Spun: Buck 65

By Brad Halasz

What would hip-hop be like in 1957? What would it be like for a rap artist to sing about Che Guevara, Chavez Ravine and the Kerouac era of beat poetry? One needn’t take heavy drugs to imagine such lunacy, but must instead crank up east coast hip hop artist Buck 65’s Situation. A conceptual look at the year 1957, Buck 65 uses his stripped down, beat-heavy loops and Tom Waits-esque lyrical style and voice to manifest life in that era.

Teaming up with producer/turntablist Scratch Bastid proves to be beneficial for Buck as he goes back to his old-school style of storytelling, something that was missing from his previous release–the too-out-there-for-radio Secret House Against the World. “Dang” and “1957” are Buck’s best offerings on Situation as they sum up the era in two, three-minute, pop-rap explosions.

Touching on police brutality, counterculture and changing landscapes, Buck 65 manages to successfully define a time he has no first-hand knowledge of. With his fresh look on the past, Situation could just as easily be about the societal woes of the present and will probably be relevant years from now, as well.

Leave a comment