Since Boogie's hit song "Oh My" started to buzz between rap aficionados, the West Coast MC's name has spread like wildfire. The 25-year-old father released his first project, Thirst 48, last June and has been on a steady rise since. Behind a catchy, street record that seems to get hotter as the summer days go by, rap fans should keep an eye out for former choir singer. With his new project The Reach dropping on the same day as his last mixtape—which is also his son's birthday—Boogie is ready to take it to the next level. "As soon as that tape drops I'm going to get back to work," he told XXL while he was in NYC. "I’m way more patient now. In this industry you learn you have to maneuver with patience. I'm just adjusting from street life to the industry." Get to know Boogie on The Break.—Emmanuel C.M.

Name: Boogie

Age: 25

Hometown: Compton

I grew up listening to: I grew up listening to Gospel and Lauryn Hill and every now and then Tupac and DJ Quik. At 13 years old I was kind of getting in trouble at school a little bit. Mama sent me to Compton to go to church, got forced into the choir, singing soprano because I didn’t hit puberty yet; fell in love with music. The transition with Lauryn Hill was because it’s all soul music and it’s in the same lane. When I got back home my mom was bumping 2Pac and stuff.

The most impactful rap album in my life was probably The Black Album. Around Fade To Black and all that I was obsessed with Jay Z. I think that’s when I really started to understand rap and paid attention to bars a little bit. I just felt like Jay Z was the hardest. Everything he embodies, when the DVD came; he was just a super hustler to me. I started rappin’ at like 14-15 but I didn’t take it serious until I was 18. I got my baby mama pregnant at the age of 19 and had my kid at the age of 20. I said, I got to get on my shit. I went to school for recording engineering. Went and bought me a little affordable in-house studio, recorded my whole project by myself in my room last year.

Most people don’t know: I try to put all my flaws and everything out there on the regular. I’m not trying to make it seem like I’m perfect. I’m just trying to make people see I’m just a regular dude; I’m human. I just feel like in rap music or social media, everybody is trying to portray these perfect roles. Flaws are what make us human in my eyes. I’m in touch with my feelings, I know that much.

My style has been compared to: I never compare myself to rappers. That’s kind of weird to me.  I let people do that. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. Somebody compare me to a soulful artist, I go with it. I hear a lot of Chance The Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. The most famous line, “He’s in between Chance and Kendrick.” [Laughs] They’re great artists and I don’t have a problem with it, but at the same time I’m way different.

Standout records and/or moments to date: Of course, “Oh My” is my biggest record right now. My biggest moment is when I put out Thirst 48 last year on June 24. That was my first project. I finally put thought into something and it was fun to me, the whole process, and to finally get it to the world. The little part of the world it got to was big for me.

The project started from this song called “Numb,” which was about not feeling stuff and what’s going on in our generation. I just wanted to build off of that. My manager helped me work on that. At the same I was falling for my best friend of 10 years, doing a lot of thirsty stuff for her. So it was a double entendre.

I had a feeling [“Oh My” was going to be big] because my kid was dancing to it. I had a feeling it was going to catch the people. The way the game is set up right now, they love that turnt up shit anyway. I still stayed myself and I didn’t have to sacrifice myself to make a radio song.

My goal in hip-hop is: My goal is to live my message out. I want to better my mentality of the youth and the people older than me. Not saying my mentality is the right mentality; I feel my message can help a lot of people as far as the cycle of gang bangin’ in a generation where it seems like we glorify it. I’m from it. I’m from the heart of gang bangin’. I don’t feel like I glorify it, I just tell my story. Just something that Tupac said, he probably won’t be the person that changes it, but he can spark the idea in the person that will change it. And that’s sort of like my same motto. I got a kid; we all humans at the end of the day. I’m trying to put my kid in a better world, basically.

I’m going to be the next: I don’t want to compare myself to nothing. But I’m going to be the next face of rap, hopefully; I’ll go that far. I’ve been working at my craft for a very long time and I’ll be wasting my time if I said I wasn’t trying to be the best. I’m not in the industry to make money and leave. I’m a firm believer that you can’t take money with you when you die. So I want to leave a legacy here for myself and my kid.

To check out more of Boogie’s music, follow his SoundCloud and follow him on Twitter.

Standouts: "Oh My"


Thirst 48

More From XXL