According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of focused practice to become great at ones craft. That means a lot of closed doors in the process. Think Jay Z and Kanye West. Before rising to stardom,Yeezy played “Jesus Walks” for several A&R’s and all of them said, no. Jay and Dame Dash started Roc-A-Fella Records because they couldn’t get a record deal. So, unless an artist has a gimmick that labels can market, they have to put in some serious grind to be successful in the rap game.
Houston MC and CEO of Authentik Music Group (AMG), Boston George, is no gimmick. Here’s a few reasons why. For one, he’s recorded with Houston legend, Scarface. ‘Face doesn’t rap with just anyone. Two, Atlanta’s Trap-god, Young Jeezy, asked to get on Boston George’s “Plug”(remix), which features CTE affiliate Boo Roosini. Usually, rappers ask Jeezy to get on tracks, not the other way around. Three, several record labels have offered BG record deals. But, he’s turned all of them down because he understands the value of 10,000 hours. “I’d rather keep doing it the way that I’m doing it. I can easily do a deal where they blow me,” Boston said from his home in Houston, Texas. “But, the money they spend to blow me is going to be the reason I’m be broke for the next couple of years.” Boston said. So, it goes without saying that Boston is still an independent artist.
Without backing from major labels, BG has established relationships with some of hip-hop heavyweights such as Future, Eightball & MJG and Big K.R.I.T, to name a few. In 2012, the 27-year-old Boston George scored a regional hit with the club banger, “Molly”(remix), which features Maybach Music Group MC Meek Mill and fellow Houstonian, Kirko Bangz. The following year, Boston George released his Drug War mix-tape, which has over 141,000 hits on Livemixtapes.com. And, in March, Boston will drop the DJ Drama hosted mix-tape, Trappin In Traffic, which features the Future and Lil Boosie assisted single,“Rich Off Lean.“
Boston George took some of time out of his daily grind to speak with The Source about Trappin in Traffic, what makes the rap game so hard, what caused him to get into the rap game and much more.
Houston, we have a problem.
How did you get started in the rap game?
I started behind the scenes trying to pushing killa Kyleone and Marcus Manchild. Me and one of my homeboys was basically promoting them. Throughout the time of working with them, I got in different situations with a lot of different people. Just making connections, doing different things. And, the guys we was promoting wasn’t willing to work as hard as I was working, so I just tried it out myself, man. And, when I tried it, it seems like it started moving. People was more easy to take it from me because they saw me working more than just saying, “oh, ‘he can rap better or he this or that.’”
When did things begin to take off for you?
Me and my brother stared in, I want to say about 2008 or 2009. We was promoting Killa until about 2010, 2011. And, we did Marcus, in about 2010, 2011. And, that’s when I put out the “Molly” song. I did the “Molly” song in the summer of 2012. That was actually my first time recording. It started doing pretty good, so I was like, ‘I going to push this.” I ain’t even have another song, period. I had went like three, four, five months just pushing that song and I was seeing the type of reaction I was getting from it and I was like, ‘Man, if took my time and went in there and practice that shit it might work.’
So, rapping wasn’t part of the plan?
It wasn’t a planned thing. When “Molly” took off I just started going from there, one song at a time.
Did you have a relationship with Meek Mill before “Molly” or did you reach out to him?
Well, the actual relationship with Meek came through Spliff, he do the videos for Maybach. I asked him to hook it up. He came down for All-Star, I think in 2012 or 2013. When he came down he was with the play, so we put everything together and we did it.
So, what was you doing before the music took off?
Really, to be honest with you, I was in the streets, you know. I just kind of transformed that into this music. Just trying to make my way into the corporate world. It went from one thing to the next. I felt like the music game was the closest thing to the streets. So, you know, I was accepted here and you know, my mom was a real estate agent and them not the type of people I knew. So, I just blended in more with the rap. It was easier for me to get in.
Is there a big difference in the streets and music business?
Man, neither one of them easy to me. [Laughter] But, I’m say this, I’ve been in the streets since 2004, it’s just like anything, you in it for six, seven years, you become immune to everything and you pretty much know how everything go. The rap game is hard to me because it’s new to me. But, you know everything is the same, networking and getting to know the right people, playing it smart and knowing that neither one of these games is made for you to win because everybody trying to win they-self. I consider them to be about the same.
So, what’s hard about the rap game?
When I was coming up, when you around these rappers, as long as you ain’t no rapper, it’s all-good. Ain’t no threat, you know? You ain’t stepping into their lane or stepping into their money. But, when you step into their money, the dudes who was always telling you about the rap game, opening to you about the rap game, shut down, especially if they see you getting any kind of shine cause they start feeling like, you know, ‘this might be the next mother…. to start taking the money that I get.’
So, when I thought people would step in and be like, ‘Nah, bruh, don’t do it this way, do it this way.’ It’s almost like they want to fall back and let you crash yourself or run your head into the wall instead of stepping in. Before I even started with the music they would give me all the game. So, I feel like the hardest part is having to learn everything on your own.
Can you recall where you were mentally you decided to get into the rap game?
It really came with being around Slim Thug when I was young, when I was about 19, 20, 21. Me coming in, I had the jewelry, I had the stuff that they had, my name just started getting popular in the streets and in the club.
