Interview with Bukshot by Ravenlette Highlighting The Release of his New Album, “The Traverse” Release Date: May 18, 2015
photos courtesy of Bukshot and Mobstyle Music
photo by: Chery Bomb
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do an exclusive interview with Juggalo News, so that we can highlight your new album, The Traverse, and also to introduce any juggalos who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the wicked shit you spit.
photo by: Yadamedia
Let’s start with some introductory questions about you.
JuggaloNews: Where are you from?
JuggaloNews: How did you get involved in the music business? What made you decide that this is what you wanted to do for a living?
I literally just started out as a fan. That very first time I heard N.W.A. on cassette tape did it for me. Ice Cube, Eazy E, Dr. Dre, & MC Ren spitting that real, street, gangsta shit pulled me into this world and gave me the desire & inspiration to want to create and write my own music.
JuggaloNews: Your record label, Mobstyle Music, is a huge influence in the Underground scene in Louisville. How was it coming up in Louisville, and how do you think it has affected your music and style?
Coming up as a rap artist in Louisville was pretty tough in the beginning. When I first started rapping, there wasn’t hardly any other white rappers in the game, so the beginning years were extra hard for me because nobody wanted to take me serious. The Louisville hip-hop music scene has always been a mash up of many of the existing styles of rap music. A little down-south, a little mid-west, a little west coast, and even a little east coast. There’s not really a set sound for this area. Basically it was up to the actual artist to portray what style and kind of music he was representing, so it was really different for everyone that was from here.
JuggaloNews: Who are some of your biggest artistic influences, Underground or Mainstream?
My biggest influences when I first started out was definitely Ice Cube and Chuck D from Public Enemy. Back then that shit WAS Underground even though it was put up on a mainstream platform. Even though today, I still listen to Ice Cube and keep up with everything he’s putting out, I find myself inspired with artists like Tech N9ne, Madchild, & Jelly Roll. Those are three truly dope & talented emcees who have been grinding and putting it down for years, yet they keep developing themselves as artists as time goes by. Even though my music doesn’t follow the same path that theirs does, they all still inspire and influence me to keep my game up and to keep changing the way that people look at my music.
JuggaloNews: Not long ago, you, Boondox, and Claas formed a group called the Underground Avengers. How did that come about, and what was it like working with them?
It was cool back then, now times have changed and the game has changed with it. We were never a group set in stone to stay a group, we were just 3 separate artists & rappers who decided to put a project together for the underground. It was a dope project when it was released, but since then, I have just pushed forward in concentrating on my solo endeavors. Dirty (Boondox) and I have still made it a point to work on music together outside of our solo projects, but that’s pretty much where it is now.
JuggaloNews: Do the Underground Avengers have any plans for any new projects?
JuggaloNews: You have had an amazing solo career as well, releasing several albums on the Mobstyle Music label. Can you discuss some of your previous albums, and list a few favorites that you would recommend to introduce to anyone to introduce them to your sound and flow?
I have released many studio albums since I jumped into the music game starting with my first album, Welcome To The Ville, that I released in 1997. But if I really wanted to recommend an album to a listener to introduce to them what I am about, I would have to say Helter Skelter. That album is definitely more of my darker stuff but I just feel like the energy and character that CD gives off is a perfect taste to give any future potential listener, of who and what Bukshot is about. I feel like my newest projects, the Traverse and Nightmare Hall, continue those same feelings in their own ways, but to me, Helter Skelter is a perfect jump off album for anyone trying to decide if my music is something they could possibly get into.
JuggaloNews: You have previously performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos. Did you enjoy it, and do you have any special memories you would like to share with the Juggalos about it?
