ARTIST TO WATCH: COKE BUMAYE

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If You Love Me Let Me Know  is the latest mixtape released by Mississippi hip-hop artist, Coke Bumaye. The tape-which was released in December-is a compilation of electrifying, high energy tracks shedding light on the southern rapper’s true feelings towards his hometown, Jackson. Coke takes us on a journey through his inner thoughts-complete with love, hate, and everything in between. 

 Danie: When did you first realize you wanted to be a hip-hop artist? 
Coke: I never wanted to be a hip-hop artist. I always thought they were corny. I wanted to be a teacher that spoke from a student’s perspective.

 How did you come up with the name Coke Bumaye? 
My mama called me Coke and some years ago I was watching a Muhammad Ali documentary and while he was training, he was running through the streets and the people were chanting “Ali Bumaye.”  People didn’t think he was going to win the fight because Foreman was a monster, but Ali used the people to outsmart Foreman and make Foreman feel like he was the underdog. I took the people being behind you and rooting for you as winning. Plus Bumaye means ‘kill’em’, so I thought that would sound ill. Coke kill’em.

 You recently dropped  If You Love Me Let Me Know. How did this tape come about?
I wanted it to be a statement about how – in our city – people don’t know how to be true fans and how to embrace an artist. If you love something, you let that something know by supporting it.

  I know a lot of artists in other states do not see Mississippi artists as a threat. Why do you believe they feel this way?
They might be right. Mississippi artists’ are not a threat because the industry is full of wack s*** and if that’s what they’re looking for, maybe they should overlook Mississippi. There’s no way somebody could listen to the Mississippi artists I listen to and still believe that.

 David Banner’s track “Pain” featured you, Tito Lopez and Big KRIT. Can you elaborate more on what this track is about?
The track is about how terrible the world is and since people are starting to do something about that, we decided to give them a soundtrack.

  How was your experience working with such big name artists?
I don’t know, you gotta ask them (haha). But it was a great experience working with such talented artists.

You were born and bred in South Jackson. What do you think makes the music scene in Mississippi unique?
I wouldn’t say it’s unique but it’s unheard. Music is universal. I don’t really know of a place where there isn’t any poverty, no murder, no injustice. Our injustice just doesn’t get the same light. So maybe not unique but just unseen.

 How have you grown musically since your first tape Guilty in 2010?
I really don’t concentrate on growing as an artist. I only focus on growing as a person and everything else comes naturally. I have just become an iller person. So that should speak for the music.

 Who has been some of the movers and shakers in your career?
My brother and friend, DJ Bang Bang. Also my brother and friend, Gedi Wee aka the Juice God. My brother and friend, C Lew. Donyale, my manager and friend. She works the s*** out of me but she makes sure s*** gets done. My guy Twa with Crown Me Entertainment. Also, David Banner.

What is the best advice you’ve been given about the industry and by who?
The industry knows nothing. It’s all about the creator and the industry follows. Given by the greatest himself, Coke Bumaye (haha).

 Give me your top six artists in any genre of music that’s been hot within the last five years?
Anderson Paak, Miguel, The Internet,  J Cole. Future, and Kendrick Lamar.

Who is your favorite up and coming artist in Mississippi right now and why?
I can’t name just one but Lil Ron, Silas, Hollywood Luck, Tricky, Savvy, The Jackson Jackals.

If you could collab with anyone in the industry, who would it be and why?
Erykah Badu, for obvious reasons.

What does Coke Bumaye bring to the table that other artists don’t?
We are rapping about the same s***, it’s just from my perspective. Nobody can give you me but me.

 What’s next for Coke?
Just continuing to move the culture forward.

Twitter: @Cokebumaye
Instagram: @Cokebumaye
Bandcamp: Coke Bumaye

Listen to Coke Bumaye’s If You Love Me Let Me Know:Special Edition

Author: Danie.M ~ Contributing editor