Written by Chris White aka Wisdom
Certain artists give a sense of down home friendliness when speaking to them outside of their normal artistic element. One such artist that I had the pleasure of interviewing is definitely “on the rise”.
Truthfully, I wouldn’t even call it an interview with Bobbi Cool, but rather an extended, cool conversation between two brothers. For the better part of an hour, Bobbi Cool was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to discuss his music, his influences, his representation of both North Atlanta and Jackson, Mississippi, and even today’s political climate.
Travys Harper, musically known as Bobbi Cool, was born in Jackson, Mississippi, attended Auburn University, and currently calls Atlanta home. He reps the Northside of Atlanta, and is very vocal about the lack of a hip hop fixture from that portion of ATL. He is adamant about becoming that voice that will be heard from North Atlanta. Peep the interview to get a glimpse into how Bobbi Cool came into being. Visit his website at http://www.bobbicool.com/ to become acquainted with this dynamic artist.
OTR: Tell the world a little about Bobbi Cool
Bobbi Cool: Well man, Bobbi Cool is a young cat born in Mississippi. I was born in Jackson, but I live in North Atlanta. You can say that both worlds are intertwined. What you see is what you get with Bobbi Cool. I’m here shedding light on what’s good as far as people are concerned.
OTR: I see that you call Jackson AND North Atlanta home. How has that influenced you musically and lyrically?
Bobbi Cool: Truthfully, there aren’t too many rappers acknowledging North Atlanta. I’m filling that void from what’s missing here in North Atlanta. We got something to say for real. Being from Jackson and reppin’ Atlanta I get the chance to have that laid back attitude while living that city life, so it’s the best of both worlds for me. I’m here to get a grand slam in this game. Sometimes though, it seems like we’re not going hard enough, in my opinion. I’m here to try and bridge that gap.
OTR: What caused that gap?
Bobbi Cool: Folks don’t see us or we not hitting the right spots. When I go to a venue I’m the only cat there reppin’ North Atlanta. You got College Park, SWATS, Decatur, but Northside, no. Ain’t no hatin’ either, but I gotta be truthful. There are many other artists in North Atlanta. I consider myself an influential dude here. We got some hot sh*t for you, that’s for sure.
OTR: How is the Jackson music scene?
Bobbi Cool: It came up. There are some artists coming up, like Tha Joker, Affiliated. Of course you know about David Banner. He opened many doors down in Mississippi. Mississippi flooding the game. You’ll see the wheels starting to turn. But sometimes you gotta leave your city to get hot and then come back. That’s what I’m doing. It’s a double-edged sword by leaving your city and then coming back though. People look at you like you turned your back on them, but I would never turn my back on my folk.
OTR: What cities do you enjoy performing in the most?
Bobbi Cool: Most definitely ATL. I dig Alabama, like Tuskegee and Birmingham, they show much love. I got a show in Mississippi next week. This is my second big show. My first show in Mississippi was last summer with Affiliated, just building that buzz.
OTR: Who would you say are your biggest influence?
Bobbi Cool: Michael Jackson! Rest in peace to him. He was setting trends, just look at these cats now. They don’t want to create their own thing. He created his own thing with his talents. Just look at Thriller. Doing the Moonwalk. He took it to the next level. He set a standard that no one else could duplicate. He was motivation, still is. I’m here to make something that I can call my own and not follow. I’m a leader.
OTR: Tell the world about your new projects coming out.
Bobbi Cool: My second mixtape is called Country Coolin’, with sixteen songs. It’s coming out Fall 2011. I want the listeners to get a feel for me first when I give it to them. All the songs are original cuts, except for maybe three songs, to show some real lyrics and skills. I love working with producers that I can create with. I am the type of artist that will work with all producers. A lot of artists out here ain’t like that. For me, being creative is the key. I have an in-house production team. My man Ranch $0$, me and him, we’re like Snoop and Dre. I say that to mean we have that chemistry that you can’t fake, its authentic bruh. My labelmate Pyro is another cat that I work with closely. Swamp from Swamp Boy Productions, this 17 or 18 year old cat got some heat. My man Brian Hicks is cool too. I fell asleep in the studio with him, and an hour later he had a beat made for me. Our chemistry is unmatched. In my camp, everybody gets their own shine. I’ve sat on a beat for maybe three years, didn’t like it at first, then something clicked and it was fire. Chemistry plays the biggest part in creativity. We rock out and make some good sh%&. Country Coolin’ is being mixed down as we speak. Cool Point is my next mixtape, gonna be out Spring 2012. Twenty songs deep so far. I don’t know if I should say this…
OTR: Go ahead, you’re cool! (Laughter)
Bobbi Cool: I’m working on this joint “Shrink Rap”, talking about rap period. How it’s changed, how artists will come out and bite. I don’t follow. I don’t copy. Artists need to find their own way, find their own lane.
