This week’s Staff Pick is no other than Black Boe, formerly known as Quez from trio- rap group Travis Porter. The Atlanta emcee sat down with the Rapfest the other day while visiting NYC to catch up and talk about his newest drop The Black Goat, joint album with fellow ATLien Sonny Digital that dropped last month; stepping away from his group Travis Porter to do his own thing, switching his name from Quez to his AKA Black Boe, upcoming projects and more.
With attempts being made to pave his own way within the industry, Black Boe sat humbly upon the sofa in Quad Studios (Times Square) as he discussed his recent trip back from SXSW. After working with the likes of Migos’ Offset, Mac Miller, Black Cobain to working with producers like a DJ Mustard, Black Boe is well on his way to really making his name a stand-alone.
See what Black Boe has been up to in our interview below and check out ” The Black Goat” his collaborative project with Sonny Digital and the video for the lead single “My Guy.”
- You just came from SXSW, how was that?
- It was cool, a lot of the times I went down there I was with my group (Travis Porter). So it was cool being down there by myself doing my own thing. I really liked it. A lot of the other times I went I really didn’t like it because there was a lot of walking and a lot of people wanting to take pictures. But when I’m by myself they kind of don’t know if it’s really me, so they don’t really want to take pictures. I may not be going back to South By though, it’s way too accessible.
- Explain your name change from Quez to Black Boe?
- Actually, I been Black Boe, really that was my AKA. I was Quez aka Black Boe, but since I’m doing my solo thing I’m taking my AKA and putting it to work.
- Let’s talk about you teaming up with Sonny on this new project, “The Black Goat” and how that came about.
- The way the tape came about was weird. I was working on my project and he was working on his project but we had so many songs together it only made sense for us to do a tape together. We had more songs together then we had separately. I probably had 5 songs on my own and Sonny had 4 songs so it’s not enough for a whole tape and we had 9 songs together, we really had 12 songs but we had to cut it down. Sonny and I have been cool since forever, though, like his first time on BET was our (Travis Porter) first time on BET. That’s my brother.
- Let’s talk about your come up and how you took charge to get into this position.
- Well, really right now I’m on my come up. I haven’t came up I’m just an unknown artist right now- I feel like. I’m not unknown, but I feel like I’m starting over fresh. I’m really on my Black Boe grind right now trying to get my name out there and SXSW was one of the first steps to my grind I feel like.
- In addition to SXSW and setting yourself apart, what else would you say you had to do to separate yourself from Travis Porter?
- What I really had to do was just work. I had to work alone, book my own sessions, be in studio sessions by myself and call different producers by myself. You know when people hear Travis Porter wants beats they send them right over but when they hear Quez wants beats by himself there like I don’t know. I’m here but I feel like a lot of people don’t feel like I’m here, but that’s just how I feel, maybe it’s not like that but I’m a hard critic.
- As far as Travis Porter, how did you get into the group?
- We just knew each other since middle school, Ali is my step-brother and I been knowing Strap since like 6th grade. We just grew up together we all were rapping and we made a group. Originally our name was Hard Hitters, but we changed our name to Travis Porter and it was just history. Those are my brothers I still talk to them every day, we still record at the same studio, but I don’t know if we’re going to make any more music together. Everybody is doing their own thing right now but our management and stuff wants us to do more music and the fans are asking for it. So it’s kind of hard to be like, ‘Nah I don’t want to do more music’. You got to set yourself apart and once you do it sometimes you can come back or sometimes the relationship be too bent up for you to fix it.
- What can we expect aside from “Black Goat”?
- Besides “The Black Goat” I’m working on my own tape it’s called BBK 3, “Black Boe Knows.” That’s the name of my signature mixtape I did one and two already and I’m on my third one. That’s what I’m working on that, and I’m doing a lot of merch for our new shit. Sonny got this record label Rolling Records and we are partnering up on that one. We really got some crazy merch, I’m really into some artsy type stuff.