Everybody wanna know who 50 done signed/ And who he is, what he 'bout, where he from, can he rhyme/ Is he real, is he fake, is he true, is he lyin'/Did this Young Buck really get shot two times?
That you've only been hearing about 23-year-old David "Young Buck" Brown for a little over a year has its roots in many different grounds, but lack of determination is not one of them. "I been doing music my whole life," says the Nashville, Tennessee native. "I started rapping when I was about 12 or 13, just playing around with it. Around the age of 14, 15, I was in the studio, serious about it."
But Young Buck also had two feet in the streets, peddling street narcotics in his early teens. "I was the youngest n---- in the field," he recalls. "There's really no age limit when you out there in those streets. I was out there doing grown man sh--." The older hustlers--more specifically one now-incarcerated OG named Priest who was especially close with Buck-would chide him due to his youth. "Sit your young a-- down," they'd say. "Pay attention, you young buck motherf---er." It wasn't long before "Young Buck" became a term of endearment as well as name.
When Buck was 16, he got word that New Orleans' Cash Money rap troupe was recording in his town and scored a chance to perform for the label's CEO, Brian "Baby" Williams, who had him prove his worth by engaging in verbal combat against Cash Money's baby gangsters, including future Hot Boy Lil' Wayne. Buck's performance was so impressive that Williams offered him the chance to become part of the Cash Money stable. Buck accepted, dropping out of high school and relocating to New Orleans for the next four years.
The year was 1997 and the Cash Money Millionaires were a few diamonds away from being the bling kings they are today. "We all lived in a little bitty apartment," recalls Buck. "Everybody was in struggle, in the grind trying to make it. I was young and felt like it was opportunity 'cause they were moving units back then on the underground scene. You could see the potential of them becoming something. I felt like if I wasn't around, maybe my shot would be gone."
Buck dedicated himself to the development of the crew, going as far as to secure props for the label's breakthrough moment, the 1999 video for Juvenile's "Ha," which was shot in the young rhymer's hometown. "The people I used to have around me from Nashville was showing love to the Cash Money clique on the strength of Buck trying to make it; making sure Buck gets to where he gots to go. We provided the cars you see in that video: the yellow Ferrari, the blue Jaguar. Things wasn't all the way right for Cash Money around that time and we respected that. We were blessed to have a little something so we added to their finesse in the beginning."
But after about 4 years of waiting on the Cash Money bench, Buck decided to return home. "I came back to the hood and got in those streets and started doing whatever it took for me to provide," he confesses. "I had lost so much time. Financially, I was brand new. I was on some other sh-- out there trying to get that bread. But you reap what you sow. At the same time I was out there doing my thing, there was another motherf---er who felt like he could come and do his thing to me. That's exactly how it happened. Motherf---er come kick in my door, 4, 5 in the morning. I was laying in the middle of the floor. He came standing on top of me with AK or a Mac something. I ain't had no gun so I got my a-- off the floor and ran towards the kitchen. It just so happen one of my homeboys, he was awake, he pushed the guy back up out the door. I got shot twice. One of them damned near blew my arm off and another caught me in my upper leg, in my thigh. I had so much illegal sh-- in the house at the time I rode around for 45 minutes to an hour before I even went to the hospital. I damned near lost my life from bleeding so much."
But Buck had also been pushing hard in the studio and, along with childhood friend D-Tay, released an independent LP, Thuggin' Til The End. Though the record didn't sell many units, Buck gained invaluable experience-especially when he tried to get out of his one-sided contract. "I was young and so eager to make some money as well as get exposed and show my talent," admits Buck. "When I started looking for other opportunities, I realized this dude had paperwork on me that was holding me. I felt like, 'Let me get up offa this here.' He kinda didn't want to make it happen at the time, but we wound up working it out."
Buck's next opportunity came when Baby Williams called him, inviting him back into the Cash Money fold as part of a new group he was putting together. When Buck arrived at the offices, he saw that the label's fortunes had vastly improved. But after about a week of sitting around the office and not running into any of the recording roster, he felt that he was just sitting on a more comfortable bench. "I was ready to get out of there when Juvenile stopped by the office," says Buck. Juvenile, who at the time was having contractual issues with Cash Money's principals, offered Buck a chance to join up in his new venture, UTP Records. "Juvenile was like, 'I can't promise you nothing, but at least you'll be out on something that'll be heard.' I made my decision from there. I had Juvey take me to grab my luggage and I struck out on the road with him and started recording songs. In the first 3 days I did about 11 songs."
Buck was living and recording music out of Juvenile's tour bus when UTP met up with 50 Cent and his G Unit crew in New York City. A freestyle session led to some group collaborations, most notably the street hit, "A Little Bit of Everything." "It was like an honor thing for me to meet 50 cause I respected his whole story. I was a fan of the n---- before I even became an artist under his Unit. We started vibing from the beginning. We left on a note of, 'Yo, if this rap situation happens for me or it happens for you, we're both gonna holla at each other.' And through the grace of God, it started taking off for 50. And he came back, like, 'I told you.' Juvenile had always told me, 'If an opportunity comes, take it. I'm doing what I can do, but if it's something that's gonna help you better, do it.'"
Young Buck's first G Unit appearance came when 50 Cent took "Bloodhound," a Buck solo effort he enjoyed from their first meeting, turned it into a duet and placed it on 50's record breaking debut, Get Rich Or Die Tryin.' Last year, the G Unit released Beg For Mercy, which has sold well over 2 million copies to date. Next up for Young Buck is his solo debut, Straight Outta Cashville.
"I got the name from N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton," says Buck. "Straight Outta Cashville speaks for itself. It tells you my way of living up on to this day. I want the world to get a feel of me, showing them the way I am and the way I get down."
Straight Outta Cashville features production from Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Lil' Jon with appearances by G Unit's 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks as well as Southern hip-hop heavyweights T.I., Lil' Flip and David Banner. "With me being form the South, I wanted to make this album like a G Unit South'," says Young Buck. "It's all the way street. You won't really get a lot of the mainstream, lovey-dovey side because that wasn't a part of my life in the beginning. Straight Outta Cashville is just a lot of headbusters."
--- from the official Young Buck website