Bluebucksclan are Big League: It’s not uncommon for hip-hop groups, in fact all groups, to portray themselves as a family unit, a brotherhood. From the Ramones to Wu-Tang, that’s the vibe. “We’re in this together, we’re a gang, bruddas.” Sometimes it’s 100 percent legit, sometimes it isn’t. In the case of DJ and Jeeezy of BlueBucksClan, it’s absolutely authentic.
The two men grew up together, played Little League together, went to high school together, played football together. Through a Zoom call, it’s clear that they could barely be closer (even though they’re calling from different locations). The two men are charming and easy going in conversation. Not super talkative, but they make every word count.
They have every reason to be positive too; since forming in 2019, numerous projects including the Clan Virus EP earned them rave reviews and plaudits from all corners. Pitchfork, for example, called them “L.A.’s Best Duo,” while Billboard listed them in their “6 Rappers to Watch in 2021” feature. They’ve come a long way, since bonding on a football field.
“[We met] just growing up, playing football on the same team when we were kids,” says Jeeezy.
“Being from the same city, playing for the same Little League, going to the same high school – just growing up together, having the same friends and everything,” adds DJ.
It all started with each other. There was no project before this – the two men would simply get together and musically experiment, and eventually it organically grew into BlueBucksClan.
“We probably started to be serious after the first video,” says DJ.
“That’s when we started taking it seriously,” adds Jeeezy. “The whole start was us two together, in a studio at the same time.”
It’s amazing what can spring from messing around.
“We were so comfortable doing it with each other, knowing each other, comfortable around each other, and that’s how all our friends were,” says DJ. “We never thought we were gonna do that, but once we started, we kept going.”
The two men struggle to nail down a description of their sound, as they don’t want to box themselves in. They pretty much settle on “different.”
“Different from everybody,” says DJ. “I can’t tell you. People always ask what’s our style, but I can’t say.”
“We just try to be different,” adds Jeeezy, continuing the theme. “Just do our own thing. That’s why we have the mix tapes – no rules. We never had a certain way of doing things, we just do whatever we feel is right.”
Latest single and video “Don’t Judge Me” plays with a simple concept – the pair are hanging out in a luxurious residence surrounded by party-goers in various states of undress, basking in their relatively recent success. And why shouldn’t they? That’s basically how they work – writing about what they know.
“Real life events,” says Jeeezy. “Everything. We soak it all in and talk about it in the studio, record. Wherever comes to mind.”
Both men are L.A. born and raised. The region is in their blood, and they acknowledge that they would likely sound different if they came from somewhere else. Geography has an impact, and it just wouldn’t be the same.
“Probably not,” agrees DJ. “That’s the reason why it’s so different. A lot of people just want to have that image of L.A. or South Central, or wherever. It’s weird. This is what the city needed.”
The forthcoming release is Clan Virus 2, obviously the follow up to the previous EP. Both were written and recorded during this whole pandemic and lockdown, and the coronavirus is the theme that runs through the record.
“We were on lockdown for a long time, so we had named our tape that,” says Jeeezy. “This is the follow up tape to the first one, since we’re still in the pandemic. We just did a follow up.”
Despite the challenges that the world has faced over the past year or so, Jeeezy says that they were able to knuckle down in the studio and get work done.
“We were just in the studio every single day,” he says. “We didn’t have nothing else to do. Everything else was closed. We were staying in the studio like 12 hours a day, just recording. It was kinda good for us, because we were getting better at it, and more comfortable. So it turned out pretty good.”
The project’s name is something that the two men and their friends have held dear for a while.
“It was just a group of us that all grew up together, just trying to get money,” says Jeeezy. “That’s just the name we came up with. A clever name. It’s catchy, you know? We just ran with it.”
With “Don’t Judge Me” out, BlueBucksClan are preparing to release more music, more videos. They’ve been working with Drakeo the Ruler, and have a tape coming out in collaboration with him. Things are heading in the right direction, and DJ says that there’s going to be plenty of new music in 2021.
“Whatever comes our way,” he says. “We’re trying to keep moving, keep working, keep going in the right direction. We’re gonna keep shooting videos, keep recording. Hopefully the world keeps opening up and we’ve got some shows coming.”
That’s right – people are continuing to get vaccinated and concerts are increasingly becoming a real possibility. A tour is on the horizon.
“Right now, we’re working on going on this tour, putting this tour together,” says Jeeezy. “That’s gonna be big, and that’s gonna be this year too. There’s gonna be a lot of new music coming off, different features and stuff like that. It’s gonna be a big year for us.”
We don’t doubt it.
Bluebucksclan are Big League: The “Don’t Judge Me” single is out now.