Bno is no stranger to adversity, especially given the things he saw growing up on the streets of Watts. Right before hitting his 20’s, the West Coast melodic spitter lost both his parents: his mom was killed in a hit and run and his dad falling victim to cancer. Now the father of two beautiful baby girls, the “James Harden” rapper treats music as his everything. This is his job, his passion, his life — the reason he gets up in the morning. Read more…
Now, he gears up to unleash his new project titled Beating All Odds, delivering his story of exactly what the title states. Things weren’t set up for Bno to succeed, instead he had to go out there and get it on his own.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is different. It’s melodic but to me, I can’t reference anybody in the game. You know how usually people, their sound is West Coast or their sound is trap. I got songs that can sound West Coast, I also got songs that sound more trap. A lot of my music is melodic, so I do like harmonizing more. It’s a trap West Coast vibe.
At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
I always knew I was good at it, but then I had a song called “James Harden.” That’s when a lot of people started realizing “alright, this song’s good.” A lot of people started liking it. This new project I got coming out right now, there’s no bad songs on it. All 13 songs are good. It’s gonna catch people. It’s gonna hypnotize people as soon as they hear the first song.
What are the struggles of being an independent artist?
Everything. Every emotion in the world. I read what Nipsey said, he’s like “I dealt with emotion in the world, I just didn’t give up.” That’s real life true story, every day. Even today.
What happened today?
I wake up like “man I’m motivated. I’m bout to hit up everybody!” But then there’s emotion like “man this shit is depressing, I need this to happen now.” But you gotta still stay focused, stay patient. Because eventually ̶I̶ ̶f̶e̶e̶l̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶, well I know my music is good. Ain’t no feel like. One day, it’s gonna attract somebody and it’s gon’ go from there. I go through every emotion every day but the one thing I 100% won’t do is give up. I’ll never give up.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
Bno is a nickname I been having since I was a kid. Then the Watts part, I’ma always represent my city. Even in my music, I’m representing my city. That’s my struggle, that’s where I come from. That’s always gon’ be me no matter what. I’m never gonna turn my back on my city. I live by my city.
Do you feel you have the support of your city?
A lot of people in my city mess with me. The main song I have is “James Harden.” Of course, it could be more. This next project, everybody gon’ be supporting. The whole LA in my opinion. There’s no weak songs on the mixtape. I even had to cut off songs. I’m like “man I didn’t wanna cut that song off,” but it was just too many. I know for a fact that 1 through 13 is hot songs. To me every tape should have club songs, and it should also have real songs where people can relate. But my club songs are real songs. It’s clubs songs, it’s real songs. It’s any type of feelings we deal with everyday. Some days we wanna be depressed, so you gon’ feel that. Some days we happy, we ready to go club, you gon’ feel that. Some days we ready to go drink, you wanna mellow out, you gon’ feel that also. It’s gon’ be every feeling in the world. If you can’t relate to this, then you can’t relate to nothing in my opinion. It’s more than just a West Coast sound, it’s what LA needs.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
From my story, it’s about me against all these odds. All these odds I done been through, all the bad cards I’ve been dealt – nah, I made it out of that. I didn’t stay in that, I made it out. I want people to get the feeling of being in the struggle, now you made it out the struggle. Now it’s time for us to get this money. Show everybody “yeah, we about to live our life. We about to show them what the ghetto got to offer.” I want people to feel being in the struggle and making it out the struggle.
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
My goal is to really be the best artist who’s real and genuine in the game. My goal right now is to get the backing and get the pushing. Because if I have the pushing and the backing that a lot of artists have, then it’s a wrap.
What’s your take on the music industry?
Of course, it’s a lot of politics. It’s a grind, but it’s always gonna be worth it. But what ain’t a grind? What ain’t politics? Everything is politics. Everything is a grind. Shit, I done been through worse than the music industry. I came from Watts, the worst city in America to me. This a warm up to me.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Music. I wake up music, I go to sleep music. This the real honest truth. I eat music. I drink music. Every day I’m thinking about how to better my career. Every day I’m thinking about the people to hit up, what events to do. Every day I’m thinking about music and getting the exposure I need. That’s my daily mood everyday.
3 things you need in the studio?
A good engineer for damn sure, that’s 100%. My Hennessy for sure, and no bad vibes. Everything gotta be a positive vibe.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
The most played artist is 2 artists. One is Roddy, I like Roddy’s sound. Then 03 Greedo because Greedo from my city. They the only 3 people who get played in my car actually: Greedo, Roddy, Bno.
My dream collab is gonna always be Jay Z. Since Nipsey died, it’s Jay Z 100%. He’s the god of hip-hop. Who wouldn’t wanna be Jay Z? He came from the projects to a billionaire all on his own. He owns his own basketball team. He got the hottest woman in the game. You just gotta feel Jay.