Bola: The First Lady Of Grand Hustle
By: Todd Davis

Having already logged in studio time with the likes of Young Dro, Yung Joc, and Yung LA, as well as guest appearances on high profile mix-tape releases from P$C and DJ Drama, "Georgia Peach," Bola, a.k.a. the Black Betty Boop, is just about ready to turn the Hip-Hop world on its faultering ear.

All this, and yet no debut album in immediate sight -- Let's find out what all the hoopla is about...

"People like Outkast and Goodie Mob were big influences from ATL, but I always was a true Tupac fan because it was all my older brothers and sisters listened to!.....”

At what age exactly did you first become interested in rapping?

At the age of 15 I started to write raps, and along with my best friend, Sunshine, we started to create songs. Then, we progressed to performing them at various open mics and events. Later, we met T.I., and Jason Geter, who then asked us to be down wit P$C and the team, which is now the company Grand Hustle. And the rest, was history!

So, that's how the whole T.I./Grand Hustle connection came about?

Like I said, it wasn't even "Grand Hustle" yet when I got down with the team. It was just (not) meant to happen early. That's home, thats my family! We've [Xtaci] been on all of the mix-tapes we brought out with DJ Drama as a company, Young Dro's album, been all over the world with T.I., and alone, overseas, and more! Still on this run alone, and not with my partner anymore.

What really caused Xtaci [you & Sunshine] to disband? Weren't you all in the process of recording a project for the label? And, any chance of a future reunion on stage and/or on wax?

Well, it wasn't really a disband. It's XTACI forever! We are best friends, and still spend time together -- Even though I'm working on music a lot, and she's being a mother of two. Twins at that! Not an easy job, so it takes dedication. And, that caused us to grow in different directions in life. We were kinda in slow motion anyway when things started to go in different directions. We were recording, but the label didn't know for sure what they wanted to do with the group. A lot of other artists were in their prime, and we were being pushed back more and more. And as women, life isn't always as easy as saying, "Okay, I'm just gonna give up everything and try to make this happen." I feel we have way more decisions to make as women, and it was what it was. And, of course, there will be a reunion when she is ready to jump back into it, to deal with the hardships of this industry again 'cause it's not easy! It be blood, sweat, and so many tears! So, even through it all, I am so thankful to have such a great management team; Boss Type Entertainment.

Now you actually grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, correct?

I'm born and raised in Atlanta, GA! Decatur to be exact. Then, I later moved to the southside of Atlanta where I met Sunshine.

Whose music were/are you a big fan of? Who exactly influenced your style?

People like Outkast and Goodie Mob were big influences from ATL, but I always was a true Tupac fan because it was all my older brothers and sisters listened to! Then, of course, my mentor and boss, TI, influenced me as an artist. But, I really (am) blessed to be Nigerian, both of my parents are Nigerian, where I feel my love for music and it being in my blood comes from. Answering the end of that last question a little more, no one really influenced my style. It just kinda grew along the way. I am a person who is not afraid of expressing themselves though! So, my musical vibe, at this moment, is a lil grown and sexy. It used to be a lil more tomboy-ish and hard, but I now have a mixture of both. Not letting go of the true gangsta feel, because I did grow to think like a man. But, I enjoy telling it from a female perspective. So, the vibe is sexy, gangsta, bold, passionate -- Best of all worlds is what I like to call it! I like to tell stories.

So, you were just "cut-out" for this here music?

Umm...Yeah, "music" was my calling, period! I'm a music head, and not just Hip-Hop! I enjoy R&B a lot! And, I love to listen to mix-tapes. So, yeah, since the beginning I knew it was going to be what my life was about.

How'd you actually come to be known as Bola: a.k.a. the Black Betty Boop?

It came from someone calling me that actually, and everyone else in the room at that time agreed, even me! But, it was a secret for me. Not really a secret, but I am a mysterious person. So, I eventually decided to embrace it. Embrace my side of being pleasuring and fun to my audience. Betty Boop also brought me out of my shell some. It allowed my audience to know me, and introduce the world to who Bola is. And, I favor her a whole lot with my round face and big eyes. She is me, and I am her! Ms. Boop!

