Cat’s outta the bag: Bocha is one of the Rose City’s fastest rising talents in our hip-hop scene. Along with his chic Produce crew (a lifestyle brand, physical storefront in Chinatown and music collective that includes Donte Thomas, Scooty and Young Shirt Mayne), he teamed up with the stellar local label EYRST to drop his new six-track EP I Like U at the end of May.
While the record was made over a three-year period with elite local producers Sxlxmxn and Neill Von Tally, it’s no surprise that the slinky, standout cut “Brown Skin” mixes its jazzy, sexy vibe with some highly relevant lyrical content:
"I like your brown skin,
I see beauty in your brown skin,
She got some booty with some brown skin,
She think she poppin’ with her brown skin,
But they don't like me in my brown skin,
The police stop me for my brown skin,
They might've shot me for my brown skin,
But you can't stop me and my brown skin,
The chilled-out verses listen like a day in the life of a modern black man.
Sadly, Bocha’s low-key, well-crafted, realistic account is nothing new. Run The Jewels, Tupac, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, N.W.A and countless others have been saying this shit for decades with varying degrees of ferocity. How many times do we have to hear it to get the message?
“The motivation behind the video is wanting people to actually sit and listen to the words l’m saying,” Bocha tells. “I wrote this song about eight months ago not knowing that the country was going to eventually be in this uproar, and I feel like the song is very relevant for the time we’re in. I speak from my perspective of appreciating brown-skin women in the first verse, and the second verse I speak from my experience with the boys in blue. There has been way too many brown lives lost and we will no longer allow our country to ignore the fact. So with this song I’m hoping I can play as motivation for brown-skinned people everywhere to take pride in how they look and be comfortable in their own skin.”
We appreciate your words, art and message—and stand with you, Bocha, and every other person of color or marginalized voice in this country.