OTR: Did your Auburn experience influence you musically?
Bobbi Cool: Being at Auburn was influential just for me to talk about it, to touch on things. It opened up my horizons. Life in general has influenced me. My stepfather has a computer business, my father has a lawncare business. I’ve always been around that entrepreneurial spirit in my life. Even being at an HBCU can shed light on it but it goes further than that. For me, I kinda got an edge on others with that college experience. Too many times cats think that you lose your edge with college, but I beg to differ. It gave me a different perspective. I’m trying to do something different with this here music.
OTR: How so?
Bobbi Cool: 50% of music couldn’t relate to what I’ve experienced. I’ve experienced so many different facets of life that I can speak on many different topics. I went to Minnesota last year, and that was the first time for me venturing outside of the South. I’m 25 year old man. Visited The Mall Of America. I have no problem with being a leader at all.
OTR: I have to ask you this. Where did the name Bobbi Cool come from?
Bobbi Cool: Ha ha! Man, I got a song coming up on Cool Point that is gonna touch on that. Let me see. My freshman year at Auburn, me and my man Chris Brown went down to Daytona for Spring Break back in 2005. Not that Chris Brown, not yet! (Laughter) I was a 19 year old, venturing out for the first time to Spring Break, and we ran into some chicks when we left a club. It was a carload of chicks, no less than five women in a car. I was being my cool self, talking to the women with no problems at all. My boys just looked at me and said “You get all the chicks. You just too cool for ‘em”. They telling me I remind them of a cool ass uncle. “You just Bobbi Cool”. When we got back to campus, my partners yelling “Bobbi Cool!” and it just stuck with me.
OTR: I see a running theme with “Cool” as a catchphrase. Is that a conscious decision?
Bobbi Cool: I’ma run with the “Cool” theme for three mixtapes I think. You got Country Coolin’, me just chillin’ in the cut, in the country with a city mentality. I don’t want the mixtapes sounding the same though. I don’t wanna be repetitive with them. On Cool Point, I’m gonna touch on different topics that are more serious. There will be political songs to spark the mind.
OTR: That leads into my next question. Even though we’ve been talking mostly music, let’s talk about the political climate right now.
Bobbi Cool: I got a joint that I recorded called “Money Makes The World Go”. Whole different sh*t. I’m talking about our financial status and how commerce controls the world. Right now Obama is cleaning up the mess George W. Bush created over his eight years in office. People don’t understand. I HAVE to talk about it. Ice Cube talked politics in his music. Things are different now with unemployment and commerce. We have to create our own jobs. That goes back to that entrepreneurial spirit I talked about before. It’s the 21st Century, we gotta adjust. The Civil Rights Movement was about revolution and change, and it’s no different now. We need to change and embrace the impact. Right now I only focus on ESPN, CNN, Animal Planet, and The History Channel with television. An older cat told me about fashion and how everything goes in cycles. Just pay attention. Things go in twenty year cycles. You wanna make a difference you gotta be different! Right now we are 14 trillion in debt. I’m praying that President Obama gets another four years in office.
OTR: I definitely feel you on that last point. We can talk for a good while, but I know that you are busy man. Are there any last words for the On The Rise family?
Bobbi Cool: Pray everyday. Stay ten toes down. Hit me up people atwww.bobbicool.com online. You can find me on Reverbnation under http://www.reverbnation.com/bobbicoolyousafool. On Twitter I’m @bobbicool. For Facebook I’m under Cool Bobbi. Hit me up On The Rise!
OTR: It’s been a pleasure with this interview being my first for On The Rise Magazine. It was refreshing to speak with a humble and intelligent artist with much to say.
Bobbi Cool: This is my first real interview for real, so I appreciate the honor, and it was cool choppin’ it up with you. Peace to On The Rise Magazine!