"I'm not going to limit my palette in order to fit within hip-hop's narrow scope," says the MC, turntablist, and producer, touring in anticipation of Situation, due this fall.
Buck 65 ( a.k.a. Richard Terfry) crafts ghoulish productions and bizarre rhymes, focusing on everything from well-hung mythological creatures ("The Centaur") to gravediggers who can't be killed ("Indestructible Sam"). He even busts some folk poetry à la Tom Waits.
"I grew up in a rural place," says Buck. "I write a song and try to figure out which instrumentation is going to complement it best. Sometimes that's a banjo, and sometimes that's a dirty synth bass line. And sometimes it's both."
Although Buck has released eight discs since 1994, he believes the live show is just as vital as the recorded output. "I'm not just there to recite the song and disappear into the walls," he says, referring to the majority of rappers out there. "I do everything I can to get lost in the song and let it take my body over. I also channel the spirit of Jacques Brel."
Now that's something you may never have seen.