Buck 65 Is Riding High

Buck 65 Is Riding High
"The focus in hip-hop these days is so narrow. Musically, it's got a very specific sound, but you're also supposed to dress in a very specific way and talk about very specific topics. To go outside of those parameters, you're instantly labelled as a weirdo or whatever else. I hate that. I hate that about hip-hop. I'm mad at hip-hop because of all of that."

In the world of bombastic rump-shaking, Buck 65 is an anomaly. Hailing from small town Nova Scotia and currently reigning as one of Canada's best MCs, his style is introspective and personal, his beats mid-tempo and ambient. He's got an affinity for the word "bananas" and can wax poetic about the history of the number zero, hobo music from the 1920s, and the sad state of independent record distribution.

But his beef with the genre is only a small thorn in his side. Lately, Buck 65 (Rich Terfry, aka Stinkin' Rich) has been watching his life take some surprising twists. Current "cheap thrills" include having fans named Vincent Gallo, Melissa Auf der Mer and Radiohead, and his "Pants on Fire" single has garnered regular rotation from MuchMusic. He's got a full-length record entitled Square, part IV of his Language Arts series, ready for public consumption and is currently recording another "doozy," which is set for a fall release. And there's an upcoming mini-tour of Europe.

His most recent personal triumph, however, is having finally quit his day job behind the counter of a Halifax news stand — leaving him plenty of time to watch movies, read physics books and hang out in trees in the park.

"The argument could be made that I could've left that job a long time ago but I was real chicken-shit about it because I couldn't get rid of that security net until I felt 100 percent confident that I could make a living full-time as a musician," explains Terfry, sipping on a banana fruit smoothie in a downtown diner. "When that day came and I realised I could do this, that was a total moral victory. That's one of those things you have on your ultimate checklist from when you're younger. You know, someday, I'll get to the point where I'm making a living off music. That's what that day represented."

Word on the street is that Buck 65's next step will be releasing those new recordings with a major label affiliation, but he's hesitant to divulge any details. "They'll be available," says Terfry, smiling. "Widely available."