Let’s go back to 2001 when everyone was just finding out who the group Philly’s Most Wanted was. The group that included a baby-faced rapper named Boo-Bonic along with fellow rhyme slinger and childhood friend Mr. Man. With backing from Pharrell and singer Kelis singing the memorable hook on the lead single the group could go nowhere but up.
But as quickly as the public seen them come even quicker did they leave us. Two singles done and over “Please Don’t Mind” and “Cross the Border” and two albums released alongside a rocky label change Philly’s Most Wanted were no longer to be found.
So what are they doing now? Well HipHopDX shared a moment with Boo-Bonic so he could answer that along with other questions centered around the group and his opinions on a fellow hometown rapper.
HipHopDX: Can you describe how the group got started for me?
Boo Bonic: Basically it was just my partner Mr. Man and me. We grew up together, childhood friends since we were like five years old. Everybody was getting in trouble so we picked something to do. My cousin used to rap so we just started rapping because he rapped.
DX: Okay, so how did the group hook up with Pharrell?
BB: When we got signed to Atlantic there was the A&R his name was Rich. There was also this guy named Ashton Chambers who runs Ice Cream now, so he used to work for Nike so he had a connect with the Nike stuff so he gave it to Pharrell. I guess [Pharrell] was trying to sell beats to people at Atlantic at the time. So he was going over there meeting with Ashton to, so we kind of met Pharrell at the place, and Rich was with us, and Rich already knew him, and he was like, “I want you to work with my guys,” and he heard us spit and we spit acapella for like 45 minutes over and over. And after that it was a wrap.
DX: So do you still keep in touch with Pharrell?
BB: Yeah. He gave me three new beats for my solo project.
DX: How would you describe the relationship with Atlantic?
BB: It was cool, but like a lot of people don’t know we were like the first group that was signed directly to Atlantic. Like Trick Daddy was signed to Atlantic, Fat Joe and all these people but they all had their own situations. Like Fat Joe had Terror Squad; Trick Daddy had Slip N’ Slide. Everybody had their own situation we were signed directly to the label. So we were kind of the experiment, so to speak. Like if you look at T.I.’s success right now and what he doin’ is a lot of stuff we did. So where they messed up with us they did right with him.
DX:What would you say that they messed up?
BB: They messed up everything. Like we had the number two record in the country for the longest, and we didn’t sell no records and our video got banned from BET. So no matter how hot the record was, we couldn’t get the video support so the record started to fizzle out.
DX: Why did the video get banned?
BB: Because in the video “Cross The Border,” we run across the border, and we had a meeting with BET and they was just like, “We’re not supporting that video. Because it is a blatant drug smuggling video and song.” And he told us that way before the first single got hot. So like everybody, people in the street our fans like, “Oh, I can’t wait for y’all, y’all gonna do this, y’all gonna do that.” We already knew we wouldn’t gonna be able to do nothing because we didn’t have the video support from the studios.
DX: So now when you look at BET now how do you feel when you see videos on there that have the same type of content as yours? Do you feel that they played you somehow?
BB: Not so much. It’s a different time now than it was then. But people who saw the video thought it was the shit, so I guess even though it didn’t get it’s play like it should it still made an impact.
DX: So is that what lead the group to go to Universal?
BB: Yeah, we demanded to be dropped from Atlantic Records; we made them let us go. That was a bad decision that we made. Like, that was bad management at the time. We went to Universal and got in a super fucked situation.
DX: So if you could go back what would you change about the whole record deal?
BB: If I could go all the way back, I would have signed with Jay-Z.
DX: Oh so you could have been on Roc-A-Fella?
BB: We took [Beanie Sigel] to Roc-A-Fella.
DX: I read about that. Like he came up with the name Philly’s Most Wanted?
BB: Yeah. But we took him over there. Jay-Z even tried to sign us while we was signed to Atlantic Records.
DX: Why didn’t you go?
BB: We tried to get off Atlantic Records because at this time we had bad management. Our management wasn’t our management it was like our old head from the hood that invested money in it so we were just trusting judgment based on we were being loyal young boys. So all the other bullshit. So it was kind of one of those things.
DX: Is there anyway that you could still reach out now and get signed to the Roc? Well if you wanted to?
BB: Uh it’s burnt out now. The glory days have passed already for Roc-A-Fella. When it was poppin’, that when we could have been a part of it. You can ask Beans, you can ask anybody it’s all the way legit they had to say yeah, because it is but it could have been that because they at the top not like now it’s a waste.
DX: So what are you and Mr. Man doing now as far as music?
BB: Mr. Mann basically is doin’ what he doin’; I’m doin’ what I’m doin’. What I’m doin’ now is Young, Rich and Famous.
DX: Okay, so do you all still talk?
BB: Yeah, we still talk.
DX: How do you plan to comeback?
BB: The Young, Rich and Famous. We’re doing fashion, a TV show in the works that were puttin’ together right now that’s gonna be comin’ out of LA that we’re shooting the pilot too, in the next couple of weeks. And the music, two mixtapes and all that kind of stuff. M.J. got a single with Swizz Beatz. I got a single with Pharrell. We both got all kinds of records with everybody out there, [such as] Cool & Dre. Basically, we goin’ come sideways at ’em like that (and) wildstyle ’em.
