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Bukue One Q&A

A rapper in a league of his own

Bukue One is a Renaissance man of sorts. He raps, paints graffitis, skateboards and he helps manage, book and promote several other underground hip-hop acts. In his spare time, he bowls and spins reggae music. His latest lyrical endeavor Intromission will be released exclusively on-line in January. He spoke with SF Station during a phone interview while bowling in Concord.

SF Station (SFS): How long have you been a bowler?

Bukue One (BO): Iíve been in a bowling league for about seven years. Itís a long league that starts in August and ends in May. I go on tour and my team lets me disappear and come back.

I got sucked in after I started going on ďWacky WednesdaysĒ or nights when they would charge 50 cents a game. I would bowl with my buddies and there would always be some really cool, calm, collected dude at the bowling alley that looked sharp with his shirt creased up. He had a really nice hook. The next thing you know I was almost breaking my wrist trying to figure out how to throw a hook and I was locked in.

SFS: I heard that you have your eyes on the Professional Bowlers Association tour.

BO: Yeah, itís a backup plan. If Babylon takes over the music industry, you might see a tall dready on the PBA tour. Youíll find me there and youíll find me spinning reggae dancehall tunes. I spin reggae in my spare time.

SFS: Do you spend more effort working as an MC or working on the business side of things?

BO: Lately, during the day I work on business and the artistry is secondary to that. A lot of time my artistry is overlooked because people know me as a manager. A lot of times itís hard for them to see both in an equal light - they say, ďHeís an manager not a rapper.Ē Fans, booking agents and promoters donít care. Most fans donít even know, but other peers sometimes have a he-shouldnít-be-a-manager-if-heís-a-rapper vibe.

SFS: What is the status on your new album?

BO: My album coming out now is called Intromission. Itís long overdue and has been ready for about three years. I had it on a label, but the label was about to fold, so I took my album from them because they were going out of business.

I used some of the tracks for different CDs on the merchandise table on tours, but I held onto the core tracks for the album so I could find a good situation with distribution. I spend a lot of time doing business for other people, and I didnít have a lot of time to work on getting my music out. Plus, I didnít necessarily want my music coming out of the same avenue as the artists I work for. That is how I ended up hooking up with Alpha Pup.

SFS: But, the distribution is only done electronically, right?

Alpha Pup is a digital record label that works exactly like a traditional record label, except itís just distributed on iTunes, CD Baby and all the distribution channels that are in digital form. Sales are really shifting to digital and itís a great avenue. They work to promote your album digitally and itís not strictly distribution.

SFS: Youíre a skateboarder as well. Do you always skate on the dance floor before shows?

BO: On the tour I just finished I started skating a lot more before the set because there are not many people there and it stirs up the energy a little bit.

SFS: It must be fun skating inside historic places like the Fillmore.

Yeah, nobody gets to skate at the Fillmore or House of Blues. I was surprised the owner at the Fillmore let me skate. He was cool until I started bringing out props, like chairs and stuff.