Tabi Bonney: The Unorthodox Fly Guy

The choice is yours, just like the old chorus from the classic Black Sheep single, many people have the choice to start something new or just follow the norm. By way of Togo, West Africa , Tabi Bonney, now native to Washington, D.C, is not one to follow a trend, but more so to do […]

The choice is yours, just

like the old chorus from the classic Black Sheep single, many people have the

choice to start something new or just follow the norm. By way of Togo, West

Africa , Tabi Bonney, now native to Washington, D.C, is not one to follow a trend,

but more so to do his own thing. Born to afro-funk star Itadi Bonney, Tabi has

grown up in the midst of the music business and as a result has seen and heard

and learned a lot from a young age.


First relocating to the

States and discovering  Hip-Hop then in

his college years he forming up with fellow friend and student Haziq Ali to

form the group Organized Rhyme that swept the listeners ears and had gotten

them recognized as players in the D.C. Hip-Hop movement. With the Raheem

Devaughn assisted single “Doin’ It.” But it wasn’t until his first solo A Fly

Guy’s Theme debut that solidified him as a major player getting records

that were hits like the “Pocket” and “You.”


Now he’s is back with a new

single “Syce It” that’s getting views on Youtube, and a burgeoning clothing

line set to make noise. spoke to the MC/entrepreneur

to find out what makes him different from the rest of the pack and how he wants

to leave his mark in the business we like to call “The Show.” What’s the

D.C. Hip-Hop scene like?


Tabi Bonney: It’s actually

just developing in D.C.; I would say with me and Wale, other than that it’s a

go-go oriented city. You got other Hip-Hop artists in D.C. but for the most of

there stuff is Gangsta rap. So, that’s why I say I’ve been able to be at the

fore front of the scene because it’s not like anything else, its completely

different. And I say the same with Wale too, he’s not rapping about being in a

gang. That’s why I think we’re able to shine. You are the

son of the afro- funk superstar Itadi Bonney. What was it like growing up in a

house full of music?


Tabi Bonney: Man, it was

just exciting! He would stay practicing with his band, going on tour, or in the

studio. I would just always be around it and always see it since I was born. He

would always collaborate with other people throughout Africa. So, its like I

heard all types of music; that’s why my stuff is a little different, not the

norm. When did you

get into Hip-Hop?


Tabi Bonney: Man, I got

into Hip-Hop, I’d like to say around the time we left Africa and came to live

in the U.S. for good. I was in elementary school and I just heard Salt-N-Pepa,

EPMD, MC Lyte, when I heard that it touched me on the inside, where I was like this

is just special music. Its really just speaking to me but I didn’t know I

wanted to be a rapper then. You were

born in Togo, West Africa…


Tabi Bonney:  Yeah, but my mother’s from D.C., since I was

born I’ve been back and forth. I would start a school year in Africa, and then

spend the summer in the U.S., and then I would do school years in the U.S. then

spend the summers in Africa that’s how it always went. So, you had

a cultural exchange in your early years, did you ever follow your father on any



Tabi Bonney: We lived in

France for about a year, we had a little European tour where they rented out a

castle and the whole band lived in there. In college,

you formed a group with your boy Haziq Ali called Organized Rhyme. Who did you

open up for when you did shows?


Tabi Booney: Man, we opened

up for everybody like LL Cool J, Cam’ ron when he first stepped on the scene

with “Horse and Carriage,” Maya, Trick Daddy, and Luke anybody that came

through Florida at the time, we opened for in Tallahassee. Around that

time you released an underground classic called, it definitely brought some

attention to you from the likes of Camp Lo and dead prez.


Tabi Booney: Yeah. More so

dead prez, like M-1 gave me call out of the blue and was like, ‘I was reaching

out to you to let you know every where I’ve been I’ve been hearing the album.

We love it, I just wanted to hit you up and let you know that I’m a fan.’ That

was my first official album, in which I was a little different, super lyrical,

in the underground scene and stuff like that. After that

album, you came out with your solo project, A Fly Guy’s Theme; you had

joints on there like “You” and the Northeast D.C. theme “Pocket.” How was it

different in terms of the previous project?


