Real Name: Johaz Bosley
Hometown: San Diego
Influences: Busta Rhymes, Public Enemy, Native Tongues, Snoop Dogg
Who He's Down With: Dirty Science, Deep Rooted
Johaz gets around. The San Diego rapper came up with the group Deep Rooted and partnered with Exile for the group Dag Savage. His music -- from the female-centric "The Alina Marin Theory EP" to the politically-minded single "Dream Sequence" -- highlights the nomadic nature of his mind and rhymes.
You've got your work with Exile as the group Dag Savage. You also do solo material and the group Deep Rooted. How do you decide who and what you're recording for?
Deep Rooted was my base and I've been knowing Exile for 10, 11 years, but we were just on some homie shit, doing tracks here and there. Then we were like, “Yo, let's do a record together.”
Even though Dag Savage is a group with Exile, it'll be like my solo introduction because all the shit people ever heard from me is attached with another MC or someone else.
I'd done three records with Deep Rooted, so Dag Savage is like my solo jump-off. I wanted to branch out on my own and get people comfortable with Johaz as an individual artist. Then if you look at all the projects, it's Dirty Science. Dag Savage is on some tagger shit, like an abbreviation for Dirty Science.
In your material, you touch on a lot of different topics in a pointed way during the course of one song, whether it's relationships or social commentary. How do you make songs where you talk about more than one thing and still make a lot of good points?
I've seen a lot in my life, so I'm not just a one-dimensional cat. I've seen domestic violence. I've had uncles and aunties on crack. I grew up around bangers, around skaters, so my mind is diverse. I try to stay on topic, but hit 'em with various shit. That's just how I grew up, so when I write, I take that approach.
Your “The Alina Marin Theory EP” focused on relationships. What do you find interesting rapping about women and relationships and what makes you comfortable doing it?
I’ve had a lot of up and down experiences with chicks and I know a lot of women have up and down experiences with men. So for me, it just comes out naturally. When I get on that woman-topic-shit, it just pours out. I could do 200 songs about that shit. That’s an easy topic for me.
Back in the day when LL Cool J or later when Ja Rule was doing it, Ja Rule wasn’t that dope. Then with LL, he had big muscles and everybody doesn’t have big muscles like that, so a lot of cats were hating on that shit. He was getting all the chicks anyway, so shut up. Slum Village was always one of my favorite groups and most of their shit was based around women. Plus, times change.
Now it’s cool to admit that you've got feelings, that you've had ups and downs with women. Even though Frank Ocean used it as a marketing ploy, you can even say you're gay and nobody gives a fuck. Years ago, that would have been it. You couldn’t admit that shit. It would have been a wrap. It's a more tolerant generation as far as music and stuff. But the Dag Savage album, it's some darker, soulful stuff.
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