iHipHop Interview: KRS-One & Buckshot- School’s In Session…

13 years ago view-show 1,834,371

krs-one-buckshot-alexander-richter-56_phixrWhen it comes to certain things in life, some individuals know exactly how to embody themselves into a culture, to the point where they become completely synonymous with it.

As for Hip-Hop, two of its mainstays that continue to preserve its richness and history are none other than Black Moon’s Buckshot, and the legendary KRS-One.

Separately, they’ve released countless pieces of material that helped cement them into Hip-Hop lore, and together as one unit, they get ready to unleash their joint effort, Survival Skills to the masses of people yearning for a change.

Spearheaded by their successful hit song, ‘Robot,the album is basically to throwback to how Hip-Hop used to be before the corporate juggernauts put their hands in the pot.

But there’s no need to go too much into it, because that’s why Buckshot and KRS-One are here for—to fill you in.

iHipHop.com: Right now, you two have your joint album, Survival Skills coming up… So what can people expect from it?

KRS-One: Well, we just finished the album, and I really honestly believe this is an album people are hungry for…

When we were on the Rock The Bells Tour performing a few of the songs here and there, the people immediately felt the beats…

Plus what Buck and me are saying is relevant to what people want to hear… I think this album goes after people, and it forces you to rethink…

If you’ve been claiming you’re the best or whatever, there’s no disrespect, but now there’s two other cats out there that are bringing the heat…

iHipHop.com: Did you guys make this record strictly for your core audience, or did you try anything in attempts to grab younger listeners as well?

Buckshot: You’re going to get two brothers that are challenging the world, that’s why it’s not just about speaking to the youth, or speaking to the elders…

This record is speaking to everyone with a conscious mind, and everyone with a brain… The album is us dealing with the simplest lessons, so it’s going to affect everybody…

iHipHop.com: Other than yourselves, whom else did you guys work with?

KRS-One and Buckshot: [Laughing collectively]…

Buckshot: Everybody… Immortal Technique, Mary J. Blige, Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, Heltah Skeltah, Smif-n-Wessun, and a lot of others… It’s crazy man…

iHipHop.com: Well, obviously it sounds like the biggest feature on the album is the collaboration with you guys and Mary J. [Bilge]. Did you have to go through a lot of red tape to get her?

KRS-One: Mary J. [Blige] KILLS IT! The record with her is our working class song, and you want to hear her taking you home on that record…

Do you really think Mary J. Blige needed to be on a Buckshot/KRS-One album? Do you REALLY think Mary J. Blige needed this for her career? F*CK NO! Mary [J. Blige] is HIP-HOP!

When it was time to put the album together, Mary [J. Blige] had her cell phone on, took the call, and came through the studio and BLAZED US! Buck and me are street dudes; we can’t afford the queen! She had to want to do that, and that’s what the album represents…

iHipHop.com: What made you two first come together, and decide to put a joint project out?

KRS-One: Ever since the Nervous Records days, we always looked at each other like, “We should do something.” I’m sure it was way before Redman and Method Man were like, “Yo, we need to smoke this weed together, and make an album!” [Laughs]

buckBuckshot: [Laughing]…

KRS-One: [Laughing]… We couldn’t do this type of unity if this wasn’t the type of unity the streets wanted to see…When an artist is singing a song, they have to be believable, and I think that’s what this project brings to the table… You believe in Slaughterhouse [Click for Slaughterhouse review], you believe in Red and Meth, and KRS and Buck, NO DOUBT!

Buckshot: We’re a conscious threat together… There is no one out there with the conscious mind of KRS-One and Buckshot

iHipHop.com: Speaking of being a conscious threat, when you were making the record, did you feel as if the project might fall on deaf ears due to the fact of you two being non-gimmicky in an era where gimmicks rule?

KRS-One: I never thought that to be honest with you, and maybe it’s just my arrogance…When Buck and I first discussed this album, it was discussed as a service to Hip-Hop more than us trying to get on and do something… We wanted to give the people something right, and what I really appreciate is that it was all talk until Duck Down made it real…

So that right there is the piece that makes this whole thing come together… We have all these people on the album, and somebody had to call these people… We can hangout with Talib [Kweli] and smoke a blunt, but that’s not going to get any work done…

But to go back to your question: Nothing organized and real will fall on deaf ears… Today it’s a risk to come with some hard beats, because cats today want that Maybelline sh*t, and they want to gleam it out… Right now, it’s like we’re daring the industry…

iHipHop.com: So do you think the industry will respect the album?