I absolutely LOVE The Gathering Of The Juggalos! I swear that’s one of the events that I look forward to the most every year! I’ve performed the last 3 Gatherings in a row and I tell myself every year that I will NEVER miss one and I mean that! To me, the GOTJ is like the Woodstock of Underground rap music! It’s that one event every year that I go to, knowing that I am going to have a blast with all of my underground fans & supporters with NO DRAMA WHATSOEVER! I swear we’re all like one big family there! I get to go there and see & hang out with all the other artists who are my homies and the artists that I work on a music level with every year! My biggest memory to me was my very first Gathering in 2012 at Cave-In-Rock. I had like a 2 a.m. performance spot on the 2nd stage and I remember how nervous I was because my homie Bubba Sparxxx told me what happened one year at a Gathering for him, and I sure as hell didn’t want that happening to me! lol I remember when I first walked out on stage, seeing a whole sea of fans out in the crowd and it blew my mind to see how many people knew my music and how much love and support they were showing me! It’s been a love story to me ever since.
JuggaloNews: What was your overall impression of the Gathering? Did anything specific stand out in your mind?
I just think it’s awe-inspiring to see thousands of Juggalo’s in one campground, all getting along, and showing love and support for all of their favorite underground artists for 4 days! That is the shit to me! I don’t care what anybody says, there is nothing, nor will there be anything ever again, quite like the GOTJ! There’s definitely been a special place in my heart for it every year and I swear, every year when we’re leaving the Gathering, I always say “I already can’t wait till next year!”
JuggaloNews: Are you planning on performing at the Gathering this year, if you are allowed to discuss that, and if you are allowed to discuss it, what can Juggalos look forward to hearing from you this year? If you aren’t allowed to discuss it, can you give us any hints? Do you have plans to attend this year?
I can go on record and say that I will NOT be performing at the GOTJ this year, however, you can rest assured I will be at the Gathering this year to promote the release of my 2 newest projects, The Traverse and Nightmare Hall. We will actually have our mobile Butcher Shop trailer there this year for all of our fans who look forward to getting up on all of our latest music & merch! Before anybody decides to jump to conclusions and come up with their own assumptions, just because I’m not performing doesn’t mean there’s some underlying issues between the powers that be and I. Just because an artist isn’t booked to perform there, doesn’t mean anything at all, it just means that we didn’t get booked to perform. The people who book the GOTJ have to keep things new and fresh and keep switching it up to make the event the best possible event it can be. Artists and fans alike need to understand that. It’s not personal at all if certain artists don’t get booked, there’s only a certain amount of performance slots, and hell, they can’t book everybody! lol I stay in touch with the “powers that be” and we have great communication. I tip my hats off to those guys for keeping this Gathering monster going this long! They have had a truly epic run, and in my opinion, no signs of slowing up! I’m actually looking forward to taking a year off and just going out there and hanging with the fans & supporters and promoting these 2 new projects we have! That’s how real hustlers grind! We gotta keep the oil in the engine to keep it running effectively and smoothly. Does that put me beneath everyone else? Hell no! I’ve got to where I am now from grinding and hustling and I’m in it too deep to slow up now! I’ll see you fools out there in July!
Now, let’s get down to the reason we are here.
JuggaloNews: You have a new album dropping, The Traverse. Is that being released under the Mobstyle Music label?
Yes it is.
JuggaloNews: You have some special guests that you collaborated with on this album. How did you end up selecting the people that you did to work with on this album?
In all honesty, I love working with other artists! Collaborating with other artists that I am a fan of is always an inspiring experience! With The Traverse, I felt like there were a lot of artists that I could have made some amazing songs with, but to me, The Traverse is such a deep and personal project, I felt like I just mainly reached out to the artists who I am the closest with. I know a ton of artists that I am very close with and consider very close homies, but with the people I chose to work with on The Traverse – Jelly Roll, Boondox, Crucifix, Vito Banga of Nappy Roots, Acie High of Aqualeo, Demi – those guys are like real life friends! Those guys are my brothers, in and outside of this music! After everything was all said and done, the finished product was truly amazing and a blast to create with those artists! I consider them all family!
JuggaloNews: What were your influences on this album? Any particular tracks that stand out to you as a favorite?
In all actuality, I have been working on my upcoming solo project Weirdo for several years now and that was supposed to be my next release. In the process of trying to finish up that album, my mind derailed and steered off the course and The Traverse was born! It wasn’t planned out or anything, it just happened! If you pay close attention to the actual intro on the project, it explains what happened to me during the process of creating Weirdo and then be thrown off the path and into another realm of music! My mind literally went into a different place! The first song is called Temple Of The Madman, which is probably my favorite song along with Letter To Myself, which is a very deep and dark song. That song is very special to me because it is the very first song that I actually (attempted lol) to sing on in my career! I was very pleased with the results and I hope the fans are as well!
