Augusta-area rap artist Slim Bo has found that it's hard getting heard at home.
Frustrated by what he perceives as a lack of support from local radio, Slim Bo has taken to putting together compilations, mix tapes in the vernacular, of Augusta artists in the hopes that talent, numbers and a little street-smart marketing will open up Augusta as the next hip-hop hotbed.
"I decided that Augusta rap artists needed to come together as collective," he said. "They need to get their voices heard."
Taking his business cues from rap impresarios who have protected their independence, Slim Bo controls recording and distribution of the mix tapes.
"I was inspired by Master P, who came up out of New Orleans," he said. "He did his own thing. He's his own boss. That's what I'm doing and showing that we, cats from Augusta, could get on in this rap game."
He said that he's concentrating on taste-makers in larger cities, rather than less-than-receptive Augusta radio. His hope is that a trickle-down effect will occur, and that Augusta radio will pick up on out-of-town buzz over in-town talent.
"Word-of-mouth is the best promotion on the streets," he said. "Once the streets grab hold of something, it will spread like wildfire. That's what I'm hoping happens."
His latest mix tape, entitled Still Outside, features artists working in a very particular crunching, funky style. Lyrically, the tunes reflect street frustrations and realities.
Slim Bo said he's found Augusta has a unique sound, something he hopes to exploit.
"We don't sound like Atlanta," he said. "We don't sound like New York. We don't sound like Chicago. We sound like Augusta. It's a sound the nation has never heard before, but it's time. It's time to make a statement."
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can hear some of Slim Bo's track Get Like Me (MP3 format)