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Boog Brown Gettin' instrospective If Atlanta resident Boog Brown's debut album 'The Brown Study' was a book it would read like a Russian novel. On this supreme collaboration with Detroit producer Apollo Brown, she wrote a story of love and hate to a subtle and eerie sonic canvass. At first sight a difficult task, but we got the impression that this female MC stands her man when it comes down to being straight-forward about her life, love and setbacks...

Your first album 'The Brown Study' is about to be released. Are you already layin' awake at night due to excitement?

It really feels incredible! You couldn't tell me 6 years ago that I would be releasing an album.

For the people who've heard the mix CD 'Grind Season': what do they not have to expect from 'The Brown Study' release?

Don't expect a lot of brag raps, this album is very introspective. I get loose on a few songs but this is definitely its own chamber.

What's your opinion on integrity in hip-hop these days?

Hip-hop is what it has always been, social commentary- whether lyrically or image wise. It is a direct reflection of life, you have those that front and fake, and those that are conscious of life and the way things change. It's all represented and it's all someone's truth.

Is there any male rapper who can say 'I just made my most introspective album'?

Of course! Kanye West, Mos Def, Nas, Andre3000 the list goes on. Any artist willing to be honest and personal, willing to take off their cool so to speak can say that, I think.

Who are some of your main examples in hip-hop music, when it comes down to female artists who aren't afraid to show vulnerability in their lyrics?

Jean Grae, Lauryn Hill, Latifah, Stahhr, Invincible, there are almost too many to name here. I could go on and on all day.

Rita J told us 'Back in the day females were a part of the culture and it was fresh, fun and interesting. Now it's more about image and what clothing you're wearing or not wearing, and it seems to be focused mostly on pleasing a man desires and not on being a skilled emcee.' Agree?

To a degree sure, but were that the whole truth we wouldn't have dope ass artist like Rita J and Adrift Da Belle or Lyric Jones or myself even. At a point we cannot be concerned with what we are 'supposed' to do, look like, dress or act. That's counterproductive. Sure there will be women out there that will fill that mold but the world is so vast there is plenty of room for originality and fun and real women who also happen to be dope emcees.

You performed in a movie called 'Pathways' with Rita J and Adrift Da Belle as Undeniable, can we expect more from that trio?

Hell yes! As we are all working artists, as long as the scheduling permits, I think all parties are down to do more, most definitely!

How was that movie like? What was your role?

I feel like my role was to be the one to say alright enough of the bullshit, lets get this work done you know, keep it movin in spite of it all. I was a lot of fun to shoot. I believe it will be released Nov-Dec of 2010 but don't quote me! (laughs)

Why is Apollo Brown's production the best production for this album?

Apollo's beats made me want to say more in a song, even if it's only two verses- use that landscape to paint real life pictures.

Do you see yourself working with just one producer on a longer term, for more albums...like Gang Starr, Eric B & Rakim eg.?

Yes and No. I think it would depend on the concept of the albums and how good our chemistry is.

How would you compare working with Illastrate to working with Apollo Brown?

Well I credit Illastrate with helping me develop my craft. He always pushes me to do more, better and it's helpful that we can session and vibe on different levels face to face. With Apollo, since we live in different states and didn't really get that opportunity to create that chemistry just vibin in the lab, it made it different. Make no mistake though. We made a damn good album and I think we got a very good understanding of each others artistry.

'The Brown Study': you could've picked Kev Brown, any collabo with him coming up? Already thought of that?

Yeah initially that was the plan, me him and Apollo but I don't know what happened honestly. But yeah I definitely want to work with him, Kev's dope as shit.

You moved from Detroit to Atlanta, but you managed to build quite a network already if we look at the local people you have worked with...how did you manage...?

Illastrate was already the go-to-producer in Atlanta in my eyes and since his work is so dope, when he and I made music people would listen. From there, payin dues, guest verses, live shows and good old fashion elbow grease mixed with some hard work and having a good check and balance system with family and friends. Quality control and truth is key. Plus, I love what I do, that always helps propel things forward.

How would you compare the Detroit hip-hop scene to Atlanta's scene?

'...Even though it's hectic it's home/ birthin the dopest niggas you know...' Detroit music is just amazing that's all I can say really. There is something about home that can either create an amazing drive in you or can eat you alive. I think it's that Detroit winter. But comparison is like apples and pears. You kinda can but you can't.

There's a song called 'Carpe Diem' on the album, you also rhyme 'Live in the moment' in 'Just Be': what are some of your 'secrets' to enjoy the day, to pull everything out of it?

It's no real secret, I had been a mean spirited, angry and insecure bitch for a good part of my life before I found my passion. Now that I know what I want and what's real for me, I don't want to be that other woman anymore. I mean she hangs around and comes out from time to time but not nearly as bad as before. I like my default position to be happy. Don't get it twisted though.

Roxanne Shante went on to receive a Ph.D. in psychology, running her own practice and building a family, do you see yourself doing this (starting a business, family,...) within a few years?

I try to focus and give my attention to what's right here right now. I don't have an opposition to that -business, family- it's just not on my radar at the moment. A tip on how to enjoy life: be where you are when you're there...

If hip-hop would be a 'H.I.M.' how would he look like?

Like my twin brother.

Are there any poets that have influenced you?

Not conventional poets but poetic writers like James Baldwin, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Zora Neale Hurston, Amiri Baraka, The Last Poets Soul Brown, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Adaora, Bandele, Lauren Whitehead, G. Allen, Victor Walker, Crystal Campbell and that's a very short list.

What was your first rap album?

That I bought? 'ATLiens'. That I heard and paid attention to? 'Straight Outta Compton'. That made me wanna be a writer? Nas 'It Was Written'.

What's in your iPod right now?

(laughs) I don't even own an Ipod. But in my Sony Discman I have a CD full of beats I should be writing to. Drake, Bj?rk, Trek Life, yU, Kanye West, Stacy Epps, Radiohead, and the soundtrack to this movie called 'Strange Days' one of the best soundtracks ever, and the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack.

What's next for Boog Brown?

(laughs) I always think about when Warren G I think it was spelled next 'n-x-e-t' in a song. Hilarious!! Um...but for me lots of things, stay tuned.

Shout-outs?

This goes out to you, you...

 

POSTED 09|01|2010
conducted by Cpf

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