Boston isn’t known for its rap scene. While Marky Mark and Sam Adams are examples of rappers who have made it out of Beantown, such success stories are few and far between. Despite having a larger urban community, Boston rap has taken a backseat to enclaves in similarly sized cities such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Moufy, a twenty-year old rapper from Roxbury, is trying to invigorate Boston rap. Moufy recently won the “Best New Artist” at the Boston Music Awards and will perform at Tommy Doyle’s Pub for the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fall Charity Party on December 6.
Moufy is not shy about wearing his city on his sleeve. “My city is the greatest / From Fenway back to Mattapan / I swear I wouldn’t change it,” he raps on a recent single, “Boston Lights.” But despite all of his Boston pride, Moufy acknowledges that his childhood wasn’t easy: “I saw things that people shouldn’t see.” The hardship he dealt with from an early age gave him motivation to rise above the negative influences all around him. Moufy turned to hip hop as a way of channeling his emotions. He was particularly inspired by rappers Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Eminem, who all had similar urban struggles and were able to articulate their feelings into songs and stories.
Although rap played an important role in his childhood, Moufy’s decision to pursue it as a career was largely spontaneous. When he was eighteen, Moufy left school in a state of turmoil. “I said, ‘I gotta get these emotions out,’ so I threw on a beat and started writing,” Moufy said. When his friends heard his lyrics, they encouraged him to get in the studio. Only a couple years later, he is performing for thousands in major Boston venues. He opened for J. Cole and Mac Miller this year, and “Boston Lights” has been played at New England Patriots games.
However, Moufy hasn’t been enveloped by his newfound successes. “We keep everything in perspective,” he said. “It’s great that we won [the New Artist Award], but the truth is we’re not where we set our goal out to be.” He still places great pride on his Boston crew, called the Star Gang. The Star Gang is both a concrete set of individuals and a conceptual community for “ordinary people from any background to reach for the stars.”
The Star Gang will continue to reach higher. Moufy and his team plan to release a constant flow of mixtapes and music videos to increase exposure, and a tour is also in the works. “We’ve proved it a little bit to New England, and now we’ve gotta prove it to the world,” he said. Through his busy schedule, he plans to devote a good amount of time to charity. He recently performed charity work with Boston Red Sox David Ortiz, and Moufy’s upcoming concert at Harvard will benefit the Save A Child’s Heart foundation.
Growing up, Moufy looked up to Harvard with admiration, and he is now very excited to greet the Harvard crowds. “Thank you guys for just always being a shining light for the whole region,” he said. Moufy, too, may become another bright light for Boston in the near future.
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