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Who Gives A Buck?!

STRAIGHT OUTTA NASHVILLE, multiplatinum rapper Young Buck is so much more than a former member of 50 Cent’s G-Unit Posse. In fact, the controversial hip-hop star may be the leading voice of Southern rap. To celebrate the release of his bangin’ new CD, Buck the World, Hustler sat down with Young Buck to talk about bitches, loyalty, respect and why pimpin’ has never been easy.

HUSTLER: How do you feel about your place in the world of hip-hop today?

YOUNG BUCK: I think I’m in a good space. You know it’s been a struggle for me to get to where I’m at, and once I got here, I think I’m handling it the way you’re supposed to handle it. You know what I’m sayin’? I wasn’t one of those overnight success stories. For me, I’m movin’ a bit faster than the average artist has. Coming in the game with only one album out, and signing artists like C-Bo, I’m movin fast. Yeah!

You were hustling early on in Nashville at a very young age. Who guided you in the early days? The streets guided me. Honestly. There was no mentors to tell me to get into the music. The only mentors I had were influencing me to get money. Period. My whole life started off illegally. Drugs and thugs was the influence. Hustle this. Get this out. Then after motherfuckers started going to jail, and I was stuck out by myself, I took a look at what I was good at myself outside of the illegal. I discovered it was music. Then I started to make this a serious career.

Back in Nashville, did you ever have any girls working the streets for you? I’ve never worked my game that much to put the female on the street to have her hustle, but my pimping comes in a lot of different ways. I’ve had them bring me the bread, but I’ve never worked a girl on the block, on the corner, and made her get out there and get no money from that way. There is different levels of pimping in a sense. I think that’s what it is if you got a girl working the streets and you behind it.

Tennessee is almost the home of pimping. We originated pimpin’. Pimpin’ started in Memphis. Memphis stands for “Making Easy Money Pimpin’ Hos in Style.”We come from the old Cadillac and the gator boots. The pimpin’ thing is…(Buck takes a moment to light up)…you asked the right one for that, but I never worked them on the corner. I worked [them] everywhere else.

Tell us about the day you signed on with 50 Cent and G-Unit. I still remember every minute. I was sitting with my baby momma, and she was pregnant with my daughter, and I had just hit a bad, bad patch in the streets. A bad patch. I had lost everything without going to jail. So it was a bad lick, but it was good ’cause I still had my freedom. With the baby on the way, I had to downsize all my shit. So I’m in this one bedroom apartment watching TV. I [saw] Eminem. His video “Lose Yourself” was on TV, and I sat down in the middle of the floor and watched it Indian-style, and that ain’t me. I was mesmerized. After the video went off, I looked at my baby momma and said I’m gonna be right there next to that dude. Boom! Ten hours later I got a call from producer Sha Money, and he said, “Fiddy’s [50 Cent] is ready to go.”

Did you have to make a transition from the streets to the tour bus? You damn right!

What was the first big item you bought? I was still living in the projects, and the first thing I did when I got any big piece of money legally, I went and got my mother a house. You know what I’m sayin’?

G-Unit has a rep for pulling much groupie ass. Got any Backstage Betty stories for us? You all really gotta talk to [G-Unit cohort Lloyd] Banks for that. We done had females just bombard their way through security and strike out to running. We be sitting in the dressing room, just conversating on the show, and the door bust wide open. The females be yelling, “Oh, Buck! Oh, Banks!” We had some serious shit go down. A couple females one time came backstage. One of the entourage members had promised they could see Buck, or whatever, before they did the deed, and it didn’t go down like that. So instead of them being mad at him, they got mad at each other, and they started catfighting. We had one female we didn’t want to let on the bus, and she got mad and threw a fucking can at the window and busted our whole shit.We were overseas and had to ride around the rest of the tour with a broken fucking tour bus window. Crazy. (Buck lights up a second time.)

What are you smoking, Buck? That’s that real koosh too. That’s that O.G Kelly Koosh. You know what you smoke.

What kind of porn mags you got lying around the bus?

We be off into that black-men shit. You know we got to have the Hustler. If you ain’t got no fucking Hustler Magazine, you ain’t got shit. You all keep it poppin’ with that HUSTLER!

What’s your dream collaboration?

He’s already dead and gone—Tupac Shakur. I’ll do a record with him, but it will be on the other side when we work together.

There is a fierce loyalty in G-Unit. Where does that come from?

In the streets, loyalty and respect is all you need to survive. I was breeded from those two things. I’m loyal to everything I do. I have always chosen respect over money because I know that respect will make you the money.

Keith Valcourt

Photo Credit: Jonathan Mannion

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