Buck 65 Talkin’ Honky Blues

[Warner Bros.; 2003]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: weird collage rap
Others: Anticon, Sixtoo, MC Shan

One thing is evident when it comes to Buck 65 and his long and prosperous career; the man has truly grown up through his music and performance. Some of this verification is extremely obvious on the exterior; his voice has gone from squealed, high-pitched cadence to rough and sleepy pulsated tempo. Also, his face looks worn and experienced. But with this irreversible aging and maturing, inside his mind, body and soul, Buck 65 has maintained a truly young and refreshing sound in the world of hip-hop today. Talkin’ Honky Blues is Buck’s follow-up to his underestimated, critically acclaimed 2002 release Square, and like its predecessor, Buck has created a truly wonderful and enjoyable musical stunning success.

Talkin’ Honky Blues is an avant-garde release for Buck 65 but with this motion forward in his music, Buck has dug deep in his long and successful discography to mimic some of his previous work and efforts. What is surprising from the opening song "Leftfield" is how much this album sounds like Synesthesia, one of Buck’s more underrated past release. "Sore" is a perfect sequel to "While I’m Young" but shows tremendous growth and texture, substantiation that his production has grown and improved over time and consequent release. "Exes" brings back the success of Man Overboard’s "Pants on Fire" with even better story telling and humour. "Roses and Bluejays" follows the same formula of anything on Square in the production, lyrics about his father as intimate and heartfelt as "Ice," a song on Man Overboard about his mother. "Craftsmanship" is a true depiction of Buck’s approach and passion to hip-hop and his commitment to his craft. So with the strength of his past records, Buck 65 has created a truly self-portraying, sensational record full of past influences and styles and added a soundtrack that exemplifies his grandeur as a hip-hop performer. And with the tremendous success of his previous underground hip-hop movement, it was easy for Buck to collect some of his best efforts and refurbish them to today’s hip-hop and indie music standards. The refurbished sound comes from a strong loyalty to his folk roots, adding several musicians to his record making process. Buck has written music and songs that are grandiose and captivating and exemplify his aging musical talent.

What Buck 65 has done is not an album of past success, but a revitalization of his previous underestimated work in hip-hop culture into something beyond the realm of strictly hip-hop. He has created a fresh and innovative record full of transitioned production and witty lyricism. Talkin’ Honky Blues highlights a truly talented effort in keeping his sound and style completely new and revitalized. And that is Buck 65’s true gift in today's’ boring and underachieved world of hip-hop.

1. Leftfield
2. Wicked and weird
3. Riverbed pt. 1
4. Sore
5. Protest
6. Riverbed pt. 2
7. Exes
8. Roses and bluejays
9. Riverbed pt. 3
10. 50 gallon drum
11. Riverbed pt. 4
12. 463
13. Riverbed pt. 5
14. Killed by a horse
15. Riverbed pt. 6
16. Tired out
17. Craftsmanship
18. Riverbed pt. 7