If you’ve paid any attention to Atlanta over the last decade and a half, you might get the feeling there are a lot of guys down in the A like Bohagon—dudes whose raps you could listen to all day, who enter your orbit once a season, but there’s just never enough time to champion them all. But Bohagon finally has a solo album coming out someday soon, and this single illustrates exactly why we decided to put him in FADER #53. Read that after the jump and uh set a Google alert for “bohagon who am i?” for the album release.
Download: Bohagon, “Been Gettin Money”
Bohagon finds life after crunk
T-a-l-b-o-t-t-o-n. Make sure you throw that in there,” says rapper Bohagon, spelling out the name of his birthplace—a town 80 miles south of Atlanta. Though the 27-year-old has spent a decade quietly navigating the A’s hyperactive club tangents—bass, crunk and snap—his meditative small town flow remains. His syllables are croaked and stretched to form gothic street-hop tales, describing a world of snake-in-the-grass haters and victims who caught the wrong end of a broken bottle.
Bo got his break when a mutual friend put him in touch with then-fledgling bass producer Lil Jon, who helped land his track “Uh Uhh” on the So-So Def Bass All Stars Vol 2 compilation back in 1997. A ten-year relationship with the producer followed, with Bo contributing guest raps to all three of Lil Jon’s nationally distributed albums, signing with the producer’s BME label and appearing on albums by cohorts Crime Mob and Lil Scrappy. “I kinda played the Scottie Pippen role,” Bohagon says. “My thing was to help Jon be as big as he could be. We did that and the after-effect of it is he got rich and he got lazy a little bit. That’s my big bro, I love him to death, but his sense of urgency ain’t my sense of urgency, because he’s 20 million strong.”
His time with Lil Jon was something of a
creative boot camp for Bo, forcing the young rapper to accommodate Atlanta’s rapidly shifting party aesthetic. Though this adaptability helped Bo score a minor hit of
his own with 2006’s snap anthem “Wuz Up,” he ultimately found the trend-hopping limiting. “The only thing they wanted me
to do is make some club music,” he says. “But I got to the point where I wanted to make music about everything. I wanted
to make music about once you leave the club. I wanted to make music you play that Sunday after the club.”
Having split amicably from Lil Jon and BME, Bo formed the Asylum-distributed Black Cartel label with producer Cyber Sapp, which will release his debut Who Am I? in April. He’s diversifying his approach, not just moving away from crunk but also expanding beyond his grizzled persona, as
on the for-the-ladies single “There She Go.”
It’s part of his plan to synthesize all the sides
of the hood. “Just put your ear to the streets,”
he says invoking the theme of his song, “Street Melody.” “The street’s got its own song that it sings. And the song is pain, it’s happiness, it’s highs and lows to it.”