“Yes, I brought an AK to my concert
So I don’t need security, I put in my own work
I’m walkin with my jewelry, I know I ain’t from out here
But y’all gon’ have to kill me before I lay it down, yeah
I was on the news for knockin them mighty shoes
But the dude got a son that go to my daughter school
So I’m cool, cause I can grab what he loves most
And that’s the reason why you see me laugh and he ghost”

Success is in David Brown’s future and drama is behind him if he can walk the righteous path. That’s easier said than done for the artist better known as Young Buck, coming wild and crazy out of Nashville, Tennessee; a place he somewhat cleverly renamed Ca$hville, Ten-A-Key. It can be hard to avoid getting caught up in bad situations if you’re young rich and famous (he turned 26 only 12 days before this review) but some try to maintain and others go the Pacman Jones route. One could glean from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League produced “Buss Yo’ Head” quoted above that Buck is far from ready to put down his wild ways, but when pressed to the point he would no doubt say that the accounts in his music are greatly exaggerated and almost entirely fictional. That’s the devilish dichotomy that gangsta MC’s deal with though. It’s got to feel real to keep your fanbase from thinking you’re soft, but if it gets TOO real you’re gonna wind up shot – or worse. Since he’s already been shot twice in his young life Brown has every reason to avoid getting caught up in the hype, yet he ends up in and out of jail as much or more than any other G-Unit artist.

“These hoes out here love me, I get it wet
Niggaz old ladies wanna fuck me, you should see this shit
I’m nothin like them other thugs, that eat it quick
Too many niggaz in this club, I need a bitch
We park right up in the front, you see the 6
I blew some smoke out from my blunt, and popped the Crist’
I gotta find me a model, I like ’em thick
I make her hop in my Impala, go take a trip
Clean up my shoe and pop my collar, I’m rich bitch
Oh what you never seen a baller, well this is it
I make that pussy feel good, ’til you tell me quit
And I won’t tell nobody that you let me hit, psych!”

Believe it or not that’s the more GENTLE side of Young Buck, as heard on this album’s pre-release single “I Know You Want Me.” It certainly has the air of smoothness musically thanks to Jazze Pha and Ced Keyz’ production with a snake charmer backdrop, pulsating bass booms and crooned hook by Jazze Phizzle himself. Admittedly far more vitriolic songs have been cleaned up for radio play, so there’s no doubt this is a winner for Buck, but it’s also clear that Mr. Brown is as unapologetically misogynistic as any rapper out today. Young Buck may not regret that today, and with an unlimited right to freedom of speech there’s no reason he should, but since he mentioned having a daughter in song earlier on the album one wonders if he’ll want his baby treated that way when she’s as grown as he is; useful only for sexual favors, disposable once they are given out, then scorned and ridiculed for how quickly she gave it up to her thuggish lover’s friends. Let’s hope Brown envisions her growing up to be a doctor or a lawyer instead of a trophy bitch for a young millionaire. But “Hold On,” Buck’s got something more to say:

“Same glock, same block, same chain, same watch
Same six-fo’ drop, same nigga on top
Don’t blame me if your muh’fuckin block get hot
Cause I’m just tryin to make a livin, nigga stay up out of prison
In the position of power
In a position where bitch-ass cowards can’t fuck with ours
And just do me, fully, you say you gon’ sue me?
Muh’fucker I got bread (it won’t be long ‘fore you’re dead)”

While Brown clearly aspires to “make a livin [and] stay up out of prison” the “position of power” he covets in song would land him right back behind those concrete walls. Dr. Dre has concocted a lovely beat, and there’s no doubt Buck and G-Unit founder 50 Cent flow like water on it. Still this writer can’t help but recall writing three years ago that with his newfound success in 50 Cent’s clique Buck would HAVE the money and power he needed to leave his old life in the streets alone. Perhaps Michael Corleone said it best: “Just when I thought that I was out, they pull me back in.” Well if you’re going to be pulled back in anyway you might as well talk it like you live it and see if you can’t make a dollar out of 50 Cent coming up as a Young Buck. Let’s call on hitmaker to the Rich (Boy) and Famous, one Polow Da Don, to help Mr. Brown “Get Buck”:

“Okayyy! I’m reloaded
My bankroll swole and a nigga can’t fold it
I got ’em like HEYYY! Got ’em rollin
The kush on the way and the champagne frozen
Watch me do my thang; I got these hoes open
I’m ridin presidential like the shit that I’m smokin
Water wih’ the work, Petron on my shirt
And a zip ain’t shit I need a quarter P of purp’
Gon’ break it down, pass it all around
I can serve Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown
Them dope boys in this bitch like, let me buy that
Broke niggaz in this bitch like, let me try that
I need a beat in the bitch, let me call Polow
Mr. Ten-a-key I still get ’em for the low though
Shawty light up the dro’, I ain’t ready to go
Can’t ban me from the radio or fuck up my show”

And there you have it. David Darnell Brown portrays the quintessential drug dealing MC on records, unapologetic and unrepentant. We’ll stand by the “portrayal” aspect of that sentence for the time being, but the more times Young Buck ends up back in the pen the more his life imitates his art. Clearly Buck has something to offer the world as a street narrator, and possibly even as a role model and an urban entrepeneur as well, following in the footsteps laid by 50 on the road to success. Musically he’s got all the tools in his shed – a Southern drawl that’s both charming and remarkably easy to understand, a natural ability to write vivid and often very funny lyrics, and he’s connected to all the right people in the biz. When you put all of that together you have the highlights of “Buck the World,” including songs like “Say it to My Face” featuring 8 Ball & MJG and Bun B, the Hi-Tek laced “I Ain’t Fuckin’ Wit U” featuring Snoop Dogg and Trick Daddy, and “Puff Puff Pass” with Ky-mani Marley among others.

“Buck the World” is a fun, rambunctious, guilty pleasure of an album which ends on a rather somber note with the Eminem produced “Lose My Mind” where Buck reads off a litany of his woes at the start: “It’s like I done been through so much man. I done seen so much shit out here man. All this material shit man this shit don’t mean SHIT to me man. Y’know, like I done did so much man I ain’t got SHIT to show for it man.” How now Brown cow? Perhaps Buck needs to break out like Dave Chappelle, take his daughter and spend some time chilling in Africa this summer. Just get away man, don’t let the streets pull you back in. Chip away at Buck’s chilly exterior and there’s a man of wisdom underneath, one unafraid to declare that you should “Slow Ya Roll” when caught up in the fast life, noting he has “a graveyard tatted on my arm” as a warning to others and a reminder to himself on what he’s lost over the years. If Buck can survive these turbuluent times, he may actually turn out to be G-Unit’s most powerful and thought provoking MC, but for now he’s maintaining the thug life bravado for all it’s worth and taking listeners on a wild musical ride in the process; he woke up screaming “Buck the World.”

Young Buck :: Buck the World
7.5Overall Score