REVOLT TV presents 'The Produce Section,' a column where we put the spotlight on the men and women behind the beats we love so much and their contributions to the culture as a whole. From profiling and interviewing the hottest producers of today to acknowledging the greatest producers of all-time and delving deep into their discographies, The Produce Section is the hub where beats, rhymes and life connect.
Producers have long been the backbone of rap music, providing emcees and rappers with the sonic backdrops over which they bare their souls and share their stories. Rap artists may get much of the fanfare and are front and center. However, without the producer toiling away behind the scenes, crafting the instrumentals; the lyrics would be reduced to spoken word and hip hop would be nonexistent as we know it.
In this edition of The Produce Section, we cover Buckwild, one of the unsung, yet elite producers of the '90s and beyond. A product of the Bronx, New York, his initial role in hip hop was as a DJ, but after meeting members of the Bronx-based rap collective Diggin' in the Crates (D.I.T.C.), Buckwild made a foray into the world of production. In an era where east coast rap was dominated by jazzy backdrops and sturdy drum loops, Buckwild flourished by crafting records for some of the biggest stars in rap.
By the turn of the century, the producer's body of work preceded him, as he contributed tracks to some of the greatest albums of that decade. That reputation would allow him to stand the test of time. Let's highlight 11 of Buckwild's most iconic beats that define his excellence behind the boards.
Buckwild unleashes the horns with this composition from rap duo Organized Konfusion's 1994 album, Stress: The Extinction Agenda, which helped put the fledgling producer on the rap radar. Deconstructing various jazz samples and lacing them with drums, the producer made a great first impression with this track.
In 1994, Buckwild connected with Brooklyn spitter and fellow D.I.T.C. member O.C. for this terse offering from the latter's debut album Word... Life. Revamping a snippet of "A Day in the Life" by Les DeMerle, and pairing it with vocals lifted from Slick Rick's 1988 hit "Hey Young World," he constructed one of the hardest productions of not only its era, but all time.
"Put It On"
Harlem legend and D.I.T.C. member Big L made the leap to the majors with his 1995 debut, Lifestylez Ov Da Poor and Dangerous, with this Buckwild instrumental soundtracking the album's lead single. Built around a riff from Buster Williams' 1976 release "Vibrations," as well as drums from "It's a New Day" by Skull Snaps, Buckwild makes use of all of the moving parts to cook up this upbeat medley, which remains the biggest commercial hit of Big L's career.
R&B group Surface's 1986 jam "Happy" is flipped into an aspirational backdrop, over which two of Queens' finest toast to a life of crime and luxury. Released as the lead single from Kool G Rap's solo debut, this Nas-assisted number further entrenched Buckwild as a boardsman on the rise. It peaked at No. 7 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.
"Blowin Up In the World"
The Bronx artist chops up elements of Bobby Caldwell's "What You Won't Do for Love" and pairs the sample with drums lifted from "Gettin Down for Xmas" by Milly & Silly, which resulted in this ode to perseverance. Released as part of Kool G Rap's 4,5,6 album, this production effectively captured the mind-state of those striving for survival in the New York streets.
"I Got A Story To Tell"
Mandolin strings get stripped from Andreas Vollenweider's "Belladonna" and matched with tumbling drums from "I'm Glad You're Mine" by Al Green for this vivid cut from The Notorious B.I.G.'s sophomore album, Life After Death. One of Buckwild's most recognizable beats, this track inspired a masterful lyrical performance by the one and only Biggie Smalls.
In 2000, the boardsman reached his apex when he crushed buildings with this quaking banger from Black Rob's 2000 debut album, Life Story. Drawing from a sample of "Joy (Version Originale Orchestrale)" by François Valéry, Buck accentuates the original with bombastic drums, resulting in a street anthem that peaked at No. 8 on the U.S. Hot Rap Songs chart and helped usher hip hop into the new millennium.
"What A Thug About"
Buckwild draws from the blaxploitation era for this collaborative effort with Beanie Sigel from the Philly rep's debut album, The Truth. Reworking elements of Dave Richmond's 1975 composition "Nightwatch," the track runs wild with crashing kicks and snares.
"I Love You"
In 2001, the boardsman showcased his versatility with his work on this steamy ballad from Faith Evans' 2001 album, Faithfully. Isaac Hayes' 1976 cut "Make a Little Love to Me" gets picked apart and would become Buck's first top 20 entry on the Hot 100, as well as the most commercially successful record on his resume.
As Fat Joe made the leap to platinum status with his fourth studio album, Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.), Buckwild made sure to keep the Bronx Bomber in tune with his core fanbase with this monstrous street banger. John Scott's "Static Time" gets flipped and paired with bombastic percussion lifted from "Ode to Billie Joe" by Lou Donaldson.
"Like Father, Like Son"
To closeout the proceedings on his classic major label debut, The Documentary, The Game enlisted Buckwild to helm the boards for this heartfelt composition. Pilfering elements of "Mariya" by Family Circle for the track's foundation, the producer incorporates percussion to bolster this ode to fathering our sons, accounting for one of the more popular deep cuts in his extensive catalog.
More by Preezy Brown: