongly hip-hop-based and some of it hasn’t been whatsoever. My follow-up to Situation is just about ready to go, and it’s very different again as well. And I also have plans on my next project after that, which will be very much a return to a Vertex-type record. I might even do it on a four-track.

So the new direction is a maybe an old direction?
I don’t think it’s fair to say that I’ve fully taken on a new direction. I’m as much or more of a dilettante than ever. It’s definitely fair to say that I’ve had a renewed love affair, or personal renaissance, as far as hip-hop is concerned. Not just in terms of what I’m doing myself but what I’m listening to and what I’m excited about. The one thing I’ve long and always reserved my own personal right to do is change my mind.

BONUS: Buck 65 - Show and Tell Episode 1

(Strange Famous)