A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is the stage name of Bronx-raised rapper Julius Dubose, who just turned 21 last year. One suspects that older hip-hop purists like KRS-One (playing Toad's on Nov. 7) wouldn't quite identify with the music that A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is making. The songs are childishly sing-songy, with minor-key piano, strange gamelan-ish loops and trap beats, like on his single "Drowning."
But he can also do rap-spitting in addition to catchy melodic stuff. He released a mixtape last year called "Artist," and then, in the spirit of one-upmanship, perhaps, he released "The Bigger Artist," a full-length album in September of this year. Boogie is an artist who achieved success online without label support, and he's now signed to Atlantic. Kodak Black, 21 Savage, Trey Songz, Robin Thicke and Chris Brown all make guest appearances on the record. Vocals get AutoTuned, while guns, sex, cars, Instagram, and jewels are recurring subjects. (He actually raps "my jeweler is better than yours" on one track.)
There's a strange mix of swagger and heartbroken vulnerability in Dubose's songs. (He's opened for Drake and Future at New York's Madison Square Garden.) His lyrical mode is about proving he's a bad-ass while also showing his sappy sensitive side. It's a classic romantic gambit.
See A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie at College Street Music Hall, 238 College St., New Haven, on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $32 to $37. collegestreetmusichall.com.