Part poet, part lefty-observationalist, Buck 65 spits rhymes that consistently comment on societys rights and wrongdoings. His 11th CD--focusing largely on 1957, the year that the Beat Generation was born--is no different in its approach. The horns and background sounds on Spread Em reek of Dragnet
as Buck growls out a verbal strip search, while the Bettie Page tale (Lipstick) finds him singing, My favorite records Rumble
by Link Wray, with the perfectly subtle amount of Wray-style vibrato guitar. In a lot of ways, while Buck and his DJ--the extremely talented Skratch Bastid--are unequivocally rooted in hip-hop, many of the musical styles on Situation
come from decades past. Cop Shades mixes 60s soul with 70s horns, while The Beatific makes reference to Charlie Parker and the music of 80s band the Motels. Like a high-intensity video game, theres no time to stop, look around, and take in the beauty or ugliness in any Buck 65 song; he fires words with such speed that there is no one hook or chorus on the disc that remotely resembles hit-radio material. However, that heady lyrical style has brought him a dedicated fan base and--after 15 years as a recording artist--still renders his music full of interesting and edifying qualities. --Denise Sheppard
Buck 65 was on the tip of everyone's tongues in 2005 with his critically acclaimed record, This Right Here Is Buck 65, lauded by Rolling Stone, Spin, Entertainment Weekly, Blender, the New York Times, CMJ, Alternative Press, URB, XLR8R, Remix, and Magnet, among others. While Buck found great success in America, his label V2 was on its last legs and, following his record's release, folded. While waiting to get through the red tape, he made a record with Tortoise (which saw no American release), moved to Paris, fell in love, scored a film, won a Juno (he also co-hosted said awards show with Pamela Anderson), and toured the globe. He settled in after all that and made his most realized work yet - Situation. Strange Famous Records is a new endeavor from renowned musician and savvy businessman, Sage Francis. Sage Francis and Buck 65 were reputed foes for a time; the two are now good friends and Sage Francis, as Buck 65's biggest advocate, lobbied to release Situation in the United States on his label. With its basis centered around the many defining events of 1957, Situation recognizes the true creation of underground and independent culture that happened 50 years ago and the enticing idea that we are on the cusp of a similar renaissance. And while Buck 65's music truly defines its own genre, Situation is a raw and powerful return to classic hip-hop delivered in Buck 65's seasoned style.