We all know the story of rappers that have glorified their past in the streets. They flipped birds, they moved bricks, they did time, their friends died. They are a product of the struggle, and their music is their life confessed from behind the mic. We also know about the so-called trappers turned rappers, and the never-ending debate about what they did in their past.
Some rappers have proof of their struggle. 50 and Weezy got shot. Jeezy showed you his truth in the documentary. Jay-Z popularly told fans, "Hov' did that / So hopefully you won't have to go through that." Maybach Music Group ringleader Rick Ross has been questioned about his authenticity in the past as a correctional officer, but Ricky Rozay keeps pushing. Today, he remains arguably one of the most popular artists in rap today.
The real question is, do people even care anymore? This is just entertainment, right? Not with Boldy James, this is his real life, to this very day.
The story you are about to read is NOT entertainment. This is the story of real struggle and fighting for your life everyday in Detroit. Boldy James is as real as it gets, and he has really lived the life he raps on tracks. Don't get it confused, Boldy's music isn't your typical street music - it's classic Midwest music, bundled up with production from Chuck Inglish, the Alchemist, and others, that pulls from the struggle and hustle you can hear in his lazy flow.
Take a look at AllHipHop.com’s exclusive sit down with one of Detroit's own, Boldy James:
AllHipHop.com: So, tell me your story, man. Who is Boldy James, and how did you start your come up across the Internet and in your city?
Boldy James: First of all, my real name is James Jones. I’m from Detroit city all over the board. I lived in every neighborhood. Real Detroit native, pure Michigan bred. My gang is called the Concreatures, you know what I’m saying? Concreatures, the definition of a Concreature is a real street n*gga, you know? My rap name is Boldy James because I got it from my big homie from the block I grew up with that got murdered. And right before he died - he didn’t rap - he just sold cocaine, and I liked the name because his name was James too, his names was James Osely III and my name is James Jones III, so for some reason it had some significance on it cause, Boldy James, it reminded me of the singer Boney James that my father used to listen to.
My original name was Golden Charles and like, I started rapping when I was first starting to write and count. Listening to all the Eric Bs and Rakims, the EPMDs, the Heavy Ds, the Kool Moe Dees and, you know, Rap just evolved and came to Ice Cubes and the DJ Quiks and, you know, I just grew up on that gangsta music.
BOLDY JAMES & LOGIC Feat. Aaron Williams - "Take What's Ours"
At the same time, I’m from Detroit and a lot of sh*t goes on around here. Sh*t just growing up around this maf*cka, just off bill, you see things and you wonder about things, and before you know it, you dibblin' and dabblin' in a whole bunch of bullsh*t that you don’t know why you in, you know what I’m saying? And you look up and this sh*t just became your life, and you get consumed and caught up and look up and now you going with the trials and tribs that come with the bullsh*t.
I always just took time in between the door knocks and the bullsh*t and the trap when I was trying to get a couple of dollars. I would take time to write in my journal on some dear diary sh*t. I just try to capture the feel and the emotion of everything that’s going down at the moment or that went down. I always feel like sort of a narrator and real descriptive and everyone be hearing my Raps and say that they are vivid.
And words can't never pinpoint real life exactly 100 percent, but I think that I do one of the best jobs of coming close to perfect, 'cause nobody is perfect. But I be feeling like my flow 'bout as perfect as it's going to get sometimes, because I keep it 100 and I try to give as accurate a description of my life as possible.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, seeing all your videos and hearing the music, you tell that what you are talking about is real and that you have been through a lot.
Boldy James: Man, real ain’t even the word, homie. Me and Mafia Double Dee, that’s my sister, it's a project that’s bout to come out shortly. That’s the next thing I’m about to do; we bout to drop something big for the streets of Detroit, man, and just let them know how it goes. We 'bout to take this b*tch over and show them, because we really be out here doing shit and it feels like everyone is writing raps about us and telling our story and they don’t live our life. As they say, they ain’t 'bout that life, and we is. You know what I mean?
