Pour la version française, c’est ici.
Each month, Juste1Question offers you the portrait of a player of the Baton Rouge rap scene. This city is indeed one of the major places of nowadays US rap. The first episode of our series of articles made you discover the central role of local DJs in the city of Boosie Badazz, NBA Youngboy and Kevin Gates. This second episode makes you meet 2 rappers from Glen Oaks : Turo Stakz and Carl Bogart. It’s the opportunity to discover the daily life of these rappers from the shooting of a video to a concert organized on the occasion of a distribution of free school supplies to the children of the neighborhood.
At The « Back To School Bash » of Glen Oaks neighborhood, organized by the association « The Resistance« , children jostle for dancing on the stage, and for jigging like they never did. This afternoon there are a lot of families who are here to bring back some school supplies and some free food. But they are also here to party with some of the best local rappers and DJs. While DJ Amp entertains the crowd with some of the hottest Baton Rouge’s bangers, Turo Stakz carries out the show on the stage and dances among the children. A few minutes later, Carl Bogart, a big and nonchalant guy, joins him on the stage to perform their common single. The track, with its trap pace and its addictive piano loop is an opportunity for the two rappers to entertain the crowd in spite of the warmth of Louisiana.
With this track, the two rappers mix their talent with sucess. Nevertheless, both of them have clearly their own musical univers. Carl’s identity is mixed with jazz and blues melodies. His songs often have a lot of sung parts. The rapper defines himself as a perfectionist and he easily quotes J Cole or Kevin Gates as his major influences. Carl shares indeed with these two rappers a real honesty in his lyrics, a moving and amazing frankness. He also has a desire to tell the life in the streets without exaggerating or glorifying this kind of life. He just says how things are, with calm, realism and poetry. Carl sings his life, his dreams and even sometimes his melancholy.
I interviewed him on the parking lot of a Starbucks. When I asked him if he wanted to live on his music, Carl answered me : « I love my music. I love making music. If I had money, I wouldn’t care that people listen to it. I will keep it up for myself and listen to it. You know what I say… I got to do it ! I feel like I can. So… I will keep going. And when I will have enough money I will try help other people to do it. »
Doing everything you can to achieve this goal, but not only for yourself, for others. For his crew, for Glen Oaks, for Baton Rouge. That’s the way of thinking of Turo Stakz too. On the shooting of his video « IDGAF », a featuring with the rapper Lil Randy, the rapper from Glen Oaks invited the whole neighborhood to party. The brass vibrate and the whole neighborhood dance in front of the camera of Twone, one of the main clippers of Baton Rouge’s rap scene. Turo Stakz assumes his Baton Rouge’s musical heritage. His dancing tracks make us jigging. They are part of a long local rap tradition. « I grew up on Boosie. No matter what, nigga, we grew up on Boosie, we grew up on Gates. […] I’ve been fucked with all of this since I’m a little kiddy kid. Real talk ! »
The speaker plays « IDGAF » and Turo Stakz is dancing, talking to everybody, drinking, greeting newcomers… Glen Oaks’ neighborhood vibrate to « IDGAF » sound for two hours. If Turo made some melancholic tracks too, his high energy is maybe the most impressive part of his art. « I have been doing music, I’ve always been dancing. You see what I’m saying. I’ve always been… Well you know… Just out of the box ! […] I was born to entertain ! »
Little by little, the shooting ends and the neighborhood becomes calm and silent. I decide to go back home, while some of Turo’s best friends keep talking about music and life. The sun sets on Glen Oaks but local rappers haven’t said their last word.