Published May 22, 2012Pride of Canadian hip-hop and former New York Yankees prospect, Buck 65 looked stiff as he took the stage this evening. Though his recent illness was made obvious through a few missed lyrics, coughs and moments like accidently stabbing himself in the throat with the mic, he battled bravely through his body's weaknesses with all the vigour one would expect from a future hall of famer playing in the World Series.
Donning a red CN cap and matching leather baseball jacket, Buck immediately endeared himself to the rambunctious BC crowd. He proclaimed himself the "Tits McGee of rap," read people's names out throughout his set just to say hello and wave to them, and promised to hug and kiss everyone in the crowd afterwards.
Born humbly as Rich Terfry, the character of Buck 65 is near cartoony, especially when he dances. Buck moves like everyone in the world is staring yet he couldn't care less about coming off cool. Not content to merely let his meticulous, effervescent storytelling speak for itself, he continually created shapes and gestures that foreshadowed and fleshed out his lyrics. He's not a man of unquestionably chiseled good looks, yet his wit-laced candour, thoughtful flows and selfless lack of ostentation ranks Terfry high on the to-do list of all who see him.
A few songs into his set, he invited Edmonton singer-songwriter Colleen Brown onto the stage, primarily to flesh out selections from his 2011 album 20 Odd Years. They had a fabulous rapport, demonstrated by the private smiles and comments they exchanged between songs. While everyone was there to see Buck 65, when Brown sang Terfry would sashay to the back of the stage and let her have the moment to herself, to showcase her compelling vocal skills. Filling in for Jenn Grant, their duet of "Paper Airplane" was deeply stirring, a serious moment balanced out by their dual somnambulist shuffle for "Zombie Delight."
Buck 65 lives in the moment. A young man performed a poorly executed stage dive at the beginning of one of Terfry's tracks, landing awkwardly on many unprepared heads. This led to Buck using the track's freestyle break, within which he would normally employ his trademark delayed crab scratching, to repeatedly ask those landed on if they were okay until they all responded. Terfry's concern was genuine, yet he managed to express it without missing a beat, always the consummate showman.