Buckshot Credits Sean Price For Saving Duck Down & Taking Over Boot Camp Clik (Video)
Whether solo, or as part of Heltah Skeltah or Random Axe, Sean Price would release all of his albums with Duck Down Music. The label founded by Black Moon’s Buckshot and manager Dru Ha would launch with the release of 1996’s Nocturnal album by Sean Price (as Ruck) and Rockness Monstah. The LP would be a Top 40 debut featuring appearances by Boot Camp Clik members and production by Da Beatminerz, Lord Jamar, and Tha Alkaholiks’ E-Swift. For nearly 20 years, Sean would release 10 albums with the Manhattan-based imprint—in addition to mixtapes, compilations, and a barrage of la carte singles.
In an interview with Vlad TV, Buckshot explains how Sean Price saved the independent label around its 10-year mark. In early 2005, Sean would use his government name instead of Ruck, and began a solo campaign with low-profile LP Monkey Barz. “[Sean Price] saved us; I’m just gonna give it to you real simple and plain. [Duck Down Music] was near done. Financially, we was close to the red button. [We were also stagnated] artist-wise, the records, this, that, the audience. [We had] maxed out the whole ‘Yo, real Hip-Hop, man!’ [message]. Then Ruck just came and flipped a style and lyrics. I became a fan of Ruck—I always was a fan of him, but I became a fan of that Ruck. I always tell that story of how, from that point, Duck Down actually came back.”
While 2005’s Monkey Barz was not an immediate commercial success, it pivoted the label during its “triple threat” 10th anniversary. At that time, Duck Down had not released an album to the Top 200 charts since 1999’s The M-Pire Shrikez Back album by O.G.C. Sean Price’s 2007 sophomore follow-up, Jesus Price Supastar would bring the label back to the highly-recognized Pop charts. In the days that follow, the label would release Top 200 projects by KRS-One & Buckshot, Skyzoo, and Cypress Hill’s B-Real.
Buckshot explained how Sean’s new music methodology would help a label once rooted in vinyl and CD adapt to the digital age. “Ruck started releasing a slew of records—just records, records, records, records, records! He had that concept. Whereas, before, it would be this whole mystical, magical, be-in-the-studio-for-X-amount-of-time and wait for it to drop, [and build] anticipation. He’s like, ‘Later for all that, I’m droppin’ verse-after-verse-after-verse.’ Because of that, it did—it saved us. From there he [brought] 9th Wonder [to the fold]. From that point, we started flowin’ again.” 9th Wonder, who was with Little Brother at the time, produced “Heartburn” for Monkey Barz. He would become an instrumental part of the label once sonically focused around Da Beatminerz. 9th would release three joint albums with Buckshot, as well as merge several Jamla Records releases with the imprint.
Around the time Sean Price saved the indie label, he also took the symbolic and creative reigns of Boot Camp Clik. The eight-man Brooklyn, New York collective had formed in the early 1990s, around albums by Black Moon and Smif-n-Wessun (who introduced Sean Price). Buckshot, the first MC to release an album and co-found Duck Down, was previously the leader. “It influenced us because from that point, [the rest of Boot Camp Clik] had to play the back. In [‘Bar-Barian’]—everybody said it, but in one of the joints, he [rapped] ‘Sean Price, yeah leader of the Boot Camp Clik now.’ When he said that it was real. It was true. It didn’t matter what people [thought about] Buckshot. Like, no. Hey, my mind-frame…it’s a whole other position how we move. But Ruck became the leader of Boot Camp Clik because he was finding ways to dig holes for us to come through [to] come back.” Sean would feature all Boot Camp members besides Originoo Gunn Clappaz member Top Dog on his solo discography.
Photograph from Buckshot’s Instagram.
Boot Camp Clik released four albums and three compilations. 2007’s Casualties Of War was B.C.C.’s last release. Sean worked on all of the albums.
Elsewhere in the interview, Buckshot recalls the chain of events following Sean’s 2015 death, a grabbing album billboard in Los Angeles, California, and more.