Tabi Booney: This was my

first real chance to be out in the public eye. Until then, no one had heard of

me except for people that were looking for underground stuff. You know what I

mean? This one you can say was slightly commercial, because the radio actually

picked up “Pocket” and had it in heavy rotation, and that’s something that an

indie artist has never been able to do in D.C. So, I made history with that. The new

joint that you have out now is called, “Syce It,” the video is getting a lot of

views on YouTube.


Tabi Booney: It’s just

starting to pick up on the radio, just a little bit, in the mix show it hasn’t

been added yet. To me its one of my favorite songs it just expresses I think

how the public feels like I started out by saying: I’m kinda like tired of

the same thing, kinda like bored with the same scene, now I don’t know

about you but that’s how I feel everything is just the same most artists that

are out feel like its a certain typical uniform; you gotta have a chain. That

why people who say they are trendsetters and leaders are sick of the regular

stuff. You need variety, I feel like I’m that person that’s gonna provide the

variety of things. The video

was your directorial debut; you had a real carefree vibe. You even brought out

the old school roller skates and were dancing out on them.


Tabi Bonney: Yeah, it took

me a while to find them. I went to so many spots all they had were in-lines; I

finally found a spot that had the regular ones. It took a little getting used

to wearing them again. Who produced

the track?


Tabi Booney: Benny D. DJ

Benny D, Akon’s DJ. How’d you

hook up with him?


Tabi Booney: Just like how

dead prez reached out to me on the Bonney and Carter album, I put out

the first release of A Fly Guy’s Theme, and he reached out. He’s in

Atlanta with my good friend Haziq, he passed him the album. And he wanted to do

something and this was the first track we worked on. What album

is that single on?


Tabi Rooney: It’s on the

upcoming album, probably first quarter looking for a February release its

called Dope meets Fresh… Fresh meets Superstar. You’ve had

the opportunity to travel abroad and perform with full fanfare and sold out

shows. How was the music received?


Tabi Bonney: Yeah, in

Prague and Sweden. Like I said it just shows the versatility of me as a rapper,

a lot of rappers can’t do that. Either they just stay regional or national. My

music was received well over there. Did you

release music over there as well? How were they able to get a hold of you?


Tabi Bonney: The Internet.

Technology is crazy right now; even a radio station from the Netherlands hit me

up via MySpace asking me to send them the CD. They love the music so much that

they wanted to start playing it in the Netherlands. Like I said earlier it goes

back to people wanting to hear something new and something different. Not only do

you record music but you also have a clothing line called Bonney Runway, how

did you start that?


Tabi Bonney: I started that

in my last year of college just for me, like I said not wanting to wear what

everybody else had on. Every time I would go to the store I would notice that

they didn’t even have shirts in a medium, smallest size would be an extra

large. To me I felt I looked ridiculous in an xxl t-shirt. That’s what prompted

me to start creating my own t-shirts for right now.  I felt there was nothing else for me out

there to wear, and it was really initially for me to wear and people started

asking where they could get the shirt. I thought hey why not just start putting

it in boutiques. Can it be

purchased anywhere?


Tabi Bonney: Right now.

They can’t they can check it out on, but I’m revamping the

whole line in summer of 2008 it’ll be back in effect. Aside from

the upcoming album and the clothing. What else is in development for you?


Tabi Bonney: My next

project that I’m working on all of ’08, I’m about to produce my own independent

film. That’s what’s next up on my plate; I feel there’s a void in there that

needs to be filled in film right now. Most black films that are out are

straight ghetto hood joints with people getting shot up, or a typical black

love story. I feel like there’s nothing like a Ferris Buehler’s Day Off

or something like that for our culture something fresh, dope, and fly. Anything

that you want to say to the readers?


Tabi Bonney: Just for

people to per se be themselves and stop following what they think supposedly is

the trend. I think that’s what’s wrong with our culture right now, people

figure it’s the thing to do, its not a variety like when Hip-Hop first started.

You had De La Soul and Special Ed; they never dressed the same or sounded the

same. I want to take it back to when people weren’t afraid of being themselves

again.Tabi Bonney’s website is

Tabi Bonney’s MySpace page is