Show & Prove: A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Words: Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Summer 2016 belongs to A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. In August, the rookie MC made the leap from viral sensation to the big times, opening for Drake and Future at three out of four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It’s a watershed moment for A Boogie, a 20-year-old from the Highbridge neighborhood of The Bronx. “I feel like it’s my job to put the city on my back,” he says. “I gotta rep where I’m from.”

For the past year, A Boogie has done just that; dropping melodic YouTube hits like “My Shit” and “Bag On Me” featuring Don Q. “I got the uptempo and melodies,” A explains, but cites his lyrical chops, too. “If you listen to me, it’s real stories. It’s catchy and something you can relate to.”

Born with the actual government name Artist Dubose, Boogie began toying with music at the age of 12. After graduating from Dewitt Clinton High School in 2012, he moved to Florida to study air conditioning. “I never really finished it,” Boogie says. “I wasn’t really comfortable going to college.”

Run-ins with the law put Boogie on probation for two years and on house arrest for one. It was while he was stuck at the crib in 2014 that the aspiring rhyme slinger began to take music seriously. “I was sitting in front of the computer and [learning] everything, Fruity Loops, Pro Tools,” he tells. “My dad brought me a microphone. Then I started going to work.”

In 2015, Boogie returned to The Bronx equipped with a passion to pursue hip- hop. He enlisted friends Bubba and Quincy and started Highbridge The Label, where he was the inaugural artist. The following year, A Boogie released his debut project, Artist: The Mixtape and a few other records with his signee, Don Q.

The industry quickly took notice with DJ Khaled, Meek Mill and 50 Cent being some of the heavyweights to cosign Boogie early on. “That’s when I really knew I was there,” the young MC admits. Soon after, his songs began to get spins on the radio. “If he continues to put more people in the club and make people dance and interested about what he has to say, then he’ll go far,” says Hot 97’s radio personality Funkmaster Flex, one of the first to give the young rapper some airtime.

Now A Boogie has hip-hop checking for him and he’s got to really deliver. The pressure is on since he landed a joint venture partnership with Atlantic Records. He has an EP and album slated for this year, which he promises will reflect his multi- faceted artistry: the trap-leaning street and love song-driven sweet. “I just wanna be relevant,” A Boogie muses. “Be on the charts, [have] my albums go platinum.”

Check out more from XXL’s Fall 2016 issue including our Gucci Mane cover story interview, Young Thug's cover story interview, Young M.A in Show & Prove, the trials and tribulations of Rich Homie Quan, Train of Thought with Beanie Sigel, vintage-inspired rap tees and must-have embroidered jackets.

 See Exclusive Photos From Gucci Mane's XXL Magazine Fall 2016 Cover Story