I’m stepping in the club with Slim and they screaming out my name just as much as they screaming their name out. I was just in their hanging out, popping bottles, just kicking it. But, just my lifestyle and everything that was going on, from me being in the streets, everybody that I was around was like, ‘Man, you should rap, you should rap.’ Just to start telling the story.
One day I just stepped in this club and everybody was just going crazy, ‘Boston George this, Boston George that.’ I was just like, ‘Man, I’m try it out.’ This was in 2008. So, I went out and got a lot of verses from a lot of people like, Lil’ Boosie, Rick Ross, I’m talking about everybody that was hot in the game at that point. Then when I got home, I went into the studio, I had never been in there. I was trying and trying, but is wasn’t sounding right. So, that’s when we went and got Killa Kyleon and started going from there.
How did you and Slim Thug become friends?
Me and one of his homeboys named Dre, we was real cool partners in the streets. I would go out with Dre and Slim would be around and over time we all became cool.
Who are some of the people you’ve worked with?
Rich Homie Quan, I got a chance to do a record with Scarface, Young Jeezy, Yo Gotti, pretty much…on this new mix-tape that I’m about to drop with DJ Drama, I got [Rick] Ross on their, I got most of the big names on there.
How did the “Rich Off Lean” happen? Did Lil Boosie record the hook over the phone?
Nah, he had done a song for me before he went to jail. So, when he went to jail I wasn’t able to get it and actually do nothing with it. I ran into his brother in Atlanta and I just let them know, ‘I got this verse from Future, burh, and I really want to chop that Boosie verse up that he got for me.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, bruh, you ain’t never hollered at us, you never talked to us.’ So, he had sent all the vocals and I had chopped up a piece of his verse and chopped up all the shouting out he did for me on the song and put it together in the hook and I already had the Future verse, so I put it together and dropped it.
Was you and Future in the studio together?
Nah, that whole song was mixed and matched. The actual Future verse I had got from Marcus Manchild. I had got the verse for him, he didn’t like… He didn’t want to use that sound, he wanted to do something different. I had paid grand theft money for it, so I was like, ‘I ain’t about to let shit get away.’ So, I just chopped it up and we really make- shifted that whole song.
How did you get Jeezy on a track with you?
Me and Boo Rossini, we real close, so with him being one of Jeezy’s close friends, when we hanging out, going different places, we kept bumping into each other. I had that “Plug” record and he was like,‘That shit hard, man. I need to get on that.’ Me and Boo was in Miami and everywhere performing it and then one day he hit me up and was like, ‘Send me that instrumental.’ I sent it to him, then I went down to Atlanta for…some shit and he was like, ‘Man, jump in the car.’ I jumped in the car and he played it [laughter] and I was like, ‘Got…’
Were you and Scarface in the studio together?
Yes, me and Scarface cool.
Scarface don’t get on anybody’s track, you have to be official.
He don’t. Scarface one of them type of people, It’s going to be one or two things. If you ain’t a person signed to a label and they ain’t paying him a real check, he ain’t doing it. And, then other than that, you got to be an official person. I know some of the OG people that he know, so through phone calls. He pretty much knew about me anyway. When he first got out of jail, I had took care of him and did a record for Killa. And, he was like,‘That was a crucial point in time when ya’ll came through. Whenever you need anything I got you.’ So, I hit him up and told him about the record and he told me to stop by the studio and however you want to do it, that’s how we going to do it and that’s what happened.
Did he already have his verse written or did he write there on the spot?
Nah, he wrote when he got to the studio. I had already did my hook and my verse. Well, I had three different songs for him. And, I had my hook and verses for him. I was just waiting on him to check the songs out. And, he liked the one called “Flatline.” So, that’s the one that’s going to be on the album with [DJ] Drama.
Tell me about the Trappin’ In Traffic.
The first time I hooked up with Drama, I had got him to do a Gangsta Grillz for Killa back in ’09. So, we had the relationship from then. And, you know, from me going out to Atlanta and just being around, we always bumped into each other, we always kept it cool. And, when he saw me getting my buzz and me doing my thing, when he would see me, he would shout me out when I walked through the club. And, it it just started from there. I hollered at him about doing it and he was like, ‘I got you, I got you. Just let me know. We with you, let’s do it.’ That’s how it all started.
Who’s on the album?
The tape going to be stacked. Like I say, I got Scarface on there. I got Rich Homie [Quan]. I’m put the “Plug” remix on there, so I got Jeezy on there. I’m trying to get a record with Ty Dolla $ign and YG and I’m trying to get August Aslina on there. I’m trying to have that done in the next couple of weeks.
When can fans expect Trappin’ In Traffic?
I want to drop it at the end of next month.
What’s up with the major labels?
I been flown out by pretty much all the labels. Universal flew me out. I spoke with Atlantic a couple times. I mean, I’ve spoken to everybody you can imagine. But, it’t just the situation that I’m in, compared to the situation that I would allow them to put me in. I only been rapping for two years and ya’ll know about me, XXL know about me. It’s just slowly but surely everybody starting to figure it out. I do shows every week. I just want to have myself in a better situation with the labels where they jump along with what I got going on rather than me going where they think I should go.