A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie Paints the Songs on His ‘Hoodie SZN’ Album
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has come a long way, but never distances himself from his hometown. As an artist who literally formed his career from the ground up, the Bronx native understands what it takes to make it. His debut album, 2017's The Bigger Artist featured the Kodak Black-assisted "Drownin" which is now triple-platinum. Never one to grow complacent, it's time to get back to the grind, or perhaps Hoodie SZN, as A Boogie titled his latest album. XXL gets the entertainer, whose real name is Artist, to show off his artistry as he paints his way through the songs on the new record for our Masterpiece series.
Hoodie SZN has been teased for a while, but it arrived on Dec. 21, right before the holidays. The 20-track album has an array of strong features, including appearances from Offset ("Startender"), 6ix9ine, Young Thug, Quando Rondo and more. Surround that talent with production from T-Minus, Kenny Beats, London on da Track alongside more beatsmiths and you have something special on your hands. The album cascades between the fun-loving A Boogie and the darker, more personal side of himself. At its heart, Hoodie SZN is the story of a young man trying to get through life and love as a star. He handles everything that comes with his lifestyle well, but he makes sure to share both the good and the bad point of views.
"The album Hoodie SZN is about the result of where I come from, it gave me this black heart," A Boogie tells XXL, as he points to his painting of a heart. "And the black heart represents depression."
The album opener "Voices in My Head," is a summary of A Boogie's thoughts on his own popularity, from being targeted to people thinking his life is perfect. Produced by the trio of Jake One, Slade Da Monsta and Nascent, the artist uses the booth to clear his mind.
"I dropped my first mixtape and yeah, that shit ran laps/By the time I dropped The Bigger Artist, like seven million in plaques/Got too much gold, I'm way too smart to leave my crib without straps/And any nigga run up on us gon' get hit like that," he rhymes, keeping everything in perspective, even his success.
"Its crazy, my name is Artist, and I dead can't even paint. Can't draw, do none of that shit," he shares with a laugh, as he begins to paint a shouting emoji. He adds a few lines to represent a shout before asking for some approval, then wraps it up. A faithful recreation of a popular emoji is the result; Artist isn't too shabby at all with the paintbrush.
Later, he highlights his song "Demons and Angels," a collaboration between him and Chicago rising star Juice Wrld. "I'ma throw the red in there for the demons 'cause that means stop, and the green in there for the angels because that means go," he explains as he paints a circle for each color. As it goes, Juice Wrld is a workhorse in the studio, as he created multiple songs using the same beat in the session. "Bro, you going crazy!" was A Boogie's reaction to Juice's output.
"'Look Back at It' took me mad long to drop, first of all," A Boogie says, with relief in his voice. "It got two Michael Jackson samples on it, that's why it took me a whole year to drop." He paints a handprint for this song to represent a glove for the King of Pop. "'Remember the Time' and 'You Rock My World' from Michael Jackson were two of my favorite songs ever. My mom used to bump them all the time." Mama knows best.
Watch A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie prove who's really The Bigger Artist as he uses the canvas to breakdown a few songs off his Hoodie SZN album above.
See Behind-the-Scenes Photos of A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie at 2017 XXL Freshman Shoot