On Saturday (Sept. 2), A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie demonstrated his lionhearted mentality when he jumped on the Tidal stage for Philadelphia's Made in America festival. Rather than sulk in his dressing room about the horrid weather conditions, the swagger-happy MC swam through his set à la Michael Phelps.
Boogie's voracious appetite for winning has proven to be an unstoppable formula. Within a year's time, the Bronx, New York, native has left an indelible impression on the hip-hop game. After a scorching debut mixtape in 2016 titled Artist, Boogie's songwriting prowess has listeners salivating for more. Adept at weaving together throwback hip-hop melodies with his unorthodox rhyme scheme, Boogie has snatched the ears of many notable artists, especially Drake.
Last year, Drake invited the Highbridge artist to perform three dates during his Summer 16 Tour. That July, Boogie inked a deal with Atlantic Records and has had the label grinning ever since. In over a year's time, Boogie has collected two platinum plaques for "My Shit" and "Drowning" featuring Kodak Black (which peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100), and two gold singles with "Jungle" and "Timeless." With his eyes glued on more accolades, the 21-year-old MC hopes his debut album, The Bigger Artist, catapults him to higher levels in the music industry.
Billboard spoke to A Boogie after his Made in America set and discussed his debut album, his monstrous 2017 and thoughts of possibly going back to school. Check out our interview below.
What can fans expect from The Bigger Artist?
The album about to be crazy, man. September 29th. Shit is about to be different, man. I ain't gonna lie, it's gonna be different vibes, man. You see how I do love songs? It's gonna be those in there, but I threw different types of vibes in it that I don't really go on. So I got a song with Chris Brown on there, Trey Songz on there, I got 21 [Savage] on there, PnB Rock, NBA YoungBoy. It's about to be different, man.
What kind of chances did you take on this album that you never took on the mixtape circuit?
It's gonna be kind of connecting to my other projects. Like, I started off throwing out Artist. I made that my first mixtape. Then, I threw out TBA, which means "to be announced." Right now, it's "The Bigger Artist." So it's all connecting. But I stopped doing that mixtape thing. I'm not really rocking with mixtapes no more. EPs and albums, that's it.
Why no more mixtapes?
Speaking of that, I forgot. I got one more mixtape coming. Me and Don Q dropping a mixtape.
You and Don dropped "Protect Ya Patek" recently.
Yeah, that was fire. I ain't gonna lie, I just saw the video after it dropped. I was like, "Damn. This is fire."
You were recently in the studio with Swizz Beatz. How did that session go?
I did a track for him. We just vibed out. It was mainly a vibe session, you feel me? We were talking for like more than an hour, two hours. We weren't really talking about music the whole time. It was a whole bunch of things. I really f--k with Swizz.
You also said you were interested in going back to school at some point. Is that still a priority for you?
Real facts. Not right now, but even in a year. I gotta plan that out. Probably not even a year, I got some shit going on right now [laughs].
If you were to go back to school, what would you pursue?
I still gotta look into that. It's a lot of things to learn out there. For example, you see how monks sit there all day and they just think all day. What do they think about? That's how I'm thinking. It's a whole bunch of things out there to learn about life in general. I don't wanna learn about more science and math. That's not why I'm going to college. I'm trying to learn more in life.
You have two platinum records: "My Shit" and "Drowning." You also have two gold plaques for "Timeless" and "Jungle." How does it feel to have attained all of this success so quickly?
It's crazy. All in 2017, man. It's been a crazy year. I just hope to keep on pushing those platinum [singles], like stacking on top of each other. I need all those plaques in my studios. I'm sending them to my mom's and that's just more motivation for me. My mom is proud of me, my pops proud of me, everybody keeps motivating me. I keep the same people around me.
Your daughter has to be bringing you motivation as well.
That's the best motivation for me right now, man. My daughter. Just seeing her smile every day, and even being on the phone with her and hearing her laugh — everything is just a blessing.
How would you describe your 2017 in one word, and why?
Transformed. That's what I'm doing, transforming, man. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie into Artist. I'm changing my name soon. I wanna go with my real name. I feel like it's a good name.
No more A-Boogie?
It's gonna be A-Boogie still, though. It's gonna be two different sides. A Boogie is this person, and Artist is here.