interview by Eamon Whalen
illustration by Justin Hager
We caught up with Boogie, the 26-year-old Compton rapper born Anthony Dixson on a tour stop earlier this year. Listen to his brand new mixtape Thirst 48 Part II here.
Being Away From His Son Darius On Tour
"It’s tough, but I know it’s for a good reason. That’s what I have to explain to myself in my head. But he be so busy, he don’t even care. As long as he’s with his mom or his dad, he’s chillin. I be talking to him everyday on facetime. I guess it’s a double edged sword. I just know I’m breaking a cycle for him, putting him in a better situation where I can actually take care of him. But at the same time, I am away from him, and it’s probably only going to get worse. I’m just trying to figure it out as I go. I just want to teach him how to be a man. I feel like I became a good man but I could’ve been an even better one if my dad was around. Everything I was lacking I’m trying to instill in him. This generation we have this image that struggle gives you strength and that it’ll always benefit you to struggle. "
Grappling With Gangsta Rap
"It’s a battle I fight with myself everyday. Most of my music seems so against gangbanging but I’m a gang member. So I’m just a walking contradiction. I think my main goal is to show people you can still be loyal, because I’m still loyal to my neighborhood. I’m just trying to bring a positive change. I always say gangbanging started with something positive, it started with empowering your neighborhood. Somewhere along the way it turned into poisoning your neighborhood. Not that I want everyone to be a gangbanger, but those that are already in it should show the truth to it. Now we’re just beefing with each other and we forgot that the real enemy started with the bad police. The police still doing what they’re doing and we’re not stopping them. We’re just giving them more reason. It’s crazy."
Honesty Is The Best Policy
"I find more success when I’m honest. People connect to it more. I’m not a good liar. When I hop on a record and say all this stuff that I’m not doing, it’ll be so easy for people to see through it, to see I’m not that dude who’s going out shooting somebody. I might know somebody doing that, but I’m not the one doing that. I want to keep the human aspect. A lot of these rappers forget that they’re human. At the end of the day, people connect to their flaws, and they can learn if we’re just honest with it."
Making His Breakout Hit “Oh My”
"It wasn’t even a serious process. I got sent the beat when I was with my kid. I started humming the melody and my kid started dancing to it and I was like “oh it’s over.” I let my manager hear it and he was all on it. I recorded it and we knew we had one."
Linking Up With In-House Producer Keyel
"I’ve been knowing Keyel since I was 15. My brother got married to his auntie and he became my nephew. I was just starting to do music and he was just starting to do beats. We grew together as artists. During Thirst 48 we stopped talking for a bit but I knew I needed him back to take my music where it needed to go. So now we’re killin it together, we live together. I’ve never met somebody that works harder than him. Especially seeing where he comes from, nobody pushes me like he does. He’s the most honest with me when I’m fucking up on something. He’s going to have his hands on everything I do."
What He Owes To The Church
"Just melodies man. Even in “Oh My,” the part “from hopping off of buses...” I’m addicted to doing melodies every song I have to throw some type of melody in there. That definitely all came from church. I feel like whether your somebody that believes in god or not I figure that the church is a positive thing because it brings community together to do something positive. Church is everything, I’m a strong believer in god. I believe that everything that’s happening for me right now is because of him, and everything bad that happened to me is because I deserved it. All my morals as a person I learned in church."
Social Media And Gang Culture
"It’s diluted it even more. Making it more popular but at the same time diluting it. Now, gangbanging is a trend instead of something you do for your neighborhood. So now the tougher you look on Twitter, the more girls you’re going to get. So there are so many dudes that’s just trying to be tough all day, saying “cuz” or “blood” because they think it’s cute. But people die over that shit. That’s social networks for you though. But to be honest, I wouldn’t erase none of these social networks because of the power it gives you if you use it right. "