Would A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie beat Drizzy in a game of one-on-one?
“I’ll kill Drake,” the Bronx MC retorts.
The Highbridge, Bronx native can brag ‘cause he’s confident.
Just the type of confidence you’d expect from a 20-year-old who dropped one of the hottest mixtapes of the year, and, a few months later, opened up for the No. 1 hip-hop artist in the world (no offense to Kendrick) at Madison Square Garden.
“The first time we met, [Drake] was going right on stage,” A Boogie tells SLAM over the phone. “After that, we was in the club. We was just vibing to the music, and then Drake was just telling me, ‘Thanks a lot.’ He was like, ‘Yo I ain’t gonna lie, you’re one of my favorite artists right now to listen to.’ That was one of the best moments of my life so far.”
A Boogie, whose real name is Artist Dubose, grew up listening to MCs including Beanie Sigel, Cassidy and 50 Cent. One of A Boogie’s biggest moments to date — apart from the MSG show — was an hour-long conversation with Fiddy, during which the Get Rich or Die Tryin’ rapper dropped knowledge darts about the game.
“Fifty was just telling me how it was for him coming up, and how watching us come up right now reminds him of himself back in the day,” A Boogie says. “He was just telling us and showing us what not to do and everything.”
A Boogie’s music connects with hoopers, too. He’s close friends with Mohamed Bamba (pictured above), the 6-11, 210-pound center from Harlem, who, in addition to being SLAM’s current high school diarist, is widely regarded as the best player from New York in the class of 2017.
Bamba met Boogie through BX native Terrance “Munch” Williams, who coaches the AAU team PSA Cardinals. Bamba played with the Cardinals in the 2016 Nike EYBL circuit.
“When I met [Bamba], we talked on the phone first. He was a fan of my music and my mixtape and everything,” A Boogie says. “I been knew about him, though. People on my block talk about him a lot, ‘cuz he’s one of the best players from the up-north area.”
NBA players have also shown love. A Boogie went to John Wall’s birthday party at Wall’s crib in early September after the Wizards’ guard sent him an invite via Instagram DM. Two other Eastern Conference PGs have reached out, as well: fellow BX native Kemba Walker told A Boogie he wants to “come to the club and chill” with him, and Kyrie Irving hit him up, too.
Now, the baby-faced, Bape hoodie-rocking rapper is ready to take his music to the next level. He’s prepping the release of a new EP called The Bigger Artist, which is slated to drop sooner than you think.
Until then, A Boogie is keeping tabs on the NBA season (“I’m a Knicks fan, but my favorite team is the Thunder”) and adding to his ever-growing sneaker collection (“I don’t know how many I have, it’s too many … but my favorites are the Taxi XIIs”).
As the trees surrounding High Bridge, NYC’s oldest bridge, shift their colors from green to autumn red-yellow-brown, another transformation is taking place. ‘Cause it’s no longer white tee and b-ball shorts weather — nah, this Hoodie SZN.
Press photo via Highbridge the Label