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BeatTips Top 30 Beatmakers of All Time: Buckwild

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#20 – Buckwild

By AMIR SAID (SA’ID)

Buckwild. One of the main beatmakers of the Pioneers/Avant Garde period, a D.I.T.C. crew member, and one the most well respected beatmakers of all time.

Buckwild came on the scene ca. 1994, during the tail-end of hip hop/rap’s second Golden era. Prior to that, he was a South Bronx DJ (In my interview with Buckwild in The BeatTips Manual), Buck offers a lot of insight about his process and help DJ’ing helped him mold it). Staring with the song “Time’s Up,” O.C.s wake-up call to the hip hoppers who had strayed far away from the essence of rap music, Buck established himself as a serious beatmaker with skill and depth. Over the next 11 years, Buck made the beats for some of the most memorable and well-known hip hop/rap songs of all time. From O.C. to AZ, Nas to The Game, 50 Cent to Black Rob; all of Buckwild’s beats always stay true to his sound and, more importantly, his love for hip hop/rap music. His comprehensive grasp of hip hop/rap music and the hip hop/rap production movement is incredible.

True to the mantra and namesake of his crew D.I.T.C. (Diggin’ In The Crates), Buckwild was a master digger. For those not yet fully indoctrinated into the history of the art of beatmaking, the new art that was cultivated from the process of diggin’t in the crates is entirely the invention of hip hop/rap music. And in this field, Buck’s penchant for diggin’ is one of the main reasons that propelled him to prominence in the beatmaking tradition.

But diggin’ in the crates is only one part of the equation. In order to excel as a sample-based beatmaker who uses other songs as source material, a beatmaker must have keen interpretation skills (i.e. the ability to identify how a sample can be used) and technical skills, chopping and drum programming being of the utmost importance. Buck was/is a master in both respects. His early style and sound featured drums that were at times way out front, punchy, and knocking; at other times, subtle and quite tucked. Such variance in drum programming points to Buck’s deep understanding in this area. (Note: One problem that plagues many sample-based beatmakers today is that they try to force the same drum signature for every beat that they make. Advice: Never force any drum signature. Instead, arrange drums that fit the scope of the primary samples being used.)

The music and videos below are presented here for the purpose of scholarship.

Buckwild Beats (Songs) Recommended for Study:

SPECIAL STUDY NOTE: Listen to the entire Word…Life album (O.C.) straight through, no interruptions. The album isn’t just a hip hop/rap classic, it’s one of the best of examples of style and sound of beatmaking personified early 1990s New York hip hop/rap . And as far as beats are concerned, Buckwild’s work on the album helps to pioneer and establish a lot of what would become essential beatmaking standards.

“Born 2 Live” – O.C. beat by Buckwild

“Far From Yours” – O.C. feat. Yvette Michelle beat by Buckwild

“Walk on By” – Fat Joe feat. Charlie Baltimore beat by Buckwild

“Masta I.C.” – Mic Geronimo feat. Royal Flush beat Buckwild

“Soul to Keep” – O.C. beat by Buckwild

“What You Think of That” – Memphis Bleek feat. Jay-Z beat by Buckwild

“Da Graveyard” – Big L feat. Lord Finesse, Party Arty, Jay-Z, Grand Daddy I.U., and Microphone Nut beat by Buckwild

“These Are Our Heroes” – Nas beat by Buckwild

“Time’s Up” – O.C. beat by Buckwild

“Ho Happy Jackie” – AZ beat by Buckwild

“You Wouldn’t Understand” – Nas feat. Victoria Monet beat by Buckwild

“Another Story to Tell” – Mase beat by Buckwild

“Bonafide” – O.C. feat. Jay-Z beat by Buckwild

“Put it On” – Big L feat. Kid Capri beat by Buckwild

“Mad Ammo” – Celph Titled & Buckwild feat. F.T. & R.A. The Rugged Man beat by Buckwild

“Train of Thought” – Mic Geronimo beat by Buckwild

“Danger Zone” – Big L beat by Buckwild

“Neva Die Alone” – Capone-N-Noreaga feat. Tragedy Khadafi beat by Buckwild

“There Will Be Blood” – Celph Titled & Buckwild feat. Sadat X, Grand Puba, A.G., O.C., and Diamond D beat by Buckwild

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About Author

Amir Said (aka Sa’id) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BeatTips. A writer, publisher, and beatmaker/rapper from New York, Said is the author of a number of books, including ‘The BeatTips Manual,’ ‘The Art of Sampling,’ ‘Ghetto Brother,’ and ‘The Truth About New York.’ He is also a recording artist with a number of music projects, including his latest album ‘The Best of Times.’ Follow him on Twitter at: @amirsaid and @BeatTipsManual