Being independent and a musician is akin to the South. While
David Banner, Lil’ Flip, T.I., and others just to name a few, made themselves legends in their regions before exploding into the national spotlight. Another emcee hoping to add his name is Boo (aka Boo Rossini). The Mississippi native who’s signed to J Records via his imprint, Royal Dollar Records, is poised to be a major player in the game with his upcoming debut album “1 Life, 1 Love” and his DJ Drama assisted mixtape – “The Drug Store”. The album set for release in 2007 features production from Swizz Beats, Mannie Fresh, Jazze Pha and others; with guest appearances from Bun B and Paul Wall just to name a few.
The Southern underground kingpin, who’s been grinding for over seven years, sits down with HHC after doing countless shows and talks about the independent game versus being with a major, what he thought about Young Jeezy before the masses knew of him, and what’s behind the meaning of “1 Life, 1 Love”.
HHC: Before hip-hop began to shine its spotlight on the South, what was the most trying part of being an independent artist?
Boo: There really wasn’t a trying part. You know what I’m saying? I just went out and learned the business. That’s what the game forced us to do because we weren’t a
HHC: Eventually, your hard work paid off as you were able to perform in front of the legendary Clive Davis. J Records isn’t really known for having a great track record with rappers. If the label doesn’t promote your album like it should, what will you do?</b>
Boo: That’s the advantage that we have. We started in this game being independent. At the end of the day, they can’t take that from me. It’s not like they came and discovered us. We were already moving as a unit. We already have our fan-base. All they’re doing is distribution of the product. They’re just going to get it in the stores and promote it. If I had to go back to independent, it would. The foundation has already been laid. That’s why you have to look at your contract. Once, we get to the point – demo. Taking a chance. If everyone does their job, it’ll work. It’s a gamble to take the chance. There’s no chance of the album even coming out. But if everyone upholds their end then, it’ll work. That’s just like saying that Asylum, their first act broke through with Mike Jone. They weren’t really know as a company until then. So, if the gamble pays off, then it’s lovely.
Boo: Really, I ain’t even looking at that. You just have to stay positive about that. You get what you put into it. At the end of the day, I’m going to do my part as far as that music is concerned. It’ll be a win-win situation when the album comes out. I have a few features on the album. Specifically, Jeezy is on the album too. You know that Jeezy and I started out together. Everybody was grinding independently. Everyone was using the same formula at the time. We were all trying to create good anthems for the street. We’d break the records in the streets. I saw from the gate that Jeezy was a hustler. He put in a lot of hard work from the beginning, he never took a short cut. Same thing with Banner, he would go out on the road and put his money and invest it in himself. A lot of people are thinking that they’re just popping out of the blue, but they’ve been on their hustle for a minute and weren’t waiting for a major to pick them up. The buzz in the street is crucial.
HHC: Rappers are known as being braggarts, but most don’t live what they write about. For the past seven years or so, you’ve drop underground album after album – what kept you going and what can listeners expect with “The Drug Store” mixtape?
Boo: It’s that pain medicine, you know what I’m saying? There are a lot of people going through what I’m going through. My inspiration is life. In general, I may go through some things and then, that night, will come into the studio and write about it. As far as rappers who don’t live what they write, that doesn’t hold any weight with me. A lot of dudes who got that buzz is from people knowing you from your rhymes. A lot of that comes from that. Living that life is how you got your buzz in the streets. Your reputation and your name will follow you wherever you go. You hear about it all the time.
HHC: Your debut album is called, “1 Life, 1 Love”. What’s the significance of the title to you?
Boo: The album is really good, it’s really family based. The title is just a universal phrase that I associate with the people that I rock with. It is a title that signifies the movement that we have. Everyone in my circle gets one love. It’s just that. I support anyone and everyone who is about making something out of themselves. I’m just giving them [the fans] my life. This album is bigger than I am; I’m trying to unite the streets. That’s what this album is about. The whole movement that we got state-to-state, we show love. I fucks with a lot of street guys that support our music. That’s how I consider uniting the streets, showing love.
HHC: Every rapper proclaims that they’re from the street and tells street tales. With their being a struggle between newly christened rappers beefing with the more established ones – what do you think that you have to offer that’s truly any different from anyone else?
Boo: That ain’t me. That’s not beef to me. I don’t even get into all that. I don’t cause any problems. I just try to stay in my lane. My only caution is just don’t get in mines. You have to look at that there isn’t any difference. I am just telling my story from my point of view. The dudes that go out and buy them are the ones that we’re catering to. It’s really no difference. I’m just doing me.
HHC: With an album due for release, a building buzz, and a major industry co-sign, 2007 looks to be a great year for you. Good luck to you for all of your endeavors. Is there anything that you want to say to the readers of HHC?