The Dean of Hip Hop
When Bo Dean came across our radar, we went through a solid two hour listening session. We watched every video we could find, and listened to every song...twice! It soon became apparent that we were no longer doing research in selection of our next feature hopeful for our website. We were just listening to some of the "dopest"music we've heard from an independent artist. From one of his more recent titles, "ATM", through other works such as "Mashup", and on to my personal favorite, "Dear America", Bo consistently drops high quality lyrical content with a Picasso like "wordsmenship." Yes that's right, I had to create a word to describe this hip-hop scholar. No hype here just straight facts. Sit down with a nice pair of headphones or in your car, tune into Bo Dean, and bet you don't stand up proclaiming, "How Sway", how am I just now hearing this!
Born Jeffrey Terrell Dean, the Midwest rapper affectionately known as Bo Dean, hails from St. Louis, MO. Bo’s passion for rap started at the age of twelve when he bought his first rap album, entitled “Big Willie”, By Will Smith. Coming from a lineage of scholars and educators, Bo continued his education at Harris Stowe State University. During his studies, he began to showcase his wordsmith ability with creative and versatile flows and entering talent shows constantly expanding his fan base. After receiving his degree in English Education, Bo followed his family’s legacy and became an educator. School teacher by day and emcee by night. Seriously concentrating his efforts on his music career, his fan base led him to open for numerous national acts, including Cam’ron, MGK, DMX, Nipsey Hu$tle, Bone Thugz, Rakim and Rittz. Even shutting down stages in New York, Nashville, Chicago and at SXSW in Texas. He has won local awards and has been listed as one of the top emcees in his city according to the River Front Times. He has also collaborated with artist such as Freeway from "Rocafella Records", Crooked I, from "Slaughterhouse", and Project Pat of 3-6 Mafia.
Interviewer: How and when did you start making music?
Bo Dean: I started making music when I was about 12 years old. I was always fascinated with how artist could put together thoughts/words and make them sound cool and relatable. Making words that are not supposed to rhyme, rhyme and the way they could ride a beat just inspired me to give it a try. My first rap was “My name is Bo Dean, my shoes aren’t clean/ and I’m a mean, mean, mean, mean fighting machine.” lol So yea, I came a long way since then. I dropped my first project in 8th grade I believe. And after that I’ve been perfecting my craft ever since. I love the studio.
Who were your early inspirations, and how have they changed since Then?
My inspirations pretty much been the same. Michael Jackson will always be the biggest inspiration. His talent, creativity and hard work ethic is just unmatched and that is why he has had the type of success he had. He ate, bled, sweated and breathed music. You could see it in how he carried himself and when he hit the stage. And I think that's how every artist should take their craft the best way they can. Jay Z, Snoop, Fabolous, Lil Wayne, DMX and Dipset also have been my biggest inspirations for different reasons since I've started doing music. As I got older, artist such as King Los, Kendrick and Drake have inspired me also. They are all great in their own ways. I’ll be here forever describing how all of them are.
If you could work with anybody who would it be?
Fabolous, Rick Ross and Jay Z would be the 3 artist I would love to work with the most. On a Just Blaze, Araabmuzik or Justice League produced instrumental. They’d have to come with it on that one because I’m “clownin” lol.
What do you like most about the industry?
The cool thing about the entertainment industry is that it is multiple ways to be successful and make your money. You can be a writer, producer, engineer, actor, model, get endorsement etc. etc. I would choose a career in doing something I love over a regular 9-5 any day. Also, if you're lucky enough, getting your art to touch millions of people around the world and traveling to these places to connect with your listeners. What’s a better feeling than that?
What change would you like to see in the industry?
Labels getting back to pushing more artist with actual talent and substance. Maybe even get back to doing some artist development as well.
What message do you want to send with your music?
As a writer I send all types of messages with my music. I can talk about life struggles, activism, romance, creative storytelling concepts or I can just give you witty bars. I’m pretty good at painting pictures. With my music I aim to inspire and get people to look at the world through my eyes. See things through my perspective.
What's the biggest challenge you face as an independent artist?
As an independent artist you are the captain of your ship and you determine if you stay afloat or not. Everything that I do comes out of my own pocket. If I don't go out and complete certain tasks, it’s a high probability that they won't get handled. You have to put together a solid team and make the magic happen from there. The cool thing about being independent is that the return on your investments offer you the majority of that back so that is a big plus. Being independent just makes you work harder for what you want to obtain.
What else would you like your listeners to know about you?
As of right now I am also a high school English teacher. Practicing different types of martial arts and working on a few short films that we can hopefully get completed this year for the people to check out. Most importantly I have a free project dropping March 23rd called “Fro GOD: Legend of Froku Khrist”, so head over to Bovember.com to check that out. My next album The Froppreciation will be out this summer.
Where can they listen to your work?
You can check me out and all my music and videos on my website bovember.com. You can find my music on all digital retail sites as well.