Show And Prove: Boogie
Words Dan Rys
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

L.A. rapper Boogie’s rhymes walk a more personal line than hip-hop’s typical bottles and models. Instead, the 26-year-old narrates internal conflicts, personal battles and the desire to see a better life for his six-year-old son.

Born Anthony Dixson, Boogie grew up around L.A., settling with his mother in Compton by the time he reached middle school. Picking up his first musical education in the local church choir, he split his time soaking in the sounds of Lauryn Hill and 2Pac before giving rap a shot when he got to Long Beach’s Lakewood High School. After dropping out of high school, Boogie ran away from home to live with a girlfriend, working odd jobs and rapping on the side when his son, Darius, was born. “Being responsible for another human being, I knew I had to stop worrying about what was going on in the streets,” he says. “It definitely woke me up.”

Faced with juggling his rap dreams and providing for his son, Boogie began taking recording engineering classes at Long Beach City College and bought himself the rudiments of a home studio. By mid-2013 he had uploaded his first record “Numb” to YouTube, which caught the eye of Clayton Blaha, a former publicist who has worked with Action Bronson, Skrillex and Run The Jewels who soon became Boogie’s manager.

The young rhymer released his first mixtape Thirst 48 in June 2014, which landed him on blogs and led to label meetings in L.A. and New York. The following April he dropped “Oh My,” a single that almost immediately earned him some radio play. The record is from his second tape, The Reach, which dropped the following June and showcased Boogie’s socially and politically-charged rhymes mixed with raps about his own vulnerabilities. “The plan was never to have Boogie just be another rapper,” Blaha says. “We have our focus 100 percent on him playing in the top tier.”

Two months after The Reach, Boogie signed on the dotted line with Interscope Records, who then released “Oh My” commercially on iTunes. With a focus on touring and continuing to grow as he works towards his next project, Boogie has his sights set high. “I’m trying to leave my legacy as the greatest,” he says. “My main thing is to change the world. And I feel like my message can do that.”

Check out more from our Fall 2015 issue including our cover story with Future and interviews with Mac Miller, Scarface, Damian Lillard and August Alsina, a look at the beef between Meek Mill and Drake compared to 50 Cent and Ja Rule, profiles on Southside, Metro Boomin and London On Da Track and more.