3.09.2011

Bossman: Rebirth of a N.E. King

Courtesy of 3 Sons Productions
Today is a day that I will never forget. It's kind of weird that I can remember where I was and what I was doing the day I found out Biggie had died the same way my parents remember the same details the days King, Malcom X and Kennedy died. It isn't meant to put Biggie anywhere close to the level of aforementioned leaders and freedom fighters, but I do put the feelings of all of these events on a similar level.

With the release of this third project in under two years, Bossman was inspired take on the challenge of honoring Biggie on his new mixtape Dream B.I.G. The tape, which was released a week or so ago came just in time to honor the 14th anniversary of Biggie's death. The tricky part is -just as I stated yesterday- tributes can be as easily great as they can be tragic. And taking on the task of such a beloved, high profile HipHop luminary could be something close to career suicide if it isn't done right- ask Lupe. But that's exactly what makes Dream B.I.G. so interesting.

As I listened to the mixtape and filtered through the Biggie covers, which at times are very cleverly done (Victory), it became apparent to me that the mixtape is as much a tribute project as it is a rebirth of Bossman. By reliving these famous lines and songs, Bossman has reconnected with the young and ambitious rapper who once had dreams of being the next Biggie; the youngster who very likely learned every line Biggie spat all while using them as a blueprint for his own rhymes.

A few years removed from those early days, Bossman seems to have found himself at a crossroads as of late. The responsibilities of fatherhood, along with family, industry and baby mama drama have all pushed and pulled him to this point. For example, since releasing his debut album Law & Order, Bossman has beaten the odds on two different occassions by rising to the verge of super stardom, only neither one of those situations panned out. He isn't the first (or last) artist to have to deal with this, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating as noted on Is This Living.

Make sumthin outta nothin
Turn negative to positive
Struggle equals success if you can survive it
Got fired from my job
Then I got a record deal
1.5 mil
And then I lost my record deal
Came back to the hood
Re-upped and got a record deal
Twitter [effed] up MySpace
Then I lost my record deal
This aint another record ni**a
Yeah this record real
At the same time, listening to the Biggie remakes and infused rhymes and samples, it feels like Bossman has found the balance of the MC that crushed Baltimore with his first album. The thing that helped make him a success was the way he effortlessly walked the line between in your face bravado and introspective philosopher all while maintaining an everyday man type of cool. If I had one major complaint about The Re-Up it would be that it skewed to heavily to making radio hits. I don't fault him one bit; it just didn't work.

We won't know how or even if he's gotten himself back on the path to stardom until his next album Who is Bossman drops, but it sounds like he has decided to take a page from another famous NYC MC and destroy and rebuild. If that isn't a proper tribute to B.I.G., I guess I don't have a good concept of what a tribute is.

Joints to Check For:

Victory
Is This Living
Up On It
Yung G's
Wake Up

Bossman- Dream B.I.G.


Bonus:

A little insight into how Dream B.I.G. came together, his new album and his new movement.


Double Bonus:

Since he referenced the song, it's only right that I give it to you.

Bossman- Illuminati

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