Boaz Is the Next Pittsburgh Rapper You Should Know
When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, the music scene was abysmal. We had Rusted Root, we had this awful, glorified bar band The Clarks, and we had the unavoidable, hokey Steelers anthem "Here We Go." That was about it. And then something strange happened in the 2000s, as the city transformed into a somewhat cool destination for young people who wanted a cheap, culturally vibrant place to call home: it became a hotbed of hip-hop. Thanks to Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, it's gotten to the point where Pittsburgh has such a rap footprint that the scene has spawned its own Yung Lean-like maybe-joke mysterion Yung Turd.
The latest proof that there are Important Hip-Hop Things happening in the land of black and yellow is Boaz. If Wiz Khalifa is the Burgh's jovial stoner and Mac Miller its reformed bro, then Bo is the gritty hustler. The MC is prepping his debut on Rostrum Records, where Miller got his start and Wiz still calls home, and for the lead-up he has dropped the free mixtape Real Name, No Gimmicks (Vol. 1). Despite the fact that its title is an Obie Trice reference, it is a very solid collection of hard, soulful street rap, true to its name.
Stream the whole thing, which has features from Scarface and fellow Pittsburgher Chevy Woods.