Where in the world is Buck 65?
And then the lights went out. His last Twitter activity is from August of 2015. His Facebook page, which kept us entertained and entranced throughout 2014, hasn't been updated since July 29, 2015. His website, once a place to buy merch and read interesting vignettes from the life of a fantastical creature, is a cartoon image with the message "Gone Fishing".
The man behind the Buck 65 moniker is Richard Terfry, a product of Nova Scotia who currently hangs out on CBC Radio 2, programming and running their Drive segment. It's great to know he's still working, still active, and still alive (you never know), but where is that other personality? The one prone to tall tales and fantastic stories? Who created wondrous sounds from the most basic equipment? Who can rap circles around anyone else from Canada?
The separation of the two persona's began as far back as "Ice" in 2001. He flitted in and out of Richard and Buck during the mid-to-late 2000's, with Secret House Against The World ("Rough House Blues" is pure Buck65) and the quirky and informative Situation, which might have seemed like a straight Buck record, but which held within it a thirst for the obscure and brilliant that current propels his radio show.
By the time 2011's 20 Odd Years rolled around, tracks like "Zombie Delight" kept the Buck 65 flame burning, but he was now beginning to embrace this dual role, and the slick production and huge hooks sung by talented female guests that a major label either pays for, or requires. After Skratch Bastid produced the entirety of Situation, it was slightly jarring to hear these giant hooks and sexy, shiny instrumentals. We delved more into the personal as well, with "Paper Airplanes" and "She Said Yes" a precursor for what would happen with 2014's Neverlove.
While Buck attempted to appease his more die-hard day 1 fans with projects like Laundromat Boogie and Dirtbike 4, it really felt like Neverlove (a painfully open and honest Richard Terfry, the release was preceded by track-by-track commentary about how each song fit into his personal struggles) was the end of Buck 65, and the emergence of Richard Terfry, the man. His 2015 book, Wicked and Weird: The Amazing Tales of Buck 65, now reads like the final act of a long-running series. Things got messy for Buck 65/Richard Terfry, as the public was able to peek in on the turmoil that his rap moniker had created in his personal life. The Facebook post brought this sharply into focus. He tellingly said: "I'm not the person you think I am."
The truth is, we don't really know who either Richard or Buck is. There was an article published by CANADALAND around the time Buck's book came out, entitled "Calling Bullshit on Buck 65's Book About Bullshit". When you search "Buck 65 book" on Google, it's the second result... Buck/Richard has not responded to the article, nor should he have to, but it further adds to the intrigue of the situation. What was Jesse Brown's motives for writing this article?
A quick perusal of the #Buck65 hashtag on Twitter reveals a sad and confused hardcore fan group tweeting at regular intervals about how they miss Buck. There was a tweet by Sage Francis, his label head, collaborator, and friend, on February 28 (it may have since been deleted) explaining that Buck was merely taking some time off social media, and was happy and healthy.
The truth may be that Buck 65 no longer exists, or at the very least will remain dormant for some time. The line between Richard Terfry and Buck 65 was so blurry during 2014, on both Neverlove and So Much Forever, that he may have decided to put that persona on the shelf that also houses his dreams of baseball superstardom. That's sad for all of us because he has built up such a strong, devoted following. We were in love with the storytelling ("The Blues Pt. 1-3", the track on Dirtbike about the mannequin, "Shutter Buggin'") the fantasy ("Secret Splendour", "Coleco Vision", "The Centaur"), and the emotion he was able to conjure when necessary ("Ice", "Roses & Bluejays", "Drunk Without Drinking").
We miss you mate, but if this is what you need to stay safe and sane, take all the time you need. There's plenty of music in that cannon, plenty of dance moves that still need imitating, and plenty of Centaurs that still need taming. When you're ready, we'll be here.