By Tyler Aleksandr Allen
Just after wrapping up my interview with Buck Salone on Saturday, he released his brand new EP entitled Late Immigration on Monday night. Although he did mention that he had a new project in the works, little did I know that it was to be released nearly 40 hours later. Salone gave me as much information as he possibly could without disclosing the brutally honest and exciting content that was to be found in the 4 song EP. Although I didn’t wait that long, it was most definitely worth the wait. But before I go into detail about Late Immigration, I would like you all to get a better sense of Buck Salone via this short interview.
Who is Buck Salone? How did that name originate? When did you start doing music?
Yeah, my first stage name was Buck Norris, a name my friends gave me when we would freestyle rap as kids. I chose Buck Salone because Salone is a combination of Sierra Leone, which is where my family is from. My family is the most important thing in my life and my family is pretty big, so now when I'm making my music I always have them in mind.
I’ve been rapping since maybe age 6. When I was little, I used to spend hours in FYE, scanning CD's for 30 second previews and listening over and over since my mom wouldn't buy them for me lol. Me and my friends were always rapping at recess or at gym or after school, and I remember writing raps on any paper I had and hiding them in the closet or under the bed. But I never took music seriously until a couple years ago, my boy Reggie, who’s a talented rapper and musician himself, said he had a friend who had a studio in his basement. That kinda just set everything in motion. Things happened. Got in a little bit of trouble and I ended up in Virginia, but it put me in a unique place musically and exposed me to different kinds of music and opportunities to learn. Now I'm doing music that I never even dreamed so this coming year is exciting.
In terms of your first project Buck Norris, how did that come about? How long did this project take? What was the inspiration? What's your creative process like?
My first tape kind of took a year..kind of took a couple weeks lol I work pretty fast in making songs but I always scrap songs or even entire projects. There were 4 first mix tapes before that first mix tape. I just always want to put out the best thing. It has to represent everything I believe and everything people know me to be. But those set of songs took about a week. That string of inspiration ended up being the one I was satisfied with. I'm going through that process now. Trying to find inspiration, write songs, and make the production that I feel that people will really enjoy.
My favorite songs are This'll Do and Cozyfest. Do you have any favorites from Buck Norris?
I do like Cozyfest and This'll Do a lot as well. This'll Do was a more positive kind of record that I would like to try and do again. I don't have much in the way of favorites anymore because I listen to it now and hear a voice that's not matured. Wordplay that could have been better. Vocals not mixed well. But it’s a learning experience that I'll always be attached to.
Do you have anyone you particularly like to collaborate with?
Reggie (featured on What You Want) has been my brother since kindergarten. Always been musical really good at the drums. We were actually making a song last week and I had the melody but my drum ideas were so weak so he got his drum pad and made something crazy out of it. He's also a great rapper. Just put out an album called Her which is truly Reggie. Always been a player always got girls so its a great story. Its always great to do what you do with friends that are like-minded. It keeps you competitive but keeps your confidence high.
So what were some of your beliefs and the way people know you to be in Buck Norris?
Always believed that you should pursue what you love no matter what and that doors'll open for you. I always loved music but I never really believed I could do anything with it so I never had a true direction and where I wanted to go in life until I decided that this is what I meant to do. And then from there doors just open up.
Now in terms of your next project. What can we expect from it in comparison to your last project? Any hints? Possible dates?
In terms of my next project, its definitely gonna be something different. I don't wanna say too much but I've been playing around with different genres and working with and learning from friends who play different instruments so I'm hoping my next project reflects that. Hoping it'll be done sooner than later really working hard to get it out.
Well we’ve been blessed and Buck Salone’s EP Late Immigration has been released.
Late Immigration is comprised of 4 songs that fit together perfectly. Buck Salone shows his lyrical versatility in Late by adapting his cadence and delivery to the progression of the compelling bass drum. As the bass gets heavier, so does his subject matter. Salone comes to terms with police militarization, cancer, gang violence, and home. He reiterates that "Home is where the hate at" and recognizes that his home and his dreams are at odds. The song climaxes almost near the end and suddenly culminates in a decision that satisfies his needs and desires.
Salone brings on a friend and fellow rapper Quentin Jetson to help with Thanks For Not Snitching which induces the feel of a two man cypher. This song draws a definitive line between police and black men in which both artists situate themselves on the side of the marginalized. Salone and Jetson have a steady grasp on racialized tensions and vow subversion in the form of not snitching. In What You Want, Buck taps longtime friend Reggie for a gripping performance. The lyrical interplay between the two is impeccable and it's as if they're challenging each other in convincing the listener of what they want. They damn near completely blur the line between wants and needs. After listening to What You Want, the listener will have a better understanding of their brotherhood as explained in the interview. This song exemplifies the complimentary and competitive potential of a feature in shaping the artist's voice through another friend/artist. Not to mention, the production aspect that makes the song perfect for the car or the club!
Buck concludes Late Immigration with a daring and contemplative personal narrative that is neither apologetic nor submissive. This song is the shortest on his EP and yet it's the most brutally honest and moving piece I've heard from Buck Salone thus far. In Backwood, Salone takes an introspective look at himself that...you know what I'd rather you just listen to it for yourself because my thoughts would only do it a disservice. This is definitely my favorite song from this EP. This EP has been on repeat all day and I can’t wait for what’s in store for Buck Salone’s future.
Listen to Salone's first project Buck Norris: https://soundcloud.com/bucksalone/sets/buck-norris
Listen to the new release Late Immigration https://soundcloud.com/bucksalone/sets/late-immigration