What happens when rap legend Prodigy combines his talents with the Queensbridge native Boogz Boogetz?
We brunched with these two rappers at Sweet Chick earlier this week to get the exclusive on “Young Rolling Stonerz” set to drop November 25. The album is being released under Prodigy’s label, Infamous Records and is intended to generate buzz for Boogz’s own record label ” Young Rolling Stonerz.” Prodigy was optimistic and had many words of wisdom in regards to this new project, as well Boogz who ensured us that “the fans are gonna love it”. Check out what Prodigy and Boogz had to say about Young Rolling Stonerz, New York grit and East Coast hip-hop.
Prodigy, you have a lot of new projects coming out under your record label, can you talk about some of your upcoming projects?
I have an album coming out November 25th with Boogz called “Young Rolling Stonerz”, a collaboration album that we did together. Young Rolling Stonerz is the name of Boogz’s record label basically Infamous did a deal with Young Rolling Stonerz as a label to put out Boogz, that’s why we call the album Young Rolling Stonerz, to help promote the label.
Also we have Rick Gonzalez coming out with his new project with Statik Selektah and that’s gonna be pretty dope.
I have project I’m working on with Havoc, he’s producing the whole album for me.
When can we expect that project to drop?
I’m just working on all three at the same time and I’m kinda working a little different right now, multitasking because I just wanna keep the machine rolling I just wanna keep the products coming. We’re knocking three out at one time and I’m taking my time with it though, I ain’t tryna rush it. I’m knocking three albums out at one time so I can be more efficient and get that work out there at the same time as dropping new artists. We’re always definitely on the look for new artists.
Prodigy, how important do you think it is it to support new artists?
It’s definitely hard if they don’t have their own movement going. I just did a deal with Nature for his next project and Nature already got a name for himself, (he’s confirmed) he’s from Queensbridge so it’s easier to do a deal with an artist of that caliber, that’s already got a little fan base. When you got a new artist, if they ain’t puttin that work out there, if they ain’t putting that effort in to make videos, getting their social media up and got their own movement going it’s like you gotta do all that for them and create an artist, so it’s harder going in.
So what do you think of artists like Bobby Shmurda who has this whole movement behind him?
He’s dope, he’s got that video, he’s moving and shaking and that’s why he went over there and got whatever kind of deal he worked out. It was easier to give him a deal, like the record company was like was like ‘hell yeah.’
What do you both think of the current state of East coast hip-hop?
Prodigy: It’s almost like Hip hop to me as a whole is like this mutated thing. Before back in the day each region would have its own slang and way to dress, now it’s like a mutant now, you got this region doing that slang and that region doing New York slang and you know it’s cool though, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just different, that’s what I see a majority of right now on the East Coast, in New York hip-hop, this southern slang and southern style of music or beats or Midwest style or Cali style. I see a lot of New York artists mutating their style and ain’t nothin wrong with that and those artists are popping right now and then you got other artists that stick to what they do and stick to their New York sound that they’re known for like artists like Mobb Deep that have a certain style. We might experiment on a song or two, but our base, core sound is that dark gritty hardcore New York sh*t. You’re not gonna hear us on any radio playlists or in the mainstream because it’s dark sinister music. Music is an art form and we always try to experiment and play with this sound or that type of beat, so every single Mobb Deep album you’ll hear an experiment, if you listen good to the album you’ll be like oh sh*t, this song you can tell they were trying something. That’s just how we are; we like to play with it.
Boogz: I think we doing our thing, I think we got A$AP Rocky, we got the Bobby Shmurda, we got French Montana, so right I now I think East Coast hip-hop is on the come back.
Boogz, what was the inspiration behind “Young Rolling Stonerz” ?
Basically just the brand, my brand Young Rolling Stonerz, my team, my movement. Prodigy said he wanted to brand my movement so that’s why we named it Young Rolling Stonerz.
What kind of sound can we expect?
I would say stonified, a little gritty, it’s still got that Queens feel and its laid back like ride out music, vibe music. It’s chill, you can chill to it.
How is this different than the previous mixtapes you put out?
Some of the beats we used, some of the beats (Prodigy) picked, so I’m just working with his selection too, I’m bringing my style to his type of beats, that’s why it’s kinda different. Normal stuff I wouldn’t rap on, I rap on for this album.
Would you say that helps you grow as an artist?
Yeah it definitely does because it’s always good when you got somebody in the studio, that’s like challenging you to go to the next level. I think it’s a good look, the fans are gonna love it, I know they’re gonna love it.
So you started rapping at 14 and knew you knew you wanted to be a rapper by 17, how did you know this what you wanted to do with your life?
At 17 I didn’t really know this is what I wanted to do, I was just doing it still, but when I did a show in France a couple of years ago and seeing how the crowd reacted that’s when I was like yo I wanna be a rapper, this is what I wanna do and at the show so many people came out and I didn’t know that so many people knew me so far away.
Do you remember when you guys first worked together?
Yeah we did a thing for Vinnies, we did a song for Vinnies, it’s a local boutique in Brooklyn. We did a song/commercial for it and it was dope, that’s the first time we worked together.
Did you reach out to Boogz or did you reach out to Prodigy for this new project?
Boogz: We were homies,once he came home we linked up. once he came home from jail.
Prodigy: When I was locked up I wrote a movie for Boogz and my son. Boogz was a skater and my son is a skater. I actually wrote an ill movie for him called “Get Fresh.” Since I got the book situation happening now, it’s probably gonna be a book first just to get the story out there, but it started off as a script and I had wrote it for Boogz and when I came home that was the first thing I told him.
Boogz, when you were growing up were you a fan of Prodigy and Mobb Deep and would you say their sound influenced your music?
I remember being with my brother and being at the crib, and my brother just kept playing “Keep it Thoro” like back to back to back and we had like posters in our room and he had the H.N.I.C. poster in the room.
Can you guys talk a little bit about working together and what is was like being in the studio and what you learned from one another?
Prodigy: I definitely think that we feed off each other, Boogz to me the energy to me on the song, it brightens up my energy. My energy is real dark so Boogz made me have a little fun on the song. I noticed that.
Boogz: The same way he’ll make me get a little grittier on a track. We got a joint on the album called “Scarface”. That joint is crazy like that song is retarded. Like we’re gonna do a crazy video for that.
Prodigy: I think that’s what it is, it’s like a hardcore album. It makes sense that it’s called Young Rolling Stonerz because that’s his label and he a smoker. I’m an OG smoker so it makes sense; let’s do an album like that. Let’s make some fun records that are still hardcore so it makes sense.
What’s some advice both of you would like to give to young aspiring rappers?
Boogz: Just keep doing it hard man, just keep working. Some people might take the steps and some people might take the elevator so it might be a little faster for them and other people that get on first. We all goin in the same direction and we all goin to make it.
Prodigy: I would say don’t play with it, be serious about your life and the decisions you make. If this is what you wanna do, get it goin, make it poppin, make some great music. Don’t be good, be great.
Boogz who are some artists you’d like to work with?
Man I’d like to work with a lot of people. I’d like to work with Andre 3000, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 cent. I don’t got no problems with anybody, I like everybody.
Photo Credit: Nishat Baig