Almost exactly a year after dropping his first mixed tape, Phat Kid Tendencies, Miami-based rapper Black Bobby is throwing a party for the release of his first album, Presidential Shit: Black Bobby & His Goyard, on Friday at Sweat Records.
Larry Harris, Jr. — aka Black Bobby — grew up in D.C., the child of a Black Nationalist (his mother) and a JAG Corps lawyer (his father). He moved to Boston when he was 17 to attend Tufts University, where he became student government president, and later enrolled in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Everyone expected him to run for public office. Instead, after a stint as a business consultant, he followed his brother to South Florida to become a rapper — much to the surprise and, in some cases, disapproval of his friends, family, and political mentors. About four years, two mixed tapes, and 33,000 downloads later, he is about to hit a high point in his rap career with the release of Presidential Shit. I spoke to him by phone on Wednesday about his musical odyssey, how Miami influences his music, and what to expect at Sweat on Friday. Here is the edited transcript.
How did you end up in Miami?
Black Bobby: When I was 27, it was after grad school, I was working in consulting — high level business strategy for Fortune 100 companies. It was like a typical post-Harvard job and I was miserable, because I had this creative energy that I needed to get out. My brother, at the time, was living in [South Florida], and he invited me to come down to hear some of the music he was working on. He had gone to SAE Miami and started producing beats, heavily using soul samples, and I thought he was pretty good.
Eventually we started having conversations about me moving to Florida and becoming his business partner and a rapper. Along the way, i just started practicing and watching DVDs and going to shows and getting the bug. I wanted to be Run when I was little anyway, so I think becoming a rapper was probably a natural progression.