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Bukue One is a man of tremendous talent, blessed with the ill-technique both vocally on the mic and visually on a wall or canvas. It goes without question though that his most invaluable gift was and still is his motivation to get out and pursue his talents, to educate himself and take life into his own hands and motivate others to do the same. The man who for over a decade has toured the world, doubling as artist and manager, has combined his passion and abilities and parlayed them into a career. As any MC should be, he is quick witted and able to convey his thoughts in a way that makes sense. The following is excerpts from a Saturday morning conversation with Bukue. Not an interview, but a conversation with a seasoned vet full of sincere and encouraging points of view to share.

On Tour Managing: “Originally when I was booking and tour managing I was just going to do it just enough to get my name steady and then focus on my own stuff, but the more I did it the more I saw that there is a need for that. Artists don’t want to be carrying in merch, going to collect money and staying sober or keeping the keys to the car. And a lot of times promoters don’t want to deal directly with artists because artists are artists. I realized I could keep doing this, and it’d be a service that can be provided to both sides which is a value, and at the same time it frees up my music to where I don’t have to live just off that. There is no pressure on me to sell units. So I thought I would keep building the business. Music is a passive career, but I’m running two lines now. Fans know me as an artist, they don’t know me as a manger. I don’t think I could just be an artist, I’m too into responsibility, so I’d rather do both. I like being on stage performing, but I also like the Jermaine Dupri side of things as far as running the show and orchestrating things and advancing the momentum of music that is dope. It’s business but it’s philanthropy as well because it’s my job to make sure these artists get their exposure and get heard.”

On Capitalism: “Capitalism is not bad, it’s just run by humans. Humans were stealing hording, stealing, beating, killing and envying long before the currency of dollars. We were clubbing each other like, ‘I want your wife,’ BOW! It’s in our nature.”

On Revolution: “I’m an optimistic revolutionary. I believe that things need to be changed and that things are out of balance society-wise, political-wise, spiritually and musically, all that. It’s leaning pretty far to the darker side, but not only do we need people to identify it and to get people motivated but most importantly they need to be aware and motivated by the power of positivity, optimism and love. We have enough angry revolutionaries. I respect it, but it’s not what I do.”

On His Music:
“My thing”¦through my music, and art, my personality, my teachings, is to help provide that feeling that you once felt at some point in life that reminded you of how exciting and dope things can be. The type of music I make, people consider it nostalgic of the older era of hip-hop, but that’s when it was fun! You could smile and have a good time. My graffiti is the same way. I don’t really do that dark and aggressive stuff; it’s just that old-school essence of when it was fun. If you’re looking for food for thought, there is plenty of that in all my music. There is a common theme, it’s just not on the forefront.”

On Politics:
“One change that we need to make is us using the terms like ‘them’; it’s us. Political stuff I’m really like, yo, we got to move ourselves from the ‘they’ and ‘them’ factor and go back to the ‘us’ factor. Going back, like during the Civil War, the government was the ‘us,’ and it was created so that we collectively oversaw our country and states and cities. Over the years, the ‘us’ changed over to ‘them,’ because they had an agenda, but also, not to solely blame government, we fell asleep. We know catch phrases, “Bush sucks,” “They’re all crooked.” It’s like, OK, then what? People use those as justifications to completely abandon the process. When that happens, we stop paying attention, and as the saying goes, ‘When the cat’s away the mice will play.’ I’m not mad at people for not voting and say, ‘Well, you’re stupid,’ because I was that person, but now I’m like OK, cool, but now what? Are we leaving the country? If it’s really that bad, what are we doing to change things? If you’re not planning on leaving this country, your city or whatever, yo, do something. Don’t just be mad at ‘them.’ People are saying, ‘Fuck it. They’re all bad. Obama is the same as McCain,’ and I’m like really? I’m not saying Obama is the Messiah, but there is a bit of a difference”¦a little bit [laughs]. If our numbers of ‘us’ were higher, and we were more engaged, they would have to listen to us because we would be their constituency.”

On Patriotism: “People don’t want to admit to being patriotic, because now it’s like a bad thing to be patriotic. But yo, you’re patriotic if you love Oakland and the Bay. Where’s the Bay? In California, which is in the United States. Don’t front, let’s be real, we love this country. We don’t love the direction it’s going, but we love this country. The minute someone else disses our country, we’re patriotic. Let’s just be real, and go, ‘OK, it’s fucked up, but what are we going to do? I’m really into inspiring people to get involved in the process early and get enthusiastic and believe that things can change.”

On Money: “I used to be like money is the root of all evil, but my uncle was like, ‘No, lack of money is the root of all evil.’ Money is just a tool. People built great things and destroyed things with money. It’s not the money that makes you. The money just makes you more of who you are. If you’re a dick before you get money, you’re going to be more of a dick when you get it.”

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