Rhyme Time! After 20 years in the biz, Buck 65 shares 5 secrets to his success

Buck 65 aka Richard Terfry celebrates 20 years in the music industry with his latest release 20 Odd Years.

Statistics aside, the man is also celebrating  two decades of utter brilliance. Buck 65’s contribution to the Canadian music scene has been indescribable. The CBC Radio 2 host reconstructed the face of hip hop this side of the globe and has received international praise for it.

Commemorating his achievements, Buck 65 shares 5 major tips to a successful rap that have not done him wrong since his debut in 1993.

Say It Right:

Enunciate as clearly as possible. Be clear so that your words are heard and made out well. This has always been extremely important to me.

Layers and Complexities:

I’ve made it a rule. I can’t be satisfied with rhyming just one syllable. For example cat and bat. If the line I’m writing ended with “black cat”, then I would have to rhyme both those syllables with something like “cracked bat.” It just adds an extra layer of complexity. It makes it all that much more challenging. When you add layers, other elements of rhythm automatically fall into place.

Interesting Influences:

It’s interesting for me to take tips from other sorts of musicians whose relationship with tempo is more interesting. One of the biggest influences on my personal approach to rapping is Billie Holiday. She would always be kind of off the beat and a little behind it. That adds a little bit of swing and funk. I think it’s sophisticated to follow the beat but dance around it a little. I like taking a creative approach to following a beat.

Come Original:

Find your influences and people who have set the bar. Then use them as an example and diversify. It’s important to stick out with your own style and approach. Use influences as a doorway to find your own voice. You can always tell who someone’s biggest influence is. If they sound like someone imitating Eminem or Jay-Z, then they’ve got to mix it up a little. Ultimately, use influences in the effort of finding your own voice.


Hone your mind, your craft and your mechanical approach to rapping. What is going to set you apart is your mind and what makes you interesting as a person. I haven’t just taken inspiration from the world of hip hop. I read a lot and I watch a lot of films. I also pay attention to what’s going on in the world and within myself.

Buck 65’s 20 Odd Years is available now. Here’s to another 20 years Bucky!

Posted by on Feb 4 2011. Filed under Interviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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