Influenced by the iconic rap scene of the 90s, as well by vintage Motown and funk.
Hailing from Virginia, Bucky Dolla is a hip-hop artist with a unique approach and with a refreshingly humble attitude. His blend of hip-hop is direct, honest and real – an answer to his struggles through life. Influenced by the iconic rap scene of the 90s, as well by vintage Motown and funk, Bucky Dollar embodies the idealism and energy of a true MC, but he also embraces all the possibilities offered by the modern approach to music production. Bucky Dolla gave us some insight into his world with this exclusive interview.
- How long have you been in the music game and how did you get started in the first place?
Bucky Dolla: I’ve been doing this music shit I was in fourth grade, but i didn’t start actually recording and taking it serious till i was like 16-17. I started out just rapping amongst my friends at school and around the way. I use to battle niggaz at school during lunchtime n shit, so i started gettin my name out b/c of that. Once i met my nigga M-Burb, we just clicked and it was history after that
- Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Bucky Dolla: Man i got so many! My dad was a dj so we came up on maddddddd different shit. I would have to say the whole Motown movement really inspired me when i was younger. My pops was from that era so thats all he used to listen to, and since he was a dj he had to master each one of these records so he’d have to play that back over and over and over, shit used 2 get on my damn nerves! But with him doing that, it really made me appreciate the genius that era brought to this music game.
- Which artists are you currently listening to? And is there anyone of these that you’d like to collaborate with?
Bucky Dolla: I can’t front, as far as music I’m still stuck in the 90s with it. I like to listen to classic shit b/c that’s what I’m trying to make. So in order to make a classic you have to study other classics. So im listening to Jay-Z, DMX, Bone Thugs, Biggie, 2Pac, Outkast. Shit I wanna work with all of ‘em!
- Have you suffered any ‘resistance’ or skepticism from within the industry, and if so how have you handled that?
Bucky Dolla: I think every artist in their career has faced resistance and skepticism on the way, but to me that’s what either makes you or breaks you. You either gonna keep pushin with it no matter what they say or try to throw in front of you or you gonna let it cripple you. Choice is yours.
- Do you consider video an important part in promoting and marketing your music?
Bucky Dolla: Definitely. Music Videos let you further push the envelopes of creativity with the music. Not only are people being able to hear you what d fuck you talking about and hear your vision, they’re also able to see it and further grasp what your vision is.
- Studio work or performing live in front of an audience, which of these do you prefer most and why?
Bucky Dolla: There’s nothing like performing live in front of your fans to me. It’s just a rush, all that studio shit is practice for the big shows. Your finally able to show the world why you were meant to do this shit.
- Tell us something about the lyrics, beats and music production on your releases. How much of this do you create and do you work with other Producers?
Bucky Dolla: I do everything except make beats. And even with that, when I link up with a producer, I already know how I want the beat to sound. I like to work with a lot of different producers, if ya shit hot im fuckin with ya! Definantly a cool nigga so I need some smooth, melodic type production.
- On which of your songs do you think you delivered your personal best performance so far, from an emotional and technical point of view?
Bucky Dolla: I feel like The Initiation is one of my most emotional and most symbolic to date. With everything that’s going on with the black community I just feel like it was only right to make a song that stood for that. It basically takes you into the mind of a young black male in today’s society. How we feel and what’s really on our minds. I listen to that shit every day.
- Which ingredient do you think makes you special and unique as a performing artist in a genre overflowing with new faces and ideas?
Bucky Dolla: I’m not trying to fit in, that’s what I think makes me unique right now. Everybody’s mimicing the same formula, there’s no creativity anymore. Everything I do musically is me straight up, no fabrication, no trying to be somebody I’m not, its just me. I make the music I like to ride and listen to. When you listen to my music you can tell its real and it comes from the soul, none of this bullshit their selling you nowadays.
- If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion or pride and why?
Bucky Dolla: The passion is what drives me. I love this music shit with a passion, more than any dollar amount. This shit literally in my veins, so no matter what bullshit i face with it, I’ll always continue to make music.
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
Bucky Dolla: I love the grind straight up. There’s nothing like it. You are your own business, so you gotta act as such. There’s so much that goes into that it can also be the most discouraging as well. It’s a gift and a curse, but in the end it’s all worth it. As my homie Alezzy always says, Hard Work Pays Off.
- Tell us something about your songwriting process. What usually comes first the lyrics or the beats?
Bucky Dolla: I do a lot of writing without beats, and after I’m done writing I’ll go find the right beat for the lyrics. Shit just comes to me randomly, so theres no specific process to how I write my music. It’s real organic
- How involved are you in any or all of the recording, producing, mastering, and marketing processes of your music. Do you outsource any of these processes?
Bucky Dolla: I’m very hands on so I’m involved in everything. We don’t do middlemen, we get straight to the point. Everything up to this point has been me and my team. As we start to get more and more we’ll definantly have to consider outsourcing certain tasks, but like i said we hands on with it, so we in on everything thats going on.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Bucky Dolla: Best advice was make ya money work for you. Don’t jump at everything, do your due dilligence and research what you paying for. Make the most out of each dollar, and make sure your investments are smart. You can be known as the person who invested smartly and got ahead with each investment, or you could be known as the person who just spends bread for nothing. One I didn’t follow which i should have was to nurture relationships. I really came into it like fuck everybody I’ll do it own my own. In reality, you can’t be like that with EVERYBODY. We built up a bad reputation with that attitude at first to to the point we started getting banned from the places we performed b/c of all the trouble we brought. But now that Im older i realize you have to really keep your eyes on the prize. You don’t want to burn your bridges b/c you never know when you’ll have to come across them again.
- At this point, as an independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit the your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live gigs etc…)?
Bucky Dolla: Once the world gets a hold of what we’re trying to do I feel like it’ll be over. The product is just too good to deny. The world just hasnt caught on yet, but they will.
- Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre “copy-and-paste” artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Bucky Dolla: I think it’s a little bit of both. It has definitely been extremely instrumental to the rise of independent music, but at the same time it has made it harder for artists due to the massive amount of bullshit out there nowadays. But hey, gotta take the good with the bad.
- Could you tell us something about your latest single, album or mixtape release and where fans can find it?
Bucky Dolla: My latest mixtape Kings Amongst Pawns is available on DatPiff, Soundcloud, NoiseTrade, Spinrilla, and AudioMack. Go get that shit and tell ya moms about it lol.
- Which song (or songs) in your mixtape best describes the sound and style you ultimately prefer and why?
Bucky Dolla: I would have to say Vices, that song is exactly the way I want everybody to feel. Smooth, laid back genuine music to ride out to.
- What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie hiphop artist, in your quest to achieve your goals and wider spread success?
Bucky Dolla:The hate. With everything great comes hate, so you can’t let that get to you. To me, that’s just the devil tryna hold me back from my purpose.
- What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?
Bucky Dolla: Give up my creative control. I refuse to be put into a box. I came this far doing things as I see fit so theres no reason for me to give that up just for success. My music is organic and thats why i feel people gravitate to me. I wont be confined by anybody, Ima do the music that i want to make, straight up.