He's a rapper. He's a scholar. He's the next candidate for the President of Hip-Hop.
In just a couple of hours, Miami-via-D.C. rap mastermind, Square Biz label boss, and Harvard grad Larry Harris Jr., known on the streets and in the studios as Black Bobby, will be holding down the early slot at the Fillmore Miami Beach, alongside Black Star's Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
"It's kind of a BIG DAY," Bobby wrote on his Tumblr this morning. "Not only am I opening Rock the Bells tonight ... but I am also dropping an EP called Black Bobby's Best Kept Secrets."
Tonight, he'll be running through the bulk of this new material. And as Bobby tells Crossfade, his set will no doubt include the EP's first single, "Lil Ole Man," which he describes as "a song about the plight of two modern black boys."
"Most often, black boys are portrayed in the media in a negative light or stereotypical manner," Bobby explains. "My song tells the stories of two boys who don't necessarily fit those stereotypes, but are trying to achieve the American Dream."
"I think black boys are in crisis," he adds. "Forty percent of black fourth graders do not read at a appropriate level and many black boys look to outlets outside of school for valuation.
"Sports and entertainment in general are considered prime job opportunities in the minds of many black boys. But those are impossible jobs to get. I think black boys have the wrong role models. And in the media we end up being portrayed as hyper-masculine, thugged out unruly kids with no sense of purpose."
Best Kept Secrets EP Tracklist
1. "Best Kept Intro"
2. "Lil Ole Man"
3. "Supa Dope"
4. "Stunt Hard"
5. "Coming Soon"
6. "You Like Me"
7. "U Street Chillin"
8. "Black Super Hero"
9. "I Am Legend"
10. "In the Bag"
But who are the right role models? "I was raised in Washington, D.C., where as a kid i would regularly meet second generation black scholars, professionals, and scientists. Plus, my parents are both professionals with university degrees," Bobby says. "That gave me and kids like me a broader perspective."
"Kids need more realistic expectations and higher aspirations."
Download: Black Bobby's Best Kept Secrets EP
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Black Bobby, opening for Black Star's Mos Def and Talib Kweli as part of the Rock the Bells Festival Series, co-presented by Guerilla Union. Tuesday, September 27. Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $50 to $65 via livenation.com. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.