Innovative beats are at the heart of 28-year-old rap artist Bou’s cutting edge music. With his extensive percussion skills, Bou initially thought that his gift was production. However, an interesting turn of events quickly ignited his passion for artistry. With four mixtapes under his belt, Bou has created a major buzz in the DMV as an independent artist.
Hailing from Silver Spring, Maryland, from a young age Bou was involved with and took an interest in music. He went on to play percussion throughout his school years, which piqued his interest in producing music. Upon graduating from high school, Bou was accepted to Howard University where he would study Communications.
During his freshman year, however, an incident with law enforcement resulted in him being on house arrest for five months. While still able to attend classes, his 5:00 p.m. curfew limited his social interactions. At that point, his friend Jason Harris aka JHarrisBeats would come visit and play Bou some of his beats. After one of their casual meetings, Bou requested that his friend send him some beats. From the moment he opened the email and listened to them, Bou knew he wanted to become an artist.
In 2012, a few short months after his initial inspiration, Bou released his first mixtape, ‘Rough Draft.’ From this platform, he began to pursue his career as an MC. With positive feedback and support from his community, Bou released his second mixtape, ‘Thesis’ in 2013. Since catching the attention of listeners, Bou’s buzz in the DMV Hip-Hop community has continued to grow. In 2015, Bou went on to release his third mixtape entitled ‘Radio Rap: Volume 1’, covering the hottest radio tracks of that year.
Continuing with the education theme from the title of his second release, ‘Thesis’…’Educated Crook’, Bou’s fourth mixtape shines a brighter light on Bou’s dichotomy. Though the two halves of his nature are seemingly reconciled here, the listener is still granted a full audio display of a man who has learned the lessons of both the streets and the classroom. Even the album cover reflects the end result of those lessons, a dreadlocked young Black man wearing a graduation cap and holding a Ruger with both laser sighting and a rose (a reference to Rosemary Hills, where Bou was raised) up the barrel. Though it’s dubbed as a mixtape, ‘Educated Crook’ sounds more like an album.
Bou counts Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., Fabolous, T.I., J. Cole, and Nipsey Hussle as his musical inspirations. He was also heavily influenced by up and coming local rapper and childhood friend Frank Diggy, who was murdered in late 2012. Bou describes his music as “raw rap, authentic, and from the heart.”
In the winter of 2015, Bou graduated from Bowie State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.