HOA Bossman has been making waves as of late, especially with the release of his introspective L.I.F.E. project, which details life growing up in Brooklyn with gritty imagery and finesse that will make you think you’re back in ’93 again. His unique style, coupled with an effortless flow is reminiscent of East Coast hood classics, such as Juice, New Jersey Drive and Above the Rim. With a Bobby Shmurda co-sign and features on major media outlets, HOA Bossman is well on his way to carving out his own lane.
After a crazy week with the release of his “Trust,” featuring Theo Ferragamo, HOA Bossman gave us a few minutes of his time to discuss the impact growing up in Bed Stuy,Brooklyn had on his childhood, social media and that special when he fell in love with hip-hop. Check it out below.
RESPECT: What’s the story behind your stage name, HOA Bossman?
HOA Bossman: Well, the HOA part comes from a media website called House of Aura I started with a few of my close friends. Bossman comes mainly from my mom because I was a stubborn child and that was her nickname for me, but it also comes from the moves I’ve made in the streets and in my life, and the way I carry myself and make decisions.
RESPECT: Your music has a surprisingly nostalgic sound, who were your major influences while growing up?
HOA Bossman: Well, being lucky enough to be born in Brooklyn in 1991 & living in Bed Stuy has been a huge influence, so it goes without saying that my favorite rapper is Biggie. I am also blessed to be in love with sounds; I’ve always had an open ear to music. I try to hear everything I can, going from Toro Y Moi to Wu Tang to ‘N Sync in 5 minutes. I’m always wanting to hear more, which helps as well.
RESPECT: When did you know you wanted to pursue a career as a hip-hop artist?
HOA Bossman: I’ve always wanted to make music, since I was a kid. When I was around 10 years old, I would remix lyrics to songs on the radio and throw my own words into it, or blend songs together. I took music more seriously when my grandmother passed away in front of me a few years back, so I was able to express how I felt about all of my life situations at that moment. Since she was one of my closest friends, I decided to just write about it all, and that’s how I ended up writing my first song, “Long Days, Longer Nights”
RESPECT: How did you come up with the concept for your deeply personal, latest project, L.I.F.E.?
HOA Bossman: It sounds really cliche but life is why I made L.I.F.E. I didn’t want to go crazy by bottling up emotions, and plus I really just rap about my life 24/7. I don’t believe in speaking about experiences that I never had. I don’t fear expressing myself or sharing my life because we’re all human and I know that I’m not the only person who deals with these problems. I think people need to put down their phones and hold more real-life, genuine conversations, because we all have more in common then we’d ever know.
RESPECT: What was it like growing up in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn and how did is shape your outlook on life?
HOA Bossman: Seeing the sh*t I saw in Bed Stuy and all over Brooklyn helped me grow up fast, and made me a man before my time. It was bittersweet because it prepared me for life but kinda robbed me from my childhood.
RESPECT: You’ve been buzzing as of late, with features in The Source, MTV and Vice. Has social media played a big part in building your fan base or do you take the more grassroots approach?
HOA Bossman: The internet is everything nowadays. You can’t really name any new artists who blew up without it. However I look at every performance and interaction with people in real life as opportunities to gain new fans and supporters.
RESPECT: Describe that exact moment when you fell in love with hip-hop.
HOA Bossman: It’s hard to say. It might have been when I first heard “Suicidal Thoughts” by Biggie in like 1994 or 1995. That sh*t was crazy. I never knew you could express or talk about such deep emotion in songs like that. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to die because no one really dies, but I feel that a lot of people have had the thought that if they weren’t here, maybe it wouldn’t be as bad. I guess this was why I wrote “My Escape.”
RESPECT: What do you define as success?
HOA Bossman: I view success as being able to make music, tour the world, and live off of music while providing for my family and friends, and also helping the world. I want to help everyone, from children to students to the elderly & everyone in between: better housing complexes, schools, policing, everything that needs improvement worldwide. I want to be a part of fixing everything if it’s possible.
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