Boogie on Relationship Drama That Inspired 'Thirst 48' Sequel: 'I Needed to Get These Emotions Out'
When Boogie scored a viral hit with 2015’s "Oh My," a listener might have questioned whether the Los Angeles rapper was destined to be another here today, gone tomorrow MC with a catchy song. But digging deeper than the inescapable repetition of the "Oh my goodness!" refrain, it became clear there was plenty more to look forward to. Even on a turn-up anthem, the Compton native was showing off a knack for morphing experiences and observations into sharply crafted rhymes.
Now, Boogie is building on that resume with Thirst 48, Pt. II, which dropped Oct. 14, as a follow-up to last year’s The Reach and a sequel to his 2014 debut, The Thirst 48. The tightly packed project, clocking in at 13 tracks and 40 minutes, is a heavy examination into an ongoing and often tumultuous romantic relationship, interspersed with moments of bravado (“Just Might”) and aspiration (“N---a Needs”).
Boogie recently spoke with Billboard about the project, how success in music has touched other parts of his life, that thorny relationship and signing to Interscope Records.
On the first track, “Still Thirsty,” you repeat the line, “This s--t turned me to a different dude.” Are you talking about the fame and success? What made you different?
Basically, where I’m at in my life right now, all the stuff I’m going through, it made me a different person. I’m not as in contact with people anymore. I don’t think I care as much about certain relationships. I’m more numb to a lot of situations.
Is that because you’re busy and focused on music, or because you’re intentionally cutting people off?
It’s a mix of everything. Being busy, friendships kind of automatically fall off because people expect so much of you. The music situation -- I haven’t been in these type of situations before.
In terms of the friendships and relationships that you have maintained, have they changed or have they stayed the same?
I got the ones that feel like everything’s still the same with me but those are the ones who work with me, who benefit my situation. My producer, my DJ and my engineer were my homies already. Those relationships stayed the same because we see each other all the time. But as far as everybody else, I feel like it might be a little different. Maybe people don’t really see it but I feel it, as far as people wanting more contact from me.
This is the first project you’ve dropped since you signed to Interscope last year. What was their involvement and what’s the state of that relationship?
It’s good. I just talked to my dude Tim [Glover], the dude who signed me. He’s one of my closest friends. It’s more so a patience thing, learning I don’t have all the control no more. I probably would have dropped so many songs this year, which probably wouldn’t have been smart but, just me being thirsty or that type of rapper who wanna drop [a lot of music], that was the only transition.
Do you ever feel pressure to try to follow up “Oh My” and have a track achieve that level of mainstream success?
Yeah. I was going through that maybe six to eight months ago. It was for a month straight where I think I just lost my bag because I was so focused on catching another one of them. I didn’t look at "Oh My" as one of my turned up records; I had to realize that “Oh My” is me just getting some s--t off my chest on the beat, and I didn’t put that much thought into it. So I had to stop doing that. And now I’m just making music that I wanna make, and if another one of them type come, it’ll happen.
When did you start working on the project?
We did “No Way," "Real One" and "Two Days" like a year ago. A couple [others] started coming towards the past couple months, and we then we started adding the last songs at the last minute so it’s kind of a mix of a year.
Was there a certain type of song or space that you were in at the beginning of the recording versus the end?
The lucky thing, even though it’s a bad thing, is that I’m always going through this relationship problem with this same girl in my life so I can always get myself in that head space because there’s always some type of heartbreak going on between me and her. I needed to get these emotions out before I could push through with the next chapter in my career.
Right. On “Won’t Be the Same,” you rap, “three mixtapes in, still talking about the same person.” And you have “Best Friend (Jamesha, Pt. 2)” which is all about her. I’m curious how being so public about that relationship has impacted it.
Oh, man. I guess I haven’t really seen the positive benefits of it except for people saying that they like the music. I seen somebody on Facebook comment on one of my videos that they want me to stay heartbroken forever because they love the music I make. As far as the relationship with her, Jamesha hates the cover. She feels I disrespected her because I crossed her face out on the cover. She hates where me and her is at so she probably hates everything about this tape right now. Besides, my baby momma don’t like none of this s--t, neither.
Did Jamesha hear any of the songs about her before it came out?
I sent her "Best Friend" -- we had a different beat on it -- but I sent it to her a couple months ago when we was on good terms. It was straight and then I sent her the cover. She told me to take it off and I’m a weirdo for putting it on the cover. Then I told her about the song where I brought up my baby momma because she don’t usually like me bringing up other girls on my songs, so I told her I brought up my baby momma on a song, and that was a whole ‘nother argument.
So even though things are sometimes tense between you guys and she could be mad at you, it’s not like you can talk about other girls.
Nah. We’re never really done. That’s what I’m starting to realize. We can not talk for a couple weeks, and then we usually hitting each other up, cussing each other out about something.
Is “Two Days” about her, too?
Yeah, definitely. Every relationship song on that 'tape is about her.
When you reflect back on yourself, how do you feel like you’ve grown as an artist from Thirst 48 to Thirst 48, Pt. II?
I’m so hard on myself. I’m already mad at Thirst 48 Pt. II, critiquing myself and ready to drop more stuff.
You’re mad at particular bars?
Bars. The way I said stuff. I damn near wish I woulda put a whole different 13 songs but I know eventually I’ll get it. I can hear it in my melodies, in my raps and in my confidence. I still just want to get better.