As summer comes to an end I find myself looking for different genres of music to soothe my mood(s) and help me get back in touch with reality.
Recently, Stephon “Bobo” Bobo blessed the stage of RefugeLive! with a notable performance and in his words, “all of the feels.” His performance also served as the official release party for his new mixtape “Free Progress”, which represents two meanings:
“Progress in life is free, it doesn’t take money to display a good heart or one’s determination.
- AND -
The freedom to think doesn’t take much, we must take advantage of every situation.”
This 13-track project (including one bonus track) solely showcases the lyrics and production of Bobo, hosted DJVDub with an entirely different tone than his first mixtape, Lust of Money, which was released last October. While there is no particular theme to Free Progress, Bobo’s favorite track is the Intro – which highlights the “hip hop side of things”, in an effort to change the perception of varying statistics:
“Negatives aren’t always the most important. The Intro on Free Progress is for all of the new artists out there.”
After rapping for 5 years and at the age of 21, Bobo used this project to dig deeper into illustrating the importance of grasping awareness, standing out from the crowd, and capitalizing on different art forms. He considers Free Progress as the enhanced version of himself, and jokes:
“I had to get the jitters off after my first project.”
After filling up RefugeLive! and politicking with Bobo briefly after the show, I have to say that the support from friends, family, and fans has attributed to his humility, drive, and apparent talent.
“As an artist, you can’t expect too much at once. I thank and appreciate everyone who supports me, it keeps me going. Now that I’m 21, I can bring together a more diverse crowd and the mode of legitimate venues has shifted.”
After working together for the past few months, DJ VDub has helped Bobo gain popularity and buzz in the right way. As the first artist under NationBizness, Bobo also works full-time at a railroad on Chicago’s southside, which requires an extreme amount of patience and focus.
By combining Bobo’s old and new projects in an effort to “let the public know that he’s [Bobo] actually my artist and I’m pushing him through NationBizness”, adds VDub, “he’s a hard worker, great listener, and has the foundation that a lot of today’s artists lack.”
With his family supporting him 100%, Bobo is not your stereotypical rapper from Chicago. You won’t catch him putting together drill hooks with lyrics about turning up or spending money frivolously. Instead, Bobo puts his words together strategically while he continues to aim for spreading culture and positivity.
Something that stuck with me (and that I don’t hear many other artists speak on) was Bobo’s commentary on creating a different style of R&B that appeals to the female crowd:
“I don’t want women listening to my music and feeling uncomfortable. That is my duty as a man, musician, and a leader.”
Bobo and VDub’s next project will be released within the next month as a 10-minute freestlye.
In the meantime, be sure to check out Free Progress here: http://indy.livemixtapes.com/player.php?album_id=40442&select=0
Official video for “Grammy”