DX: Why do you think people still want to hear from you from Philly’s Most Wanted?
I think that they want to hear from me because like just the flow, the voice and basically music. It’s not dated music. Like the stuff we talk about on the records that you love from us is stuff that is still relevant to this day. People still like to go out, people still like to get money, people still like to get at the chicks and all that so that’s relevant still to this day. That’s my personal reason why I think. [A friend of mine] said something one time that I always kept close to me [from] before we had the record deal. He said, “If you a cool type of nigga, you’re gonna always get love.”
DX: Did you even like those two songs “Cross The Border” and “Please Don’t Mind” as singles?
Hell yeah, I liked them. What I didn’t like is how people tried to pull the shit off records. I don’t know where they got the “bubble gum” [label] from. Like if you really listen to ’em, we were talkin’ ’bout getting pussy and moving weight cross the border, bricks of cocaine. I don’t know, maybe it was the beats. They used to try and act like we were different from everybody else that was from Philly. Like… nigga… why them dudes that talk that shit in Philly, they not like that for real. You ain’t never heard us gettin’ a chain snatched from nobody from Philly and you never will, you know what I’m sayin’? So when people were tryin’ to put us at the bottom like, “Oh, they were this and they were that,” I see the niggas that they put at the top and they not that. Not that I’m comin’ after ’em, but they not who they say they are.
DX: They are putting these dudes at the top so who do you think is overrated right now?
Overrated. I feel like that it’ll be a slap in the face because I lived in Philly for seven years. So it’s not the south that’s overrated because it’s really just snap music, it’s really about the dancing. I think if you want to call them rappers that’s over-rating them, but if you want to call it just good music to dance to that’s not overrated, you understand what I’m sayin. As far as Philly, who I think is overrated, I don’t know. That’s a funny word.
DX: How would you describe it?
I know niggas who [are] not who they say they are, you know what I’m sayin’. I just know who they are, without a doubt. And that’s like not to take nothing away from him, but Cassidy.
He’s from Philly but he not who he say he is. That’s still fine with me. because we still going to be cool even if he not, you understand what I’m sayin’? He ain’t take no food out my mouth or none of that. But Cass used to be somebody that used to come by my house too. He used to come by my house with the bookbag on and the braces comin’ from up Central [High School] because that’s what school he used to got to and he used to rap like Canibus. So you know I just think he just picked up on certain things and I wouldn’t have a problem with nobody if they would just admit to these things in the public. Not like keep mentioning it because I know people are going to separate themselves from what got them there, that’s just natural of what people like to do it seem like. But still acknowledge. It’s almost like you’re supposed to pay homage like that’s where the disrespect come in at when people don’t like to pay homage to shit that they know happened and helped get them to where they got.
DX: So no collabs with Cassidy in the future?
Yea. I’m not sayin’ I don’t like dude. You ask me who I felt was overrated and I can’t really tell you nobody overrated. I don’t think there’s a rating system really in Philly right now because Philly just not hot period right now sorry to say. I love Philly but it ain’t hot. I tell you who I don’t who they say they are and that’s what I said. We can do a record whatever he wanted as long as we can talk about where I know he’s really from. I like that song “Drink and my 2 Step.”
DX: So if you could back would you do it all again?
Hell yeah, yeah. I don’t regret being a rapper because I’m still a rapper like it ain’t over with you understand what I’m sayin. I don’t regret being a rapper, and I’ll do it again in a heartbeat. I’ll just do it differently like I said, it’ll be with Jay-Z and that’s just keeping it real. And you can ask anybody if they gonna be honest with you, they’ll tell you like he was on our backs the most. You could ask Ta-Ta, you could ask Jay-Z, you could ask any of them.
DX: So what did you think when you the Roc-A-Fella dynasty fell apart?
Uh, it didn’t shock me that it fell apart because like I said, I knew them people from the beginning. Like I said, we took Beans over there so we already knew what type of situation it was to begin with. But when you try to get money, you gotta get money. It wasn’t that it was all peaches n’ cream from the beginning since it fell apart. Matter of fact I’m gonna tell you something I never told nobody on an interview. When we went to go meet at Roc-A-Fella, Jay-Z wasn’t even there the first time, it was Dame there. He put Jay-Z on the intercom and we rapped over the intercom for him and then Jay-Z were like, “Yeah, they hot,” or whatever so this is when they just got signed to Def Jam. But why Dame [Dash] hung up with Jay, and he was like, “Yeah, we tryin’ to sign y’all because y’all would be the first group signed to Roc-A-Fella, and I think that’ll be a good look for y’all. I mean we got [Memphis] Bleek, but he corny, that’s just Jay-Z’s guy.” That was his exact words that came out of his mouth. And that was way early, you understand what I’m sayin’. So they just masked it because of the situation. It was always something there that weren’t right. He said that though, you can quote me on that.