Have you named your Grand Hustle solo debut yet?

Haven't named the album yet, but the mix-tape is out called Jus Gettin Started, hosted by DJ Burn One. Check for the videos hitting World Star (Hip-Hop), and in ya city! I'm everywhere! Kinda new as a solo artist, so I think the name would come along with the experience. I'm big on names, so I just wouldn't name it the obvious. It would have to match the situation.

Who are you working with on it?

Many in-house producers will be on the album, like Grand Hustle's Nard & B, Lil C, Raz, The Engineers. I've had the honor of working with the pioneers in the game also, like DJ Toomp and Khao, (and) new producers like Pac MaN and Zaytoven. So many more, but anything hot will be on the album!

Any guest appearances that you're ready to announce?

There are many cameos on the mix-tape out now, like Lil Scrappy, Yung LA, Yung Joc and BG. So, you know, I'm going for more for the album! I enjoy working with hard workers.

What are your plans for attaining success in this floundering industry?

My key to success is: "Go and Get It," 'cause no one is going to give it to you! Especially being a woman! You have to really show you want it, and stand beside that.

How do you view the current conditions of the music business?

I view it as always changing, and not necessarily in a good way! And, I'm never content with any music. It can always get better.

Tell me less about Bola the rap artist, and more about who Bola really is?

Kinda said it already, but Bola is BOss B, Betty Boop! She is dedicated, and won't take no for an answer! I'm here! I'm a real person, real artist. And, I do this because I love it!

What exactly do you fill your spare time with?

On spare time, I love to chill out! I'm a home-body; calm, cool, collected. Love being around people that I love, too! I enjoy the simple things in life, because music is extreme for me! I like watching movies, shopping, eating, ya know? Regular stuff makes me happy! And when I party, I party! *Bola giggles*

Futuristically speaking, what are your long-term goals in entertainment?

Debuting my album of course, bringing out my own artist(s), (and) getting into different things like acting. I've always been a "Grand Hustler," ya know?! Only God knows what my future holds, but with me it ain't no limit!

Your debut solo album is due out when? What is/will be the next single and/or video? And, are there any current plans to tour behind it?

The album hasn't a date, but, of course, in 2010! Single out now is "Everyday," featuring Yung LA. The video is out on that! New single could be from the previous mix-tape or the new one, because I'm working on a new mix-tape. But, I'm constantly working, so always look for videos on me. And, always be looking for me to be on the road, too!

What's that "live" show element (gonna be) like?

Drawing, and exciting to see! Interacting with the people. They're the real reason behind what I do, and my passion to do it. I want them to see.

Are there any specific mix-tape(s) or cameos on others works to look out for from you in the meantime?

Yeah, I spoke on the mix-tape I'm doing now, (but the) name isn't clear yet. It will be truly Betty Boop themed! I gotta do one of those! And, I'm vibing and setting up working with other artists now. I'll definitely make a video or something to let you see that when it pops off! A day in the Life!

Is there anything else that I may have left out or forgot to ask about?

No, you've touched a whole lot! *She smiles* But, check for me
And, thank you!

* Sadly, Thursday June 25th 2009, the world lost the greatest entertainer who ever lived -- What was your first reaction upon hearing the tragic news? How does Michael Jackson’s untimely passing affect, not only you, but, music in general? And, in the wake of his demise, what does this mean for the future of recorded music?

Michael...Michael...Still can't believe he's gone, because he still lives in me! Whenever I hear his voice it goes as deep in my bones! Yeah, I was a true fan. Like I said, I love R&B music, so you know he changed my life with his passion for music. He gave up the normal life for the people. That is beautiful, but hard. When I heard he was gone I was wrapping up my video for "Everyday," and I sure did stop and cry -- And, not just a tear! I boo-hooed the rest of the day...And, the next one, because it was everywhere. I feel he's done the greatest job for music, and he will live on. For me, and for what he's done, I'mma go hard like he did! I love and miss him truly. *Bola tears up*

Do you have any message(s) for our readers?

Thanks for supporting me and my dream. It's been a long journey, and (still) got a long way to go, so thank you! Grand Hustle/Boss Type is who I stand for, and we is definitely here!



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