Bear1Boss’ Bizarre Quest From the Underground to the Mainstream

    It’s a Saturday night in Atlanta, meaning there’s always something to do. Luckily, I was invited to catch a show headlined by Bear1Boss and NY’s FourFive.

    As I entered the show, I couldn’t help but notice that I had to be the oldest person in the crowd, only 23 years old. I never let it bother me, as it takes me back to my younger days when I would attend these high-energy shows.

    While I’m vibing out to the DJ sets, I receive a text to come backstage to conduct my interview. Truly as authentic as they come, I walk up to Bear1Boss to introduce myself as he can be seen sipping on some “liquid courage” from some double styrofoam cups.

    Being raised in Atlanta, a city that prides itself on pushing boundaries, Bear1Boss still finds a way to be an anomaly. His latest tape, “Super Boss!” can be credited as his first body of work since cracking into the mainstream. Trying to understand how he ended up in this position, I made it my mission for the night to pick apart his zany brain from every angle.

    Bear1Boss. Photo by Bear1Boss
    We are here with the one and only Bear1Boss. How are you feeling today?

    I’m feeling amazing, man. God is so good. I can’t complain about anything. I’m very thankful. Today is a great day, a great year, and a great life.

    How’s your 2024 going so far?

    Pretty revolutionary.

    Why do you say that? Because of your new label situation with Rick Rubin?

    Of course, that is part of the growth. But in real life, my mental state has been great. I’ve been maturing.

    Is it hard for you to stay positive? Because it’s a common theme in your music.

    It has been a struggle to stay in that space because I’ve been doing it for so long and waiting for folks to catch on to it. And, of course, people do catch on. But it’s the people who haven’t, and now the world has made it popular to be a hater, troll, or be negative. It drains me to be the person who provides positivity for negative people. It’s only cool because “monkey see, monkey do.” If I can be the person who shows positivity, like I have been doing my whole life, I will keep doing it. No matter how draining it gets.

    We are still early in the first quarter of 2024, but what has been your favorite moment this year so far?

    My favorite moment is right now. My mom was at my show and has never seen me perform before, so it’s really lit right now.

    I saw that you were in the new Trippie Redd documentary he did with MGK for their latest EP, “Genre: Sadboy.” How were those sessions and that overall experience?

    I can’t explain. My world is crazy. I be in my own world [laughs.] But my world is in their world. I don’t know why God put me on earth like that, like those are my friends. Of course, they are the biggest stars in the world. But I can’t call everybody and joke. I joke with them the most. They just let me find my little peace and lane. That’s just how I be. You can see in the video I’m just floating.

    That leads me to my next question. Is it fair to say you have a knack for always being at the right place and time? Why do you think that is? It always feels like you’re everywhere.

    I don’t know. God. I be prayed up bro. I be praying to stay on the right path, and I’m doing it.

    As an OG in the underground scene, what are your thoughts on it right now? A lot of people say things have taken a turn for the worse recently.

    I love that you gave me my flowers. Because, on God, I’m an OG in the underground. I just got mainstream last year. And it’s like if you know, you know. And if you don’t, that’s cool. But do your research. I know the ins and outs of the underground. I got Lil Novi with me right now. I’m trying to teach him the ropes of this shit. That’s Lil Wayne’s son. I’ve been teaching everything I know. My dad and his dad are best friends. I’m trying my best to do the best that I can do. It feels good because he likes what I like. Like he listens to me, that shit be blowing my mind. But it is what it is. I have a purpose for this shit, for everybody. As I grow, I notice it’s not just for me anymore. I am doing what I love; my purpose is fulfilling other people’s goals. That shit feels good. 

    Is it hard to stand out, especially in a city like Atlanta, where certain gimmicks can attract more attention than actual talent?

    It’s getting easier. Shout out to upcoming rappers like LAZER DIM 700. As you can see, you can be in the hood with no money, get a fresh haircut, and make a fire song. You can go up. You have to be yourself. The gimmick is who are you? Like, authentically. We have been watching sitcoms and reality shows forever about ordinary people and watching what an average person is supposed to be. We know the main kind of person they want to shape us to be. When people are being themselves, they stand out. They like, “Oh shit, that’s hard.” Like me, I have green hair. I like to dance. I like to sing. I like to be funny. I like to laugh and be positive. But that’s me.

    How did you and Popstar Benny lock in together? Obviously, producers and artist duos have existed forever, but I feel like you all have laid the blueprint for these new-age artists. For example, now we have Whyceg and 2Sdxrt3all.

    Shoutout Whyceg. We got a little tape on the way. I make all types of music. That dark, grimy bag, I’ve been waiting to write music to that. Whyceg got that sound. Popstar Benny was sending me beats, so Taco, the one from Opium—the one that shot “UR THE MOON/DIFFERENT DAY” by Playboi Carti—we grew up together, and Taco was like, “I got this friend, Ziti you need to meet. He makes beats that you like. I need y’all to work together.” So I went to the studio with Ziti and the first song we made was “Xan.” After that, Ziti said, “We need to lock in at my brother, Mikey Margiela’s house. We all be over there, like Tony Shhnow and Popstar Benny.” And a week before, Benny had DJ’ed for me at one of my shows. So I saw him again and said, “Yeah, we’re locking in.” And we made like 100 songs in two weeks. And I swear we dropped “American Sweetheart.”

    Everyone loves the song you and SoFaygo did off your most recent project, “Super Boss!” But do you feel you’re at a point where you have to be selective about who you work with?

    It’s Atlanta. These are my friends. I am being strategic with it, though. Because I know I can do anything. I can pull out a 2 Chainz feature anytime.

    You could probably hit Skooly if you wanted.

    I could pull a Skooly project if I wanted. Anytime. But I’m going to be strategic with my friends. I’m trying to play the game right this time. This is my mainstream run, like my rookie year doing this shit for real. I’m doing real shows, and I got real fans. I’m taking real pictures. This is my first year out of the underground. 

    Favorite clothing brands right now? It can be big or small.

    That’s a good question. Of course, Balenciaga, but not the baggy shit. The fitted tapered type-shit. I like tight clothes. I can’t do the big boots. But I do like runners. I’m back rocking Jordans. I have been rocking Polo again. I love Ralph Lauren. When I buy that shit and wear it, it makes me feel so good. I could buy some Polo drawers and feel new as hell. That’s a good feeling: new haircut, Polo drawers, and socks.

    Is there any young artist that you want to use this opportunity to co-sign that the average person might not know?

    Lil Novi, for sure. Man shouts out to me! We got Lil Grmx. On the label, we got Glorygirl2950. Shout out to Jack Wolf. I don’t want to say somebody everybody knows because, of course, I fuck with Baby Kia. I fuck with all the demon babies. Shout out to the whole underground.


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