Up-And-Coming Rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie Kicks Some Chart Ass
Data doesn't lie if you know what to look for. Here Next Big Sound's Liv Buli takes a close at he rapid rise of rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, who is he dominating the Pandora charts in the wake of the release of his new mixtape.
Guest post by Liv Buli of Next Big Sound
His kind and gentle demeanor stands in stark contrast to the rough Bronx neighborhood he grew up in, but A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is no pushover.
“Nah, never got my ass kicked” he says. Well maybe by a lady or two. A lot of his most popular music is inspired by a young lady he fell in love with. “My first mixtape especially, that came from a heartbreak.” He found himself in a relationship with a woman pregnant with someone else’s child. “She was playing little mind games with me. I thought it was mine.”
That pain is what led to songs like Still Think About You, D.T.B. (short for don’t trust bitches), and Artist.
But he is definitely kicking ass in the music industry. In just a short while, tracks from “Artist: The Mixtape” have launched A Boogie’s career, and this week he climbed to the very top of the Pandora Trendsetter chart, which ranks up-and-coming artists with the highest number of station adds each week.
And while his singles are performing well (his top five tracks on Pandora all have a thumbs-up ratio of more than 73%), A Boogie is no “one hit wonder”: the number of stations seeded with the artist far outpaces track stations, at a rate of almost 70x.
His ascent has been rapid. Over the past month he spun more than 5.2 million times on Pandora, which is more than two-thirds of his total spin count. Last week alone he added about 10,000 new Facebook page likes, roughly one fifth of his total fan base on the platform. He counts more than a quarter of a million followers on Instagram, 45 million video views on YouTube, and his average weekly number of station adds on Pandora has gone from 3,686 back in July, to 25,998 the week ending Oct. 8.
Seeing as his given name is in fact Artist, you would think that he wouldn’t need an artist name, but you would be mistaken. “A comes from Artist,” he says. “And Boogie from the Bronx.”
“The Hoodie part came from just having a hoodie on a lot,” he laughs.
A Boogie notes selling out B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Manhattan as the tipping point that got the attention of major labels like Atlantic Records, to which he is now signed. “Nobody knew who I was.”
And how does someone relatively unknown manage to sell out large-scale venues? “It takes a lot of effort,” says A Boogie. He was working every platform he had available to him. “Before I was even famous, I was famous on Facebook.” His lyrics were being quoted all over the internet, and then he started getting some major name drops from artists like DJ Khaled and Meek Mill.
His music started picking up traction on local New York radio stations, and more than once over the past year A Boogie has been described as a key part of the revitalization of New York rap. And he doesn’t disagree. “I think I represent a new beginning. It is a different sound, a better sound.”
So what makes A Boogie stand out from all the other artists that are struggling to break through in the industry? He believes it is his commitment to hard work, and talks about how he basically lives in the studio.“Perfecting your craft is one of the main keys in being successful.”
At just 20 years old, this perspective seems wise beyond his years. Highbridge in the Bronx — where A Boogie grew up — he describes as “the jungle,” explaining that “everybody had to grow up quick, wasn’t no being a kid no more when we was over there.”
“My life now is a blessing,” he says of his new reality. “There are always going to be worries in life, but now I am doing what I want to do.”
But he knows his work will never be done if he wants to stay on top. With the hunger of a twenty-year-old up-and-coming kid he says: “I gotta stay relevant.” Next up is his EP, tentatively entitled “TBA: The Bigger Artist,” and he says he has plenty more behind that. He’ll certainly have a bigger audience to serve it up to.