KRS-One: So far, the ‘Robot’ video has been received very well by people who couldn’t turn a deaf ear to it… But DJ’s can step up their play of the record itself… I think there are a lot of f*ggot-ass DJ’s out here, and please quote me: “THERE’S A LOT!”

Survival Skills is no bells, no whistles, no gimmicks, no bullsh*t… Now doing that today is a risk, and that could actually fall on deaf ears… The industry can front, no doubt… Then can definitely front, but I don’t think this album was done for them… [Laughs]

iHipHop.com: [Laughs]… I want touch on your song, ‘Robot.’ I read to the effect of how you said ‘Robot’ is the official “Death Of Autotune” song…

KRS-One: Well, we came with our first… It’s not really KRS, Jay-Z, or Buckshot declaring the death of Autotune, it’s Hip-Hop… We can’t do anything that the people don’t already agree with… The people already came to Buckshot and was like, “Yo Buck, that sh*t is WHACK!” I like some of that sh*t, but the people said it…

They said they didn’t like it because it was taking us away from raw lyrics and stuff… But at the end of the day, we came first… No disrespect to anybody, and I even said in the record, “This ain’t a diss to nobody’s art/cause Afrika Bambaataa really gave it the start.”

iHipHop.com: Is there anyone the song is geared toward?

krsKRS-One: What we’re talking about are the biters… Just because T-Pain won with the sh*t, now you think you’re going to turn all of Hip-Hop into a vocoder voice? GET THE F*CK OUTTA HERE!!! Listen to that record, it’s authentic Hip-Hop… Hip-Hop doesn’t ask to be heard, it makes you put your ear to the street…

So when we came out, Jay-Z could’ve had that concept before us, who knows… I know people were coming up to him like, “Yo Jay, don’t you think that sh*t is whack?” Maybe Beyoncé was like, “If I hear another vocoder voice record!!”

Beyoncé could’ve instigated that sh*t one night in the bedroom! So then he has to respond to the culture, and then he comes out with his piece…

But I’ll tell you technically, we came with ours first, so it is was it is in terms of technical journalism and technical history… But really, it’s Hip-Hop speaking to all of us; they spoke to me, they spoke to Buck, and they spoke to Jay

iHipHop.com: Do you think a lot more artists had the idea of making a stand against it?

KRS-One: It spoke to a lot of other people, but they probably didn’t have the courage to put this record out, because it was going against what appeared to be the norm at the time… A lot of artists say they don’t give a f*ck, and be like, “I don’t give a f*ck I’m going to make that song!”

But the minute MTV is like, “Calm that sh* down,” they’re like “Okay, I’ll calm down.” Or the minute BET is like we don’t like, “We don’t like this sh*t,” they’ll be like, “What can I do to change it?” F*CK THAT!!! “Kick in the door, wavin’ the 4-4!!” This is how real Hip-Hop is…

Buckshot: Hip-Hop was created with the formula of kicking down the door… It was created with that formula of, “You’re going to hear us, like it or not.” So we went from that to what KRS was talking about…

iHipHop.com: I’ve talked to a lot of younger acts, and the majority of them all say that they feel as if the veterans don’t respect them for what they’re bringing to the culture. Do you think that’s a true statement?

KRS-One: I would say there is some truth to that, but it’s not across the board… Too many times the “so-called” elders of Hip-Hop/the old school have been a little harsh on the younger generation… But the criticism is coming from people themselves who are whack… A lot of these old school people who are criticizing the young; they themselves are whack…

krs-one-buckshot-alexander-richter-52_phixrThey ain’t got no rhymes or none of that, they ain’t DJ’ing nowhere, and they can’t even look at Biz Markie in the face… But if you look at old school cats who are doing sh*t, we ain’t got no problem with nobody… That’s why the young kids say things like, “Oh, them old cats are bitter.” But they’re right!

They ain’t getting no money, sh*t is f*cked up, but if you go ask Big Daddy Kane who’s touring right now what he thinks about the new cats, and he’ll say, “Wait a minute, I got three of them with me right now.”

Go ask Doug E. Fresh what he thinks; his sons are spitting lyrics CRAZY up in Harlem right now! Anybody who’s working and is relevant today, doesn’t really have that opinion, because you see what it really is… The people who have the negative opinion are whack anyway, and to be honest, y’all was whack when y’all was out…

If you were dope in ’86, then you’re dope in 2009, period! I can do no wrong in the United States, and in the minds of the young people… I have 13-year-olds coming up to me like, “I saw you on the Beef DVD’s!” “Do you really have a battle rhyme for everyone in the industry?!” You damn right I do!