Buckshot (born Kenyatta Blake on November 19, 1974 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American rapper, known for being the leader of the super group Boot Camp Clik, and the group Black Moon. He has released one solo album, three with producer 9th Wonder, one with KRS-ONE, four albums with Black Moon and four albums with the Boot Camp Clik.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Kenyatta Blake a.k.a. Buckshot Shorty began rapping in neighborhood rhyming ciphers. In high school, he befriended 5 ft, DJ Evil Dee and Mr. Walt, who would evolve into the super production team Da Beatminerz.
In 1992, Buckshot, 5 ft and DJ Evil Dee, formed Black Moon. The trio released the single, “Who Got Da Props?” in 1993, which reached #86 on the Billboard Top 100 charts, landing them a recording deal with Nervous Records. Later that year, Black Moon released their first full-length album, Enta Da Stage to positive critical acclaim.
The album featured appearances by Havoc of Mobb Deep, as well as future Boot Camp Clik members, Tek and Steele of Smif N Wessun.
In 1994, with Dru-Ha, the two left Nervous Records and formed Duck Down Management. That same year, Buckshot signed and oversaw the creation of Smif-n-Wessun’s debut album Dah Shinin’, as well as adding Heltah Skeltah (Rock & Sean Price) and O.G.C.: Originoo Gunn Clappa (Starang Wondah, Top Dog, and Louieville Sluggah) to Duck Down’s roster. During the summer, Buckshot took part in the collaboration the Crooklyn Dodgers (Buckshot, Masta Ace and Special Ed), releasing a single by the same name, on the soundtrack of Spike Lee’s, Crooklyn.
Officially titled Duck Down Entaprizez in 1996, Buckshot, Dru-Ha and Smif N Wessun began work with 2Pac on the unreleased studio album One Nation. During this time Buckshot was dubbed, “The BDI Thug” by 2Pac.
March 1997 marked a milestone in Duck Down history. The collective of: Buckshot, Smif-n-Wessun (Tek and Steele), Heltah Skeltah (Rock and Sean Price), and O.G.C.: Originoo Gunn Clappaz (Starang Wondah, Top Dog and Louieville Sluggah) formed the super group, The Boot Camp Clik, who released their debut album, For the People. A remix of “Night Riders” was recorded featuring Aaliyah, but the single was never released, due to conflicts between record labels.
In 1999 Black Moon released their second album, War Zone. It was their first full-length album in more than 5 years. Featuring guest appearances from Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, M.O.P., Heather B. and produced by Da Beatminerz, the album sold over 200,000 units and was met with strong reviews. Buckshot’s solo album, The BDI Thug, was released later that year but to mediocre reviews.
In July 2002, Duck Down ended its two-year search for a new distribution deal, inking a three-year contract with Koch Distribution. Boot Camp Clik released their second full-length album, The Chosen Few. The album sold over 60,000 copies, making it one of Duck Down’s most successful releases. In 2004, Black Moon returned with Total Eclipse. The album peaked at #47 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Charts and ranked #23 for independent albums.
Buckshot and 9th Wonder (Little Brother and Justus League) collaborated to release Chemistry in summer 2005 to positive reviews. Duck Down also released Smif N Wessun’s Reloaded and Sean Price’s Monkey Barz.
Boot Camp Clik returned in summer 2006 with The Last Stand. With an all-star cast of producers (Pete Rock, Da Beatminerz, 9th Wonder, Large Professor, Marco Polo, Ill Mind, Coptic, Sic Beats and Ken BB), it was a critical success and marked the return of the entire Boot Camp Clik for the first time in several years. In addition, Black Moon released, Alter The Chemistry. Laced with 1970s influenced rhythms and samples it takes a new approach to Buckshot and 9th Wonder’s, Chemistry.
Buckshot and KRS-ONE also released an album together, called Survival Skills, on September 15, 2009 on Duck Down Records. Its first single “Robot”, produced by Havoc, was released on iTunes on May 5, 2009.
In 2012, Buckshot released The Solution, a collaboration album with 9th Wonder.