By Rob Markman
Pittsburgh has proven to have a wealth of rap talent. Wiz Khalifa put the Steel City on hip-hop’s map and Mac Miller followed waving the flag. Now ‘Burgh underground MC Boaz is next to put on for the city. On Friday (June 1), independent label Rostrum Records announced that they've signed Boaz to their label which already boasts such talent as Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller and pop princess Vali. And this summer, Boaz will join his new labelmates onstage for the Under the Influence of Music Tour.
"I'm very excited that Boaz is joining the Rostrum family," label president Benjy Grinberg said in a press release issued to MTV News on Friday. "I have been a big fan of Bo and his music for many years, and I'm looking forward to working with him in a more substantial way."
"It wasn't a decision that was very hard for me given their track record of developing talented learned musicians into great artists," Bo added in the release. "I've known the folks over there [at Rostrum] for some time and I think it is a good fit for both parties!"
Rostrum took a teenage and then-unknown Wiz and helped build him up through the mixtape and live-show circuits for several years before releasing his gold-selling, major-label debut, Rolling Papers, last year, cementing him as one of hip-hop's brightest stars. With regard to Mac Miller, Grinberg and his Rostrum team have taken the independent route, choosing to grow Mac without the help of a major label.
All of the hard work paid off when Miller's Blue Slide Park debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart when it was released back in November. Boaz, however, brings something distinctly different to the Rostrum mix. "I just bring that underground feel," Bo told MTV News in December, describing his deeply rooted street sound. "I embrace the culture of that poverty line that I'm speaking about."
Bo's last mixtape, The Transition, released in May 2011, featured guest appearances from Mac Miller, Jay Rock and GLC and received critical acclaim among rap's underground. Next, Boaz will drop a free Internet-based project titled Bases Loaded; expect it early this summer.
What do you think of Boaz signing to Rostrum Records? Tell us in the comments!