BUCK 65 Can’t Spare A Dollar


Alt-rapper Buck 65’s latest single was an oddly embarrassing move from an artist whose reputation rests on abstract lyricism and 20 years of continual musical evolution. The thing is, the song is so blatantly garish that Buck 65 fans should know better than to take it at face value, as AUGUSTUS WELBY confirms.

Super Pretty Naughty, the lead single from Buck 65’s new LP Neverlove,is the most vanilla thing the Canadian alt-rapper has ever released. The music video finds Buck (AKA Richard Terfry) feigning cool, wearing shiny bling and obnoxious sunglasses while hordes of women cavort around him. Meanwhile, the song’s chorus features the refrain “I wanna get messed up and get laid and cake on my birthday,” spoken over a pedestrian pop/EDM arrangement.

“I guess it’s pretty obvious to anyone that it’s not meant to be taken seriously,” Terfry says. “It was really just a way to kill an afternoon and get my mind off some heavy things. So it was meant primarily as something to make myself and my producer laugh.”

Ever since Terfry’s low-key career beginnings in Canada’s Nova Scotia precinct back in the mid-’90s, he’s never inclined towards what’s in fashion. It’s thus interesting to note that Super Pretty Naughty wasn’t simply issued as a joke. Rather, it’s an official single, which sits bang in the centre of Neverlove’s track sequence.

“There wasn’t the intent to include it on the album at all when it was first made,” Terfry says. “To be honest, I was really bracing myself for people to say how much they hate it. I put a post up on Facebook sort of apologising for the song and waiting for the backlash, but it didn’t really come.”

Similar to Super Pretty Naughty’,the remainder of the record was conceived as a means of fending off encroaching mental demons. However, the single’s 2D hedonism is completely at odds with Neverlove’s primary thematic concerns.

“It’s a divorce record, it’s pretty gloomy,” Terfry explains. “The first song that I wrote for the record was Baby Blanket.It’s an unbelievably heavy song that even I have a hard time listening to myself right now. One day I played it to the president of my record label and he said, ‘That makes me extremely uncomfortable to listen to, but I think that’s exactly why we should include it on the record.’”

Indeed, far from being a cloying campaign for superstardom, Neverlove is propelled by an explicitly personal and fiercely independent spirit. Even so, Terfry isn’t completely oblivious to the fact he’s running a commercial enterprise.

“When it comes time to offer these things up, you come to those realisations that not only will people hear this material, but I’ll also have to answer to it. I don’t really think about that at the time while I’m writing or while I’m recording. At that time it just feels like it’s something that I have to do.”

As a result of this unfettered creative approach, many of Neverlove’slyric-loaded compositions showcase Terfry’s innermost thoughts and feelings. While there are times when our narrator sounds obstinately crestfallen, Terfry says putting his heart and soul into the album provided redemption for some of the darkest moments of his life.

“When I wrote Baby Blanket, it was so heavy it felt like I was holding my own head underwater. But I woke up the next day feeling great for the first time in months. I felt like I took all the negative things I was going through and I turned it into currency with which I bought back something good in my life. It felt extra good knowing that the price I had to pay to create something like that was an awful one.”