Once again, the Bronx is burning, but instead of abandoned buildings bringing the heat, this time around, it’s hot records at the core of the borough's current hot streak. Equipped with a resume that includes platinum hits like the Kodak Black-assisted "Drowning (Water)" and "My Shit," and co-signs from the likes of Drake and Fabolous, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has played a major role in helping to spark a new interest in the borough known for birthing music’s most dominant genre.
The release of his debut album, The Bigger Artist should find the 21-year old continuing down the path of putting on for his city. Due to hit stores and online outlets on September 29, the project features production from Metro Boomin, DJ Mustard, and Murda Beatz, as well as guest appearances from the likes of Chris Brown and Trey Songz.
Aside from taking pride in being a part of his hometown's resurgence, the Bronx native is also committed to using his newfound celebrity to impact the lives of others in a positive way. For his latest collaboration, A Boogie partnered with the Garden of Dreams to launch a back-to-school drive for young students who may be in need of school supplies. Hosted in his homebase of the Highbridge, the giveaway gave away dozens of bookbags filled with custom-designed composition notebooks signed by the rapper. "If you're going to follow something, follow something good," said the artist as he stood on stage in front of an auditorium full of screaming children for a good cause.
On-hand for the event, REVOLT TV caught up with A Boogie to talk about his debut album, upcoming tour, and the importance of giving back.
Why did you decide to partner with the Garden Dreams Foundation for your recent back-to-school giveaway?
I feel like it was the best way to go, being that they already kind of go in that direction. And these hoodies right here - they making a lot of supplies for me. So everything is perfect for me right now. If I moved with anyone else, it wouldn’t make sense. We’d have to start all over.
What does it mean for you to be able to give back in a such a big way at such an early stage in your career?
It means a lot to me to be able to do something like this in my community. Growing up, we never had something like this. Nobody famous ever came to my school to talk to us or do things for us. Just me coming out of Highbridge, it’s good for me to come back and talk to these kids and let them know that they can still be something and that there is still time.
What would you say is the biggest difference between your debut album, The Bigger Artist, and your previously released projects?
There is a big update from when I first made my music in the beginning to now. Artist, the [mixtape], was not just things that you could turn up to. It was a good piece of work. You could really sit down and listen to that whole project and realize that what I’m saying on there is real things. This album right here is kind of a mix, because nowadays this generation has to have that music to turn up, so I threw in, like, five haymakers. I threw the love songs in there, also. So there are a bunch of vibes on this album.
Which The Bigger Artist track are you most proud of?
“No Promises.” That’s the first song on the album. On that record there, I’m talking about life in general and about how I started up. I was just a regular boy trying to make it to be somebody. But no matter what, there’s no promises in life.
Who would you say has been your favorite producer to work with while crafting The Bigger Artist?
Ness and Metro are my favorites. I wish I had myself on there producing.
Is producing something you want to get into?
Yeah, exactly. I started. You know what I do? I just play the piano a lot. Nobody ever taught me. I just like making sounds. If it sounds good, I like it.
What should fans expect from your forthcoming 'The Bigger Artist' Tour?
Expect me to have a completely brand new show from when I was first beginning. Expect things like featured artists on my tour. You never know who is coming out. You know I’m going to bring out Don Q on the tour. Probably PnB Rock. On the album, there are a lot of features. You never know, Chris Brown could even pop up.
Speaking of Don Q, you’ve mentioned that the two of you have a collaborative mixtape in the works. When can we expect that project?
Yeah, me and Don Q are working on a tape. We’re going off of vibes. We’re not putting any release dates on it, but we definitely have a lot of heat on there. It’s back to back heat. It’s different now from our first tape Highbridge the Label: The Takeover, Vol. 1.
There’s a new energy bubbling in the Bronx, and you, Cardi B, and a few other Bronx natives have a lot to do with it. What are your thoughts on this new wave of the Bronx?
I feel like New York is coming up way different now, especially with the talent in the Bronx. Me, Cardi B and even going back to the older generation with Swizz Beatz, it’s like we’re killing it. But the younger generation is making us look good. If we keep on doing our job, it’s no doubt about us being on top.