Go Fishing with Bodega Bamz
“If n—-s didn’t know what Latin trap was before, they gonna know now,” Bodega Bamz tells TheDrop.fm. Currently, the Spanish Harlem native is crafting the follow-up to his 2012 mixtape, ‘Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z.’ More than 15 records into the making of this new project, the rapper will once again introduce fans to the sounds and lyrics he’s becoming synonymous with: beats replete with salsa; veracious words detailing his reality. Songs like ‘P.A.P.I.,’ ‘Navy’ and ‘Don Francisco’ are indicative of that.
For his forthcoming mixtape, Bamz is in the lab with the usual suspects. “I’m working with the same producers really, P on the Boards [also known as] A$AP P, John Boy,” he reveals. “There’s a new dude who’s a producer for Tanboys, his name is Slash Major. He’s from Spain, 19 years old. I worked with him because he remixed my ‘Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z.’ project. !llmind too, he did s— for Kanye and Pusha T. He’s on my tape too.”
Take a listen to many of his songs and the cinematic, big bang quality is apparent. He and his team have a knack for pairing his raw lyrics with memorable beats. So how did Bamz unite with the guys who are helping him deliver his sound to the masses?
“John Boy was my first producer I ever worked with, like nine years ago when I started rapping,” he reveals. “It’s always been solid between me and him, the first beat I ever rhymed on that wasn’t an instrumental was his so that’s my n—- forever. Everywhere I go, he going with me. Slash Major, he reached out to me and he wanted to remix my tape. I never met him physically, but that’s how I got in contact with him.”
“P on the Boards is my little brother,” Bamz continues. “He’s an A$AP producer, he’s on the last tape. Most everybody I got a personal relationship, it’s not a Gmail relationship. These are guys I can actually go out and drink with and come back to the studio and work.”
Fun and games aside, the tattooed rhymer is spending most of his summer in the studio, churning out records with the hopes they’ll make the tape’s final tracklist. One song he’s particularly passionate about is ‘Mi Casa.’ “The ‘Mi Casa’ joint is a standout record for me,” Bamz states. “But we’re always working that it will be like that next week and the following week will be a different song.”
Bamz isn’t selfish with his creative process. At times, it’s a team effort among the Tanboys, the name of his inspiring movement.
“I’m not really private with my whole working process when I’m doing music; I get everybody involved,” he shares. “So me, Willie Hex and Ohla and my homie Chris, we all came up with the concept and the hook [for 'Mi Casa'] — it’s Spanish on the hook. The beat is weird, it’s kinda different from the s— I’d usually do. But its real, it’s trap mixed with like poppy mixed with some real ‘Yeezus’ type sounds. It’s dope, I like it. It’s some real futuristic sound. It’s got a whole bunch of elements in it — it’s got some boom bap. The guy !llmind who produced it is ill.”
Though the jovial emcee has his sights set on the future, he rarely forgets about his past. Progress and evolving are key in Bamz’s rap career. He looks back on efforts like ‘Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z.’ to do just that.
“I’m always constantly trying to become better,” he admits. “I don’t get comfortable. I’ve grown as an artist because I’m striving to be better than my last. If my last mixtape was alright, I want this [new] tape to be excellent. On this tape, you gonna hear more hunger ’cause I feel like people still don’t get it, people still don’t get what we tryna do. This one is gonna be another wake-up call for n—-s. If you forgot, I’m gonna wake you up again with it.”
With Latin trap on his mind, Bodega Bamz takes part in TheDrop.fm’s Go Fishing series, where he tackles some interesting (and odd) questions about music, tattoos and dreams. Watch the video above to find out where he’d take Amanda Bynes on a first date, which wrestler he’d love to get in the ring with, the first rap album he bought and what made one moment in 2013 especially pivotal for him.