By Natali Bianco, Entertainment Editor
In 2007, Omaha native Buck Bowen took the stage for what was supposed to be his last show ever. He had decided to quit music, once and for all.
Without telling a soul, Bowen then left Omaha and set his sails for Costa Rica.
“Back in 2007, I was really unhappy,” Bowen said. “It had a lot to do with my family, but it had a lot to do with the fact that I had lost my ‘religion,’ which was hip hop. So I bought a ticket to Costa Rica and didn’t tell anyone, and I left.”
Over the next year, Bowen would find himself traveling from Costa Rica, to El Salvador, to Mexico and then ending up in Long Beach, Calif. How Bowen spent his time south of the border will likely forever remain a mystery to the public.
Flash to present day, Bowen is back in Omaha making music. However, don’t expect to see the same comedic rapper that you knew in 2007.
“If I could change one thing about me, it would be to have absolutely nothing to do with hip-hop,” he said.
This dramatic change is the result of a long internal battle.
“For all of my hip-hop career, I wanted to keep it ‘real;’ I wanted to be ‘real hip hop,'” he said scornfully. “Like, you know, because this stuff on the radio, this isn’t ‘real hip hop.’ I was ‘real hip hop,’ I DJ-ed, I break danced…” he continued. “I worked day and night to make sure that nobody could say I wasn’t [hip hop],” Bowen said. “Now, though, if somebody were to come up to me and say that, it would be like an honor. I would shake their hand and buy them a drink.”
Don’t worry, though; Bowen’s new music isn’t getting away from the hip-hop foundation that it was built on. He still raps and produces beats, but his focus has now turned to content, rather than fitting into any musical standard. His new EP, titled “Neuterections,” perfectly explains this change of focus.
“[It’s about] me going into this new direction, Bowen said. “It’s two avenues really. One is critical thinking, skepticism, science, and the other one is motivation. Nowadays, I want to gain the respect of my intellectual heroes, which of course, has absolutely nothing to do with hip-hop,” he said. “Sam Harris, Carl Sagan, Bill Nye the Science guy, these sorts of people that are promoting science, critical thinking and reason.”
“I’m not going to ‘de-convert’ anyone or anything, and that’s fine. But if I could just get the conversation going…” he said. “The only way to change is to get new information. I’m constantly searching for that new information.”
It isn’t all serious, though. Bowen says he will be playing some of his old music at his CD release party. He’s set to hit the stage with Brent Crampton and Weird Owl, Friday, Jan. 25 at The Waiting Room Lounge.