CTE's Boo Rossini Talks History, Young Jeezy, '08 Accident
Born in Canton and raised in Jackson, Boo came from humbling beginnings that saw him move around a lot as a child, often times living in housing projects, trailer parks and sleeping on floors. As one of three kids being raised by a single mother that did her best keep them out of trouble, Boo couldn’t help but notice his peers’ clean clothes and even cleaner cars. The allure eventually led him astray from home at 14 and into the streets. “I just started hustling,” Boo states frankly recounting staying with friends and other family members in his late teens. “But, through it all, I always knew that I had a story to tell. So I’d hustle during the day time, and book studio time at night.”
Admitting to not being a very talkative person, Boo voiced his pain and frustration in the recording booth. His first collection of songs came in the form of 1996’s The Boss Player an accurate depiction of sorted tales and accounts of the then 17-year old’s life up to that point. Lyrically and musically the album took the local music scene by surprise as Boo was more known for fancy cars and clothes than he was crafty bars and flows. The album also cemented Boo as a legitimate businessman with his 1Life1Love imprint having product in both mom-and-pop retailers as well as music stores in the mall. Powered by the popular song “Birds Fly South” and Boo’s knack for street marketing and promotion, The Boss Player grew legs spreading Boo’s buzz throughout the Southeast from Texas to Miami.
HipHopDX got to know this Rap veteran, who after a botched deal with Interscope, is representing hard with CTE, USDA and Young Jeezy's Shield Gang mixtapes. If patience equates to pressure, Boo Rossini will be busting plenty of rocks in the next year.
HipHopDX: How did growing up in the slums of Mississippi shape your youth?
Boo Rossini: Growing up in the area I grew up in was the projects and I wouldn’t change nothing about it because it shaped me as a man. Even being raised without a father taught me how to be with my kids. Growing up there grew me up; it grew me up real fast.
DX: You know this is HipHopDX, so tell me something relevant to how you were influenced by the culture? What was the first Hip Hop concert you ever attended?
Boo Rossini: I think it was an LL [Cool J] concert
DX: To achieve any level of results one has to be a leader so what makes you a leader not just in music but period point blank?
Boo Rossini: It’s the decisions that I make. As far as the music goes, I started up my own label real young. I didn’t wait on no labels to come discover me I went out of my own. I went out and got the information on everything from the bar codes to the distribution and tax id number. I went through all the channels of starting an actual label not just being an artist. I booked my own studio time gathered my producers and put together a production team. People wasn’t even on the south like that yet, so I went off of others like Sauve House or Rap-A-Lot to do it independent.
As far as being a leader in general, I knew that I just had that ability. Where I’m from people are looking at me as their “hope” like if I can make certain moves then they can make certain moves it too.
DX: You’ve been putting in hard work for a number of years, so is it offensive when people refer to you as a new artist?
Boo Rossini: Nah, 'cause I haven’t been out nation wide yet, I’ve just been covering my region. I’ve been doing this like 10 years but it’s always a newer generation coming up so it’s going to be a lot of people who may or may not be familiar. So my thing is just to stay consistent and build that awareness. To the people who don’t know my thing is too make sure they do get familiar with me. Even without being nationwide I’ve been relevant in my area from Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia.
DX: What new trends have popped up in the game that you’re totally not feeling or which ones would you classify as corny?
Boo Rossini: I don’t even look at that part of it. I look at it as everybody is just doing they thing. Everybody’s not cut from the same cloth. If that were the case, then everybody would be doing the same thing. So you need that diverse part of the game. Everybody don’t want to listen to Trap music all day or listen to conscious music all day that’s why we have different genres of music. I don’t talk down on what nobody is doing 'cause if you’re feeding your family, what can I say?
DX: It’s good to stay connected to the fans, so which social networking sites get the most attention from you and why?
