The Los Angeles music scene has seen a very successful yet equally turbulent past decade with shining bright spots that will forever impact and shape the hip-hop landscape around the globe, but has also seen equal embarrassments and gaffs that tarnishes the city’s reputation and takes away from what the most talented, or more importantly those who need to be heard most, are saying. Between clout-culture and meme-rap, L.A. has taken some major hits here lately, and the tragic passing of artists like Nipsey Hussle, or the incarceration of artists like 03 Greedo, has taken even more of a negative toll, as the city’s greatest rappers all seem to be robbed of their time here on earth one way or another.
For this reason, artists like Bravo the Bagchaser are especially important these days in Los Angeles and unfortunately are becoming too few and far between, but Bravo is able to give you a little bit of everything, keeping you engaged with catchy, bouncy turn-up songs that are dichotomized with melodic and emotional ballads where he lets his hard-exterior down to unpack some of his feelings, and also has more than his fair-share of street-stories on this project, painting vivid, poignant pictures of life in one of the world’s biggest and most dangerous cities. His Latino roots also help his fans within his community attach to and identify more and more with as he is one of few too many Latino faces in a crowded rap industry, but between aritsts like Peso Peso, L’A Tone, and Bravo the Bagchaser those tides are seeming to begin to shift.
His latest project Bagchasin’ was an extensive first-person view of Bravo’s life as well as an account of growing up and getting money in the city of Angels, and provides a heaping helping of features as well, coming from the recently freed Drakeo the Ruler, the Bay Area’s Offset Jim, the infamous BlueFace, Rucci, and more, that bolstered the already strong project. Recently I had the pleasure of talking to bravo some about all of his recent successes and about how he got to this point in his career.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
How did you get your name?
At first it was just Bravo before the rap shit and then i went by ‘Bravo the Loc’ and when I tried to change my IG to that and it wasn’t available and i couldn’t just be Bravo so I had Bravo the Bagchaser as my name from that point on and when the music started getting recognition and I was out there it just stuck, so I was like fuck it imma run with it.
What made you decide to start rapping?
Really my brother. He had put me on and had people come around and record me and shit and he felt like I could really do something with it. I was in juvy a lot as a minor and i would pass the time by writing music and I took to recording it when i got out.
Who influenced you growing up as a person the most and which artists helped inspire your sound?
A lot of Nipsey man, I grew up off that for sure. Too $hort fasho too, he got the bay on lock doing his player shit and making turn up music and when I make turn up music a lot of it comes from him but when I talk about real shit it come from Nip.
What do you think sets you apart from other artists in your city?
When you listen to L.A. music its mostly a ratchet vibe, like summer music or party music, but they don’t really got too many artists who are versatile and there aren’t a lot of people with more than one wave and I respect it, but I try to versatile and sing and rap and put a little out for everybody.
Everybody in music has a different goal or idea of what success will be to them when they start making music, what does success look like to you?
I used to think it was just like seeing a million on people’s shits and the recognition and all that but once I jumped over that myself I realized that there is way more and that’s just the beginning. You gotta keep going from there and it’s on you to keep going or flop. Now it’s up to me to get the music mainstream.
What do you think you need to do to make that next jump?
I don’t feel like I really gotta change it up I really just gotta get more exposure to the music. I think that everybody who hears it is gonna digest it well and I have so many styles so if you don’t like one you’ll probably like the other.
Tell me about the side of LA you’re from?
Im from The Valley and South-Central. Growing up I was between L.A. and The Valley, though.
Where do you think your life would be if you never started making music?
To be honest I was going through a lot of shit in and out of jail and didn’t have shit going for me but the street shit outside of the music, so I feel like music really saved me and gave me somewhere new to fit in.
What’s your favorite song off the new project personally?
“Juggin” fasho, I dont like listening to my own music but I’ll even slap that in the car.
Why don’t you like to listen to your own music?
Honestly its not something I don’t like. i just feel like I should just get more people listening to it and make more of it but i don’t want to listen myself.
What would you say the main message of your new project is?
I’d say its really just a story about where I came from and shit, and you gotta listen to it to really feel where I’m coming from.
Is the struggle to blow up greater for a Latino artist? Tell me more about how your culture has influenced your music and sound?
I feel like it is harder to gain attention ad fame just bc its not a lot of other Latino artists really doing that shit and people aren’t open to it at first but it grows on you and shit and you start getting in tune with it. As far as I take it to my music I try and make music for everybody and my upbringing don’t really affect the music aspect no.
What can we be on the lookout for from you soon?
New singles, videos, videos off the project on the way too. I got a song with Coi Leray waiting to drop, some singles with other people too, I’m just waiting to push the buttons. Just keep streaming Bagchasin’ on all platforms.