JuggaloNews: How long did production take on this album?
I finished this project up in about 4 months total, front to back. It was definitely a long process.
JuggaloNews: You also did a limited edition EP, Nightmare Hall, that you released with this album. How did that come about, how did you select the people that you collaborated with on the bonus album tracks, and of course for all the Twiztid fans out there, what was it like working with Madrox and Monoxide?
Nightmare Hall was an EP created out of madness – literally! I don’t have the time to get into right now, but that project was its own possessed monster from the beginning, taking on many forms before the smoke cleared and it revealed itself for what it is. For those who don’t know me, I am a huge conspiracy theorist. I read crazy articles about aliens, government cover-ups, UFO’s, Illuminati & Masons, and all the above. That is where the title and cover art idea came from. There is a LOT of symbolism throughout the entire artwork on this project. I’m sure if you really pay attention to the actual cover, there’s a lot of stuff you can see that you probably wouldn’t have if you weren’t paying close attention. There have been certain existing symbols that were taken and manipulated for my own personal beliefs and reasons for the actual CD cover. Even on the inside of the CD artwork, there is an actual photo of a full blown Illuminati ceremony. Pretty fucking creepy picture if you ask me and I’ve had many people say that to me as well after they saw it. The whole project isn’t really speaking about that topic, it was just a dope theme I wanted to roll with because it is something that is REAL and it’s something that I believe in and wanted to share with the rest of the world. The actual song Nightmare Hall, which is the last song on the EP, is actually talking about all that weird, crazy conspiracy shit, but the rest of the CD just has some really dope songs on it! Originally, I was going to have a song on there with Madchild, but due to his crazy schedule being back and forth between Los Angeles and Vancouver, we just couldn’t seem to pull it off like we thought we could. End result, Madchild is for sure gonna be on my upcoming Weirdo album and I put a last second play in to my homie Stevie Stone and he came through in the clutch for me! I let Stevie hear the beat and he flipped off of it! Stevie is my dawg! Him and I worked together on my Helter Skelter project and have been close homies ever since. He came through when I needed him and put the heat down on the gangster anthem “Yeah” with my homie A.Lee and it turned out to be a banger! On another page, the song “Freak Show” I did with Twiztid was a whole other story. Originally, we recorded that song for my Weirdo album. But as I was finishing up Nightmare Hall, I felt like the EP was screaming for Freak Show to be on it. Paul and Jamie KILLED their verses and we all came together on the hook and just turned out one of the dopest collaborations of the underground for 2015! Michael “Seven” Summers produced that track and I’ve always felt since day one that there was something special about that song and now after listening to Nightmare Hall, Freak Show was definitely meant to be on it! If you are a fan of Twiztid as well as dark, sinister music, this song is for you and I don’y think you will be disappointed! One last note, it wasn’t by coincidence that the intro was narrated by Priceless either. Acie & Priceless of Aqualeo and I have been homies for many years now. We worked together on my Helter Skelter project as well as they came through and made a cameo in my Jason Mask video. We also went on the Wormwood Tour together, and after being on the road for a few months in the same vehicle, I definitely always want to include them in some sort of way with my future music. Priceless and I both share a lot of the same views when it comes to the conspiracy theory topic, so who better to narrate the intro for a project built around the idea?! I thought it was a dope idea to have him do the intro for Nightmare Hall and then have Acie High do the intro for The Traverse! The end result was perfect, having them split up between both projects and I thought both intros completely set the tone for the rest of both CDs.
JuggaloNews: You did a preorder special with this album that included a tons of bonus flavor if you were one of the lucky people managed to get in on it. For the people who missed out, is there any way for them to still get there hands on the bonus flavor, or did they just get the bone and they missed out?
