Interview: Don’t Judge A Boaz By Its Cover
The Steel City, aka Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by most accounts is a quiet city nestled between the Mid-West Coast and East Coast. Despite its hushed reputation, the metro’s contributions to hip-hop can’t be denied. The city birthed the blunt blowing and award winning rapper Wiz Khalifa and helped make Mac Miller into star. But, don’t get it twisted, Pittsburgh isn’t limited to the MTV crowd. There’s a whole other side to the Steeler’s hometown..
In fact, it’s home to one of the most successful, but low profile mob families— the LaRocca-Genovese Crime Family. It’s no secret that many mafia organizations experience underworld longevity because they don’t boast about their murders, jewelry, stacks on deck, women, or $43,000 Brioni Vanquish II suits. It’s as if their authenticity is part of their flesh. The family’s gangsta is just understood and admired.
Hailing from the same area of P.A. where numerous syndicates made money on the streets is twenty-nine-year old rapper, Boaz, who hails from Larimer. In addition to Bo’s G-status—just surviving Pitts seedy Southwest side has earned him cosigns from street certified artists like The L.O.X. and Scarface, which speaks volumes about Boaz without him having to say a word.
The Rostrum Records rapper began rhyming at an early age. But, after winning 106.7 WAMO’s Battle of the Beats rap competition in 2005, Boaz and his friend DJ Shef started Point Blank Records. Shortly thereafter, the Point Blank team released Bo’s debut mixtape Intent To Deliver. The streets were receptive to his vivid stories and sharp couplets. With his buzz growing and momentum rising by a steady flow of releases following his debut—The Manuscript, Audiobiography and Bases Loaded made him a local star.
“Boaz was always one of the best artists out of Pittsburgh, that’s been known for a long time. It was just a matter of him fulfilling his potential. At Rostrum, we felt we could do that for him,” Arthur Pitt, Senior Vice President A&R/Promotions, said.
Boaz’ potential comes through on his recently released mixtapes Real Name, No Gimmicks, Vol. 1 and Real Name, No Gimmicks, Vol. 2. On Vol. 1 and vol. 2, Bo shows his knack for back-alley, real-life tales and above average lyrical skill. In 2013, he joined The Smokers Club tour along with Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller and Kendrick Lamar.
VIBE recently caught up with the rapperin Times Square for our very first interview. In the midst of Mary Jane smoke being passed amongst Bo’s three-man Rostrum entourage at New York City’s Paramount Hotel, the Pitts rapper discussed his debut album Intuition, which features Jadakiss, Styles P and Mac Miller. He also chopped it up about books, the industry, his Muslim faith, and game that he picked up from spending time with Scarface and The L.O.X. and much much more.