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Buck The World (2007)
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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
2/8/2004 9:00:22 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Young Buck.

Hank Williams drove a Cadillac, but not like this one.

North Nashville's own David Brown drives a Cadillac, a black Escalade with tinted windows and spinning chrome rims. He wears a quarter-million dollars of jewelry around his neck and wrist — and inside his mouth. He sports a medallion the size of a small Frisbee, a look that says ''drug dealer.'' Except Brown doesn't resort to pushing drugs . . . anymore.

These days his hometown boys as well as rap fans throughout the land know him as Young Buck of G-Unit, one of the hottest rap music acts in the country.

The group, tied to mega-rapper 50 Cent, has sold 2 million copies of its first album, has been on the cover of Vibe magazine and tonight will be at the Grammys with 50 Cent.

Brown is the first Nashville rapper to achieve such widespread success. And from the looks of it, he is poised to bring national attention to his hometown, a city known far more for an entirely different kind of music.

''We're bringing New York to 'Cash'ville because of this man,'' says Emmett Harvell, president of Nashville's Style Camp Entertainment and a childhood friend of Brown's.

An indomitable will has helped Brown beat the odds and make the journey from north Nashville's gritty Buchanan Street area to the Grammys at Los Angeles' Staples Center. Brown is a pioneer. Pioneers have to be fearless. His fearlessness is what's helping him make a fool out of those who scoff at the idea of this country music town producing a bona fide rap star.

Brown was born March 15, 1981. He lived in a house on Seifried Street with his mother and two siblings. His father wasn't too involved with his life, so, in some sense David Brown assumed the vacated role of man of the house.

By the time he entered Dalewood Elementary School, he was a hyper child, one who preferred to teach rather than be taught.

''He used to talk about sex in class,'' recalls childhood friend David Kleary, who knew Brown since third grade. ''He taught me how to curse.''

At 10, Brown moved with his family to south Nashville, not far from Third Avenue South. Soon the drug-infested streets would meet him at his front door. The action, the enterprise, what went on out there was more alluring than anything in a classroom.

''School wasn't for me,'' Brown says.

With few opportunities, he saw dealing drugs as not so much a crime but a way to survive, maybe even get ahead in life.

One of his hangouts became north Nashville's old Tiffany's Car Wash. That's where he would sell crack.

But as Brown saw more and more friends and ''associates'' end up either dead or in jail, he began to realize music offered his best opportunity to escape his troubles and get the wealth and comfort he desired.

Brown saw rapping as his salvation. Rappers such as Kool Daddy Fresh and The Blow Pop crew were the local heavyweights at the time. And even though they never quite achieved overwhelming success, they were at least living, breathing examples of rappers in Nashville.

Rappers Pistol and Boogie were among the first in the city to sign major-label deals. Brown was able to hook up with Boogie and his friends as a teenager, and in no time became the young cat in the crew.

Boogie says Brown would begin free-styling, a form of verbal improvisation where the aim was to rhyme words from off the top of your head.

''He starting writing and getting better and better,'' says Boogie, whose real name is Daniel Jenkins.

Then, one day during the winter of 1997, Boogie and Brown got a phone call from a friend who worked in a Nashville studio where a big-time New Orleans rap crew was recording. Brown, Boogie and the friend went over to meet the members of a crew called the Cash Money Millionaires.

Brown's first test was to battle two young rappers from CMM, by himself. Battling is an old rite in which rappers verbally joust

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