Boo Rossini: I’m not a big fan of that MySpace or Twitter connect, 'cause I didn’t really grow up in that computer era. I’m use to pressing up 30,000 or 40,000 CDs and hitting state to state with the wrapped vehicles and dealing with the people more hands on. But in dealing with the Internet right now we’re able to reach all of those people and more without having to go out and spend that type of money. So I would say that MySpace, Facebook and Twitter are a good plug.
DX: Every successful artist works hard then plays even harder, so where are some of your favorite vacation spots to kick back and relax?
Boo Rossini: I stay in Miami a lot. I usually go down at least twice a month. But you know we get away a little Cancun here and there.
DX: Okay, so on another note around the time of the election, you had a really serious and severe near death encounter in the form of a car wreck. What do you remember about that night?
Boo Rossini: I just remember the whole excited energy of that day. I had never voted before so that was my first time and me and my people and my camp just wanted to be involved with the historic moment of [Barack] Obama being elected. That entire day we were going out to a bunch of radio stations and doing interview then hitting colleges. We were taking refreshments out to the voters who were standing in line and things like that. That whole day we had been doing a lot of moving around and that night we had an election party. That night I had left out because I was supposed to be heading outta town and I ended up losing control of the vehicle and flipped the truck over which broke my neck. I ended up recovering which the doctors said doesn’t normally happen; I stayed out about three months.
DX: You were paralyzed for a minute so when the doctors were suggesting that you could never walk again that had to put your back against the wall. How did you keep your morale up in order to crawl back to your feet?
Boo Rossini: Really, I’m like a strong person anyway ya feel me, so I look at it like however it’s going to play then its going to play. It happened for a reason and it could’ve been way worse but I bounced back so evidently that was his plan. I didn’t recover all the way I’d say about 80%. I take it was a blessing cause I might not have been here anymore. I was making a lot of fast moves before and it slowed me down a lot because I realize that all those deals and things are going to still be here. You have to take time to sit down and think sh*t out.
DX: Do you feel more obligated now to service the music community since the incident or has your hustle remained consistent regardless and the accident had no noticeable impact on your grind?
Boo Rossini: It’s my nature to always stay consistent but like I’m really on auto-pilot right now so however it plays out than that’s what it is. I’m going to always apply myself but I’m not going to stress out over it, if it gets done then it gets done but I’m not going to worry about it. I’m not going to make any drastic decisions but I’m going to do my part as far as serving the people and making sure that they get good quality music, videos and mixtapes. I’ve been doing it years so I’m going to keep doing it.
DX: Well you’re back harder than ever so tell the people why life is so good at CTE?
Boo Rossini: It’s a label that I feel understands my type of music and my type of movement because it was built off the same principles. Me and [Young] Jeezy [click to read] have a good relationship, that’s like my brother. Jeezy really understands my hustle and he knows my grind and struggle. That’s the thing about a lot of labels; they don’t be really familiar with you. They look at you like you’re just a rapper. But Jeezy knows my whole story and I feel like we were cut from the same cloth so that’s a good situation, it was a power move for me.
DX: Name one significant tool that you can now utilize under your disposal thanks to our affiliation with Young Jeezy?
Boo Rossini: For years, Jeezy has built a lot of relationship and contacts, and through that he has opened up a lot of doors for me.
DX: I’m sure you hit the road a lot. Have you ever had an embarrassing episode while performing such as falling off the stage?
Boo Rossini: Nah. [Laughs] I haven’t had nothing like that. The most that’s happened is we might have accidentally played the wrong song or something but then we easily played it off and adjusted.
DX: It’s hard to sell records in today’s industry how do you plan to tackle that problem?
Boo Rossini: Well the thing with independent artist is that we can put out so much music that we’re not even concentrating on record sales anymore. We concentrate of club bangers or trap music that’s going to be able to generate show money rather than [record] sales. We try to just keep the music out as much as possible and make money that way from shows. Anything else is a plus so if it does the right thing sales wise than cool too.
DX: Your mixtape game is gully so when can we expect the official album to drop?
Boo Rossini: Well we’re working on the new USDA album right now as we speak. That should come out right after Young’s album. Then after it drops we’re going to put a tour together.