Dru Ha & Buckshot
Backstory (What’s the story behind the launch of the label? How was it launched? Why was it launched?):
At the time, it was founded to give us an outlet for our music, without having to seek out deals or be salesmen for projects that we wanted to introduce, It was also the beginning of an era, where producers and hot artists were getting label deals that allowed them total control over their products and visions. Buckshot and Dru Ha formed Duck Down for that very reason. To date, Duck Down Records is the home to: Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Sean Price, Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah, O.G.C., Ruste Juxx and BOOT CAMP CLIK.
Greatest Achievements (What are the label’s proudest moments? Going platinum? Releasing a classic? Signing a legend?):
Duck Down’s proudest moment has to be the fact that we’ve been able to maintain our label now for over 10 years in a very tough market. We’ve seen extreme highs and also the lows, but through it all our artists have remained true to the Duck Down formula. Of course some of the other things we’re proud of is the over 4 million records sold in our 12-year history; the opportunity to work with hip hop heavyweights such as: Tupac (who we recorded an album with, entitled One Nation before his untimely death); Talib Kweli, Aaliyah, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep, KRS One, M.O.P., Q-Tip, Raekwon and our current collaborations with the Justus League. Duck Down’s most notable releases are: Black Moon’s, “Enta Da Stage,” Smif N Wessun’s “ Da Shinin,” O.G.C.’s, “Da Storm,” Heltah Skeltah’s. “Nocturnal,” 9th Wonder and Buckshot’s, “Chemistry,” Sean Price’s, “Monkey Barz,” and Boot Camp Clik’s, “The Last Stand,” albums.
One other amazing feat was just over a year ago in 2005, when we released Duck Down Record’s Triple Threat Summer. It Has 3 releases, Sean Price, “Monkey Barz” (May, 2005), 9th Wonder and Buckshot, “Chemistry” (July, 2005) and then Smif N Wessun, “Reloaded” (September, 2005). For an INDIE label or any label for that matter having 3 Full Length albums out in such a short period of time is a tough task, but it ended up being very successful for us and we earned the title of Top 5 Comebacks of the Year from HipHopSite.com.
Current and Future projects (What current projects are you pushing and what’s planned for the next year?):
Duck Down Record’s most current release is from our signature group, Boot Camp Clik (Great 8) which consists of Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Sean Price, O.G.C. and Heltah Skeltah. The new album, LAST STAND, was released this past summer (July 18th, 2006). The album features production from Pete Rock, Large Professor, Da Beatminerz, 9th Wonder, G-Unit’s, Ill Mind, Coptic and more.
Our main priority, aside from continuing to promote BCC’s newest release, is Sean Price’s second solo effort, JESUS PRICE SUPASTAR, slated for a January 30th, 2007 release. Sean P!’s second album was produced mainly by 9th Wonder, and Khrysis, but also has production from MoSS, G-Unit’s Ill Mind, PF Cuttin and more. The album features Buckshot, of Black Moon, Rock, of Heltah Skeltah, Sadat X, Ruste Juxx, Steele (Of Smif N Wessun), Loud Mouf Choir, Skyzoo, and Phonte (Of Little Brother). There is a good amount of anticipation surrounding Sean Price’s second release, especially following his MONKEY BARZ LP, where Sean garnered Indie Artist of the Year honors from SOURCE Magazine and ALLHIPHOP.COM. The Savior Will Be Recognized January 30th.
Goals and Purpose (What kind of impact are you hoping to make on the industry? What goals do you have for the label?):
For Duck Down it’s about continuing to make good music and music that we believe in. In terms of an impact for us, it’s always trying to stay true to our core group of fans, and hopefully make enough noise to make some new ones along the way. In 2007 we’re looking to release at least 3 to 4 albums, which should keep Duck Down’s name in the mix. (Sean Price, “Jesus Price Supastar,” Heltah Skeltah, “D.I.R.T.,” Ruste Juxx, “Indestructable,” 9th Wonder and Buckshot, “The Formula.”) We are also looking to sign some new talent, and have had some discussions with members of the Justus League, and even KRS One.
Within the Game (How does the label fit within the current climate of hip-hop? Or does it even fit in at all? What’s the label’s personality in relation to the rest of hip-hop?):
Well for starters, I guess we get classified as being an INDIE Label, meaning we don’t have the same MACHINE that a Def Jam, or J-Records may have. The good thing about being an independent record label is that we don’t have to rely on an individual or company to create, approve, or execute a plan. We have always taken pride in our ability to come up with creative and original marketing tactics, something that we are proud of and that we feel has always created a separation from our competition. At times we have had to cut corners in order to fund plans properly. However, continuing with grassroots tactics and a heavy presence, to this day we remain proud of how we run our Label.
Our Personality in this game is like that smaller dog that actually thinks he’s the size of a rottweiler. We’re not going to be afraid of any challenge/obstacle or fear a major release that may coincide with one of our Indie releases. We have to just find ways to break through the clutter and make ourselves noticeable. So that means taking over the Web, hitting the streets with posterboard and finding new ways to publicize our artists and advertise their respective albums.