Boldy James - "JIMBO"
AllHipHop.com: Uh huh…
Boldy James: So sh*t, at the end of the day, why we gonna sit there and let them get fat while we starve and keep eating off our plate? F*ck that, we tired of feeding maf*ckas; they don’t show the respect back, and they don’t understand the long grind and all the work and the long grind and the long time coming and everything before it manifests and materializes in to what you was trying to make of it. And, we made something out of nothing. So we just 'bout to show the world how real family orientated we is, and how we ain’t f*ckin’ around anymore, period.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of family, can you talk to me about your connection with Chuck Inglish of the Cool Kids?
Boldy James: Yeah, shout out to the Cool Kids, man, shout out to Chuck Inglish and Mickey Rocks. That’s my family, that my lil’ blood cousin and my lil’ bro bro. Mickey like the closest thing I got to a lil’ brother in real life, so it’s ride or die for them Cool Kids.
But I’m on this Concreature gang time sh*t my n*gga. Yo, put this in your interview: Mafia Double D-e-e and Boldy James, I’m trying to think of the title, but I don’t want to leak it, too, soon cause whenever I leak titles too soon. I got mothaf*ckas trying to steal my sh*t and take my sh*t and run with it, like they been doing they whole life. My whole life people been stealing my sh*t, man, and I’m tired of lending my sh*t out so other mothaf*ckas can present it to the world like they the founders or inventors of that sh*t. I started that gangsta gangsta sh*t, man.
Boldy James - "Consignment"
AllHipHop.com: A lot of times, people try to glorify the street sh*t…
Boldy James: Man, look here, man, we don’t glorify the street sh*t, we really out of this shit man. That’s the only reason we put anything at risk writing these raps, man. Because if I really told y’all the truth, man, I probably wouldn’t be able to make it out of the booth before that would be the end of that. I know everything, man, you know what I’m saying? We be in everything that we have no business being in, man, so it ain't really nothing to talk about no more. We just really trying to entertain ourselves right now. This sh*t not even for y'all; this sh*t for us.
AllHipHop.com: What about some Detroit artists that you might have listened to coming up?
Boldy James: Blade Icewood, Street Lord’z Worm,, Big Herk, Rod Day, Steet Lord’z, Rock Bottom, Little Mike Mike, my man Costra Nostra, Lethal Grain from Costra Nostra, my man Hash, my man Reage, my man Zo, the Jerk Nation.
I don’t know, I just be doin me my dog, I don’t be on no bullsh*t. I keep to myself, just try and stay out of the way so don’t know n*gga try and murder me, and so don’t know ni**a catch me on no cell charge, I’m out here on some real street sh*t, n*gga. I don’t even play by the same rules everybody play with man. I roll with the hammer, I don’t let nobody box me in and jam me up, I don’t trust too many people, I’m anti-social, I’m not really a people’s person, you feel me? This is a real interview.
I don’t even really got time to do this interview right now, bro. I got so much sh*t goin on right now, dog. I’m in the middle of something right now that I don’t have no business doing right now, right now at the moment. But at the same time, I understand how important this interview is, and how important it is for me to tell everyone who Boldy James really is, man, so they can get a clear understanding of why I’m making the music that I’m making, dog. But I’m making the music that I’m making, because I’m really in the streets going f*ckin’ crazy, dog. You hear me?
Boldy James - "Long Run / Optional"
AllHipHop.com: Man… So what about this first tape, man, Trapper’s Alley?
Boldy James: Man, Trappers Alley, everyone started dying prior to it, man. My whole high school class, middle school class, I didn’t go to college, I dropped out of high school in 9th grade at 14 years old, man. And everyone in my f*cking yearbook is dead, man. Eighty percent are dead, the last 15 percent is locked up, bro, and that last five percent is out here living life, man, you feel me?
AllHipHop.com: That’s what I can hear in the music, this is no bullsh*t. People can tell it's official. You recently linked up with Alchemist right?
Boldy James: Of course it's real, man. I’m just making the best music I can. I must be of the elite MCs at this point, because Alchemist ain’t just f*ckin' with everybody. I was with Alchemist for like a month, man, f*ckin around in the studio and just trying to make something work and doing what’s natural. And Al got my particular style of beats anyway, and anything that he played, the sh*t that he made me was limited, and everything that you will hear, that’s all we did. We didn’t do no extra sh*t and have to pick from it or none of that. We just gonna give it to you the same way we cooked it up. Other than that, Mafia Double Dee, ain’t nothing else. Y’all gotta hold on for the rest.