Louisville, Kentucky's Clarksdale Projects very own, rapper EastSide Boobie, is gaining quite a buzz in the underground world of rap as Hip Hop's "Struggle Rap" star. As far as dealing with personal struggles, EastSide Boobie opens up to MusicTimes exclusively to talk about turning away from the fast life of money and drugs to pursue his music career shortly after releasing his mixtape, Anti Rat Musik 4.
MusicTimes: Where did you get your rap name from?
Eastside Boobie: Honestly, I got my name from my grandmother. Boobie is a family name and when I started rapping, I know that Rick Ross dealt with a guy named Kenny Williams or whatever and I didn't wanna be confused with him whenever I get mentioned so I just put the EastSide in front of it, because I'm from the East side of Louisville, Kentucky.
MT: What made you incorporate your grandmother in the "Hidden Agenda" video and rap about your family and hood?
EB: "Hidden Agenda" is just my real life song. I don't write raps. Whenever I go to the studio, I just spit whatever I'm feeling. At the time, I was kind of going through it about my grandmother because I had went to see her the day and she didn't remember who I was. Like sometimes she knows who I am, sometimes she don't. And with her being in a home, the only way I can make sure she remember who I am is to go see her as often as I can. And, you know, that Hidden Agenda was more or less me just explaining to my grandmother what's going on as of right now. Because she doesn't see everything that we see with her being in a home.
MT: How was it getting her to do the video?
EB: She was herself that day, she was smooth. When I gone to pick her up, I had a lot of people with me and she asked why everybody was there and I told her that we were shooting a video or whatever. She was like, "C'mon, let's go so I can put my good clothes on."
EB: [laughs] So, I put her little jogger suit on and just wheeled her out. We honestly did the video at the nursing home.
MT: Tell me, What kind of rap lane you want to fit yourself in? Like a lot of rappers are doing mainstream things just so they can stay relevant and then there are some rappers who are true to their core. What kind of lane do you put yourself in?
EB: My rap would be considered as "Struggle Rap." That's what I call it because I live my music. Like I said, I don't write raps. All my rap is real life stories that I done been through, different situations. And I just figure out a way to put them in rhymes.
MT: There's a comment on one of your videos where someone says "Finally someone can see the life from the Clarksdale Projects." Is that where you grew up?
EB: Yeah, that's where I grew up at. I was raised in Clarksdale Housing Projects in Louisville, Kentucky. It's a little rough neighborhood just like any other project is. A lot of drug dealing, alcohol use. Like just bad influence and where I'm at now in my life period, I honestly have came a long way from standing in the alley waiting on somebody to come through with some money. Like when Clarksdale was up, I honestly was doing a lot of things I had no business doing at the age I was, but I grew up in a home where everybody was addicts so if I didn't do what I did, I'd starve. I got tired of starting school every year with the same clothes from last year. I didn't like being the laughing stock of class and stuff so that's what made me start like hustling. And once I started hustling, I kind of got good at it. More or less, I got addicted to it.
MT: You said you grew up in a house with addicts. Hustling is an addiction too because money is the root of all types of evil to some folks.
EB: It most definitely is.
MT: Is this something that was hard for you to walk away from?
EB: Honestly, yeah because that was my first income for the longest. And like now, I'm just trying to take rap seriously because I don't-I can't stand no more chasing that, so I'm in chill mode right now.
MT: Do you have any children?
EB: Yeah, I have three children. Antonio, Mekhi and Kamari. That's what AMK stands for. The reason why I named my company after my children is that way one day, because like with rap and anything, sometimes people get frustrated and they wanna give up and quit. And when I get to that point where I wanna quit, and I think of AMK that's my children. I can't give up on them for nothing in the world. Unfortunately, I grew up without a father and so being a good father means a lot to me. So I changed the name of my company to AMK so I don't slack on that. It shows my children morals. They go to video shoots with me. I let them come to some studio session depending on what type of music I'm doing. And when we do promo, I let my children pass out flyers and CDs. They actually like it. They run up on people and be like, "You know my daddy, EastSide Booble?" [both laugh] To them, I. JD.
MT: Do you have an upcoming album coming out or mixtape?
EB: I just dropped a mixtape called Anti Rat Musik 4, it's hosted by DJ Smallz. I dropped it May the 1st. I was about to drop another mixtape but I was like "I don't wanna just throw no hoe out, I'ma be wasting material," so I'm probably gonna wait about another 60 to 90 days before I drop a full mixtape. And for that time, I wanna be releasing different songs and a lot of different visuals. That what's I'm focusing on right now, visuals.
MT: Is there any artist that you want to collaborate with or you're in the works to collab with right now?
EB: As far as regular people, I'm really cool on them but I would love to do a song with like Future or Meek or Drake -- somebody that's gonna make it a challenge cause, like with them guys, they're at the top of the peak and they honestly don't need no future from nobody. But I feel like if I was to get on a song with any one of them guys, Imma show up and show out cause I don't like the way people run me out the track. And right now I'm to the point in my career where I have to prove points with my lyrics, my flow, my delivery, my whole everything.
MT: Are you shopping a deal now?
EB: I ain't necessarily. I'm going hard independently, so I ain't necessarily shopping no deal. Honestly, I'm tryna do sh*t from Kentucky to Atlanta, go down to Atlanta and make a name for myself there to start with. Some people have overnight successes and some been searching a long time, but I'm the guy that's willing to outwork anyone because I understand that hard work out-beats bullsh*t any day.
MT: Where do you want to see yourself in five years?
EB: In five years, I see myself at the top of my game whether it's rap or one of my different visions. I own a lawncare service where I only hire convicted felons and troubled teens and I'm in the process of buying some foreclosed houses and getting my mama a food truck. So, in five years, I should be in the green in the profits of these future businesses that I'm about to invest my money in. Alive and free.
MT: Is there anything that you want your fans to know or people that still wonder--that don't know who you are--that you want to touch?
EB: Pretty much, I mean, I just want my fans to know that I'm the rapper that really lived this. This not just entertainment -- it's like true and that I had to live some hard struggles, but I'm guy for the people. I'm not the guy that just rapping about big rims and jewelry. I'm the guy that got that new music for the better day person that's going through real life situations and I just want my fans to know is I'm the guy that makes the music for the everyday person. I'm not the guy that makes the music about big rims and jewelry and all that because I don't have that. I'm a regular guy, I make music for people that's going through real life situations. I just want the people to understand that I'm just as humble as they are and one day, I'm gonna stand up to the task. I'm gonna work my way up there.
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