Getting people to listen was the hard part. They were like, ‘Oh. A white kid in Montana? He can’t be a rapper.”
Buckshot Killit, a member of the Filthy Family hip-hop crew, has a style all his own. His unique combination of punk and hip hop has set him apart from other local artists.
The biggest challenge Buckshot had to overcome was to get a hip-hop industry that thinks of Montana as mainly folk and country music to listen to him. His talent to fuse his storytelling with the genres of music he loves makes him a powerful and unique artist. When you hear his work you know immediately why he’s become such a success.
He’s worked with artists such as Rittz, Jarren Benton, Afroman, Caskey, Madchild, Cappadonna (of Wu Tang Clan), Nappy Roots, Wax, Problem, Mayday and more. Buckshot is known to draw a crowd. His shows are filled with people knowing they are going to have an experience like no other watching him perform.
He always brings the energy. “The shows are fun to play,” he said. “I’ll do the same performance if the crowd is 1000 people or 20.” One of the shows he played in Big Timber had enough energy to set off a bank alarm almost a block away.
“Punk rock has always been my main thing,” he said. “I like punk more than anything. No genre will ever be greater than punk to me. . . I’ve always loved rap so I just wanted to combine the two in the best way that I know how.” Buckshot’s style combined with his talent for sharing his story has made him a name to be reckoned with in the Bozeman hip-hop scene.
His shows often incorporate a live rhythm section and often his own hype man, Wickid Mick. The addition of a bassist and a drummer make for a live music experience often missed in rap shows. Wickid Mick always makes sure the audience is ready to party and helps with keeping the show’s energy alive.
Buckshot was awarded Bozeman’s Choice for local hip-hop artist 2017. Though, he won’t stop there. With just a quick conversation with with Buckshot it was easy to tell he has a strong passion for the Bozeman Hip-Hop scene. Not only does he love music, he loves the community.
“I’ve been told I need to get out of here,” he said. “When I was working with Jarren Benton he told me, ‘You’ve got to get out of here. Go somewhere and do something with this.’ It’s like the best compliment I could ever getby someone who’s done it-- telling me “hey you got it. just go.” But no one has ever done it here so why not me. That’s what I’m shooting for. I don't want to go anywhere”
Most of Buckshot’s performances happen within Bozeman. He is never one to turn away from the community he loves to do something bigger. Artists like Buckshot are what make Bozeman great. People who put their all into the art scene and work to make it grow.
“I’m dedicated to Bozeman and what we do so I’m not going to ditch out on my scene. I love my people.”
Buckshot is working on making Bozeman a stop for bigger touring artists. “We change their minds every time they come through. Then people like Afroman love coming here. We’re building something awesome here. “
Though he isn’t just waiting for Bozeman to become a hot spot for hip-hop artists. He’s actively working to make it something worth visiting.
Buckshot is now working to create a space for the younger generation of artists and fans to be able to enjoy the music. Buckshot got into the scene himself in 2010 at only 19 years old. With there being no all ages venues in Bozeman it’s almost impossible for younger artist to have a place to perform where their friends can support them. He’s helping to pave the way for the second generation of hip-hop artists in Bozeman, by giving them that opportunity.
His hope is that people get more real with upcoming artists. Tell them what you really think and don’t sugar coat it. Let them change everything they do until they find something that really works for them. “You need constructive criticism or just someone to be flat out an asshole to you. Either quit or get better.“
With that same quit or get better mentality he’s changed within his own music. He started out doing what everyone else around him was doing. “It was typical shit. I’ve started telling the truth more and I was one of the lucky ones that people liked my story.”
The key to being a successful artist is to be true to yourself while never being fully content with where you are now. Always be willing to grow and change but stick to your own story. Buckshot has opened up his story to his fans and and community and has become a strong artist.
“I feel like I have a really good story to tell. I want people to be able to hear my experiences and use them to help with whatever the hell they are going through. They can just have something to relate to, like ‘I’m not the only one who has ever been through this shit.’”