Bobby Raps Welcomes The Music Industry To The Hell Zone, Or At Least Minneapolis
Is winter in the Midwest really so treacherous? It kinda seems like it, especially if you’re listening to thestand4d, the four-piece band/squad (who knows the difference these days?) that includes the individual talents and unique collective sound of Bobby Raps, Corbin (formerly known as Spooky Black), Psymun, and Allan Kingdom. “Is the weather forever?/I’m stuck in the cold/It’s only getting colder and colder/And faster and faster,” Bobby Raps raps on “Frozen Tundra”, a song off his latest album with Corbin, titled Couch Potato. “Is the weather really so awful in Minneapolis?” I asked Bobby over the phone last week. He laughed. “I mean, it can be super extreme, but I enjoy that. Like right now, the weather is beautiful. The summers here are amazing.”
“Right now?” I asked what he was doing. “Right now?” 22-year-old rapper responded. “I’m looking at this beautiful river, and then I’m going to go back to the studio, where I’ll probably work all night until the sun rises. The studio is like a therapeutic time chamber for me.”
In the few moments before re-entering his time chamber, Bobby told me a little bit about himself, about the music he wants to make, the hell zone of his rock bottom experiences, his come up, and of course, the weather.
WHO IS BOBBY RAPS? I’m the burly white dude from the Midwest. I’m the dude who when I was 15, I knew I wanted to be a rapper. I’d go up to people, begging them to hear me because I knew I was kinda cold. When I was in high school, I would take the bus to this songwriting workshop, where I met a bunch of people. We ended up with this crew of like 10 people, and we had this attitude where we were like, let’s do it together. I was the youngest one at the time, so people would always question me like, Is this what you really wanna do? And I’d be like yes, this is really what I want. I’ve been working to be in the music industry since then, and I’m 22 now.
“All the music heads that go out to Los Angeles seem to be giving up their lives to do what they want. I want to make the music industry come to me.”
ON MUSIC RIGHT NOW: Now, your average listener’s taste in music is probably more advanced than it was 10-15 years ago. That’s what I’m excited about. When I say that mainstream music is trash, I just mean the content in a lot of mainstream hip hop and R&B records. We’re going to be on the forefront of changing shit, and I’m excited to get another sound out there—more like a distorted, electronic punk movement, with a hip hop core. I want to influence music like people who’ve influenced me—Pharrell, Queen, Akon, Eminem—all of them.
ON MINNEAPOLIS VS. LA: There’s no city like Minneapolis. It’s 85 and sunny out right now, but the weather is super extreme—in the winter, there will be like, 8 inches of snow on the ground. Minneapolis has definitely given me a crazy appreciation for life, you know? We’re real in tune with our emotions over here. All the music heads that go out to Los Angeles seem to be giving up their lives to do what they want. I want to make the music industry come to me. I want to change what people think is amazing music.
“I’m going to try to make music for 20 years—if I’m broke at 38 years old, I’ll go to community college and become a dental hygienist. Whatever.”
HIS STORY: Around when I was 17, I was working at Urban Outfitters and selling weed, living at my mom’s house. One night, I had a party—I was actually trying to detox, but there was a keg in my house, and I ended up getting kicked out. Someone was like, ‘come to my cousins studio!’ and I started sleeping there. So I end up in the wrong part of time, in a place that I really shouldn’t be staying—I ended up staying there for two years, sleeping on the floor. It was really fucked up, but I had a good time. I started running sessions for 25 dollars, and half would go to studio rent. I ended up getting a job at a factory, and would come back to the studio, with 4 people sleeping there, a bunch of broke motherfuckers. I don’t want to say the place was a trap house, because that terms gotten raped by the industry, but you get it. At that point, I’d lost all my ego and my pride—I had to tell myself that things could be so much worse. Then, at a part we threw, we ended up opening for E-40, and it just went so crazy well, and was just huge for us. So that was the end of my first phase of my local career. It was a big moment. But after the party, we were holding on the money from the show, and thinking, you know, we might have to watch out. So we left, and this van pulled up on us, and actually shot up the van we were in. My friend ended up getting hit in the leg, threw me a bag of weed, was like throw this out—the driver somehow managed to pull out and we get to the hospital, and the bullet found a bullet lodged in his sweater. After that, it was like—I can’t believe I didn’t just die right there! I was really in a life or death situation, and it just went in my favor…my perspective has been super influenced by that.
MOTTO: I’m wearing a dirty white tee and short shorts right now. 2 years ago if I tried to wear that downtown, I wouldn’t be getting in anywhere. Now, club owners are coming up to us with bottles. I was feeling the pressure of graduating high school, and was thinking, you know what? I don’t think I want to go to college. I’m going to try to make music for 20 years—if I’m broke at 38 years old, I’ll go to community college and become a dental hygienist. Whatever.