For the pre-order special for The Traverse, we offered a FREE limited edition bandana if you just pre-ordered the CD by itself. We also had another pre-order package called the Machete & Shotgun package, which came with The Traverse, the bandana, a new t-shirt design with the logo from the front of the Nightmare Hall design on it, as well as a bonus copy of the Nightmare Hall EP! The bandana was a limited edition, strictly for the pre-order, so we will never offer that again, but as far as the t-shirt, you never know! If we get enough people asking about them, we may do another run, but as of right now, we only ordered as many shirts as we needed to fill the pre-orders. The Traverse CD, as well as Nightmare Hall CD, can be ordered from our website www.mobstylemusic.com as well as digitally on iTunes or everywhere on the web where digital songs are sold.
JuggaloNews: Where can fans go to purchase your new album?
On our website, here is the direct link: http://www.mobstylemusic.com/shop/index.php?route=product/category&path=69 You can order both of the new CD’s here as well as every other CD and other merch that we have to offer.
JuggaloNews: What about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the million other social media sites? Where can fans find you?
My Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages can all be found if you search them /bukshizzle
JuggaloNews: Are there any new projects in the works that you can tell us about? Any new albums, tours, or meet and greets that people can come out to and check you out?
I am currently working on and finishing up my new album Weirdo. The entire project was produced by Michael “Seven” Summers and it features all brand new tracks including songs with: Tech N9ne, Violent J, Rittz, Madchild, Jelly Roll, Boondox, Lil Wyte, Bubba Sparxxx, Twisted Insane, Stevie Stone, Krizz Kaliko, Crucifix, Demi, and a few more surprises!
JuggaloNews: Any last thoughts you would like to share with the juggalos that you think they should know about Bukshot?
I actually would like to go off course a little bit here and explain something. I’ve seen a few people here and there make comments about me like “Where the hell did Bukshot come from? He wasn’t repping us 8 years ago. It just seems like lately he’s been coming around and exploiting Juggalos.” I could see how some people could raise these questions but let me give you a little bit of background on who I am and where I came from. Since my very first album, I’ve only made the music that I want to make and put out. It’s ALWAYS been hardcore, gritty, street, gangster music with dark overtones – since day one, and that is a huge reason that Juggalos have been drawn to my music. I don’t make music to try to cater or exploit any group of people or fans. I’ve always created the music that I wanted to create. For years, I’ve had Juggalos coming to my shows and functions because they FEEL my music and what I do. Not a huge influx of Juggalos, but always enough of them that they were always on my radar and I’ve always respected them for who they are and what they represent. I have been listening, buying, and supporting ICP music since Ringmaster. One of my best friends Big Shawn, who is a homie I used to gang bang with when we were younger, is from Saginaw, MI. and he turned me onto the Clowns back in the day and I’ve been a huge fan since! Juggalos have been holding me down for years and I have been holding them down likewise! In 2012, I was invited to play my first GOTJ and the rest is history! After that, I realized how many Lo’s had love for me and supported my music and I vowed to remain in that loop until the day! Just because I don’t paint my face and rap about the same exact things as ICP, doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own story to tell that Juggalos will feel, love, and relate to. It was my music from the start that drew them in to my world to begin with and now that I have such an amazing support system from Juggalos, why wouldn’t I want to continue making music for them that they can relate to and appreciate as well? I must have made some sort of an impact with these kick ass people, because since then, I have performed 3 Gatherings, I recorded the Underground Avengers project with Boondox, I was featured on Twiztid’s A New Nightmare CD, and I have Boondox & Twiztid featured on The Traverse & Nightmare Hall projects as well as a super sick banger with Violent J on my upcoming Weirdo album! Juggalos have accepted me with open arms and have shown me NOTHING but love and for that I am forever grateful and I will always continue to hold down the wicked underground with everything I do! I am a huge CD collector and have been since 1992. I have between 4-5000 CDs in my collection, and I will say that my Psychopathic Records and related CDs I have in my collection, is probably one of the biggest ones out there! No lie! I will go on the record and say that my wicked underground collection is probably one of the most massive CD collections out there period! CD collecting is definitely one of my passions, especially when it comes to the wicked underground!
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us about your new album, and what is coming up for Bukshot. We are looking forward to seeing and hearing more from you soon! Much love from Juggalo News!
photo by: Yadamedia