With musical influences of Scarface, Jay-Z, Biggie, and Master P, one would assume, on the surface that it was their style that influenced DC rapper Boobe to get in the booth at the young age of 14. Digging a bit deeper and talking with him, you quickly learn that the influences he aspired to be like weren’t just for musical purposes but of leadership. CEO of OY Boys Records, formally known as One Way Records, Boobe has the weight of DC on his shoulders and he is trying to bring success to those within his camp and beyond. Just as Master P, Biggie, Scarface, and Jay-Z lead the pack, you can expect the same from Boobe.
Originally born andraised in DC?
Yes, born and raised in DC, later moved to the outskirts in Maryland, Washington, DC; South EastDC area. I was probably like 14 with playing around with rapping and freestyling but I didn’t take it serious till I was 18 or 19. I used it to stay out of trouble.
Who were some of your musical influences while growing up in DC?
We came up on Scarface, NWA, Biggie, Jay-Z, and Master P. I believe it was probably one of those old Geto Boys songs that inspired me to get into rapping, I can’t pinpoint an exact song but it was a Geto Boys or a UGK song.
If you could network with anyone and/or collaborate with a major artist/producer, who would it be?
I have a few but Jay-Z, Jeezy, Ludacris, Bun B -- I respect the people who get in the game and hustle, I know I’m leaving someone out. Producer wise, it would be Drumma Boy and get a Dr. Dre beat would be nice and Kanye West.
Speaking on your new project now, Don’t Text Me, who you have networked with? Would you mind sharing that?
I’ve got a Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama called Boobe Trap. Don’t Text Me can be found on there. I also got a mixtape with DJ Cannon. I’ve been networking with Raheem DeVaugh, Paul Wall, Scarface, Lloyd -- I’ve worked with a few people. I haven’t been too big on features lately though, I’ve been trying to do me and have people hear what I have to put out. I don’t want any features to take over the record and take from the artist.
Are you seeing any major changes thus far with the success of the record?
I’m getting a lot of paid shows, here at home, in the Carolinas, Virginia and getting requests for features. The radio play… I’m getting a lot of love there and it’s just a beautiful thing. Of course I am getting some criticism but it comes with the territory and I just let it motivate me. I’m actually in the studio every day and I believe I have songs bigger than Don’t TextMe. I’m working on my album now but I don’t have a title for it just yet -- I’m trying to get my catalog up right now.
This isn’t your first project though, give us some background on Boobe?
The first project was called One Way Up. I was in a group called Boobe & The Young Farmers and that was the name of our first project. I was saying, in my mind, that my city had not been represented in the Hip-Hop community so I felt as though I was the one that could make it happen so I chased that dream. I didn’t know that it was going to be 8-9 years later that it started paying off but ya know, it’s all been a learning experience for things I’ve learned along the way.
Did you guys start a label up together? Are there other solo acts coming out of it?
Yes, it’s called One Way Records and I’m the CEO. I had a problem with trade marking the One Way after like 3 years, so we changed it to OY Boys Records. We took the beginning of the O in One and the end of Way, the Y and made it OY Boys. It’s a quick little saying that we say at shows & the crowd will “OY” right back at us; it’s real fun and we like playing with it!
Together we did about 4 or 5 mixtapes and albums. DJ Khaled hosted a mixtape called We Shittin On N*ggas. DJ Funky, out in Atlanta, hosted a mixtape, The Streets Most Wanted Vol. 1”. DJ Cee-Lo hosted The Streets Most Wanted Vol. 2. Paul Wall hosted a mixtape for us -- I forgot the name of it because it was a while back but we’ve just been moving and putting in work.
My homie Mac-Milli is doing something solo and I got an R&B act that is doing something solo -- she’s doing her thing. I also got some youngsters coming up that are putting something together. Right now, I’m just waiting to kick the door in so that I can let all of them in. I’m not trying to rap forever so I have to make my mark for about 4-5 years.
Did you grow up with the people that you surround yourself with?
The people on my label are people that I met like 10 years ago and it’s been cool every since -- it’s like a family. I’m actually closer with them than a lot of my family members [laughs].
Do you feel that DC consumers are supporting you guys?
Actually it’s beautiful. DC is known for a lot of hate and lack of support but honestly, I don’t see it -- we get a lot of love. My single, Don’t Text Me, is doing really good right now throughout the nation and I’m getting a lot of love. It was on 106 & Park -- it seems like the stars are lining up together.
How did the putting together of Don’t Text Me come about?
I put a call out to my homie Chink Santana from Murder Inc., I got him to come down from New York to DC and he put the beat on and instantly I wrote the song real quick and I just knew right then that it was going to be a good single. Next thing you know, we put our money where our mouth was at and we were on the road meeting up with DJs, going back and forth to Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Chicago -- we were just on the road pushing it and it worked. It’s paying off!
I’ve been doing shows in Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, but I’ve really just been going and vibing with the DJs so that I could put a face with the song for them.
Is your goal to be signed with a major label?
If it were set up the right way where I can have control and have the right budget, I would love to work with a major label. I’m used to spending my money the way I want and as long as a major isn’t trying to put a cap on to anything, it should be good. If a major feels that they could invest in me and put trust in me and we work together, I believe it would be successful with the moves I’d like to make. But yeah, I’d love to get with a label -- you can only spend your own money and get so far. The major can throw some game on the fire and make it that much bigger -- that is the ultimate goal. But if I could stay independent and get the same results, believe me, I would.
I’m hoping to either get in a situation or blow up independently. No matter what I accomplish, I always feel that I can do a lot more. I’m just trying to get my name out there and brand the company; staying hungry and staying focused. I want to open up the doors for other artists coming out of my city. I feel as though I am in a position to where I could be a Master P or a Puff, coming out of DC. I’m surrounded by a lot of talent and a lot of people look up to me and I know once I get my shine and get in the industry like I plan to be, I can look out for those behind me.
I’m in my first movie. A movie called Recognize, which is directed by my homie T-Miles, he works for No Limit Films so it’s going to be a No Limit Films. He has me in there as the co-star, he is the main star in it and I play a cat named Ray -- I’m in there all wild. It’s a good look and I really enjoy shooting it -- we’re in Atlanta filming now. I have about two days left of shooting and we will be wrapping soon. I think it’s going straight to DVD so it should be dropping in the Fall sometime.