The First Lady Of Grand Hustle
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$C and DJ
Drama, "Georgia Peach," Bola, a.k.a. the Black Betty Boop, is just
about ready to turn the Hip-Hop world on its faultering ear.
All this, and yet no debut
album in immediate sight -- Let's find out what all the hoopla is about...
like Outkast and Goodie Mob were big influences from ATL, but I always
was a true Tupac fan because it was all my older brothers and sisters
At what age exactly did
you first become interested in rapping?
At the age of 15 I started to write raps, and along with my
best friend, Sunshine, we started to create songs. Then, we progressed to
performing them at various open mics and events. Later, we met T.I., and Jason
Geter, who then asked us to be down wit P$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
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
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
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
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 Jacksons
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!