He’s been an integral member of both the Stand4rd and Audio Perm, but it’s about time Bobby Raps steps out on his own. The St. Paul-reared MC/singer/producer is doing so in a big way today with the release of “Mark,” his solo debut for Republic -- a Universal Music subsidiary that is also the record label for everyone from Lorde, the Weeknd and Ariana Grande to Black Sabbath and John Mellencamp.
“As early as 15 he was making his name as something of a savant in the Twin Cities underground rap scene, routinely outshining veterans twice his age behind the boards and on the mic,” reads the hype for Bobby on Republic’s site, which also says “these days he’s settled in Los Angeles.”
Out in L.A., Mr. Raps has already rubbed shoulders with the likes of the Weeknd, who gave him a production credit for the song “Sidewalks” on his latest album “Starboy.”
While the Stand4rd earned a good buzz among industry insiders, the bigger factor in Bobby’s jump to the big leagues may have been his contribution to the unforeseeably popular mixtape “Watch the Stove,” bankrolled by Twin Cities food giant General Mills to promote Hamburger Helper. Bobby and his old Audio Perm teammate DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip co-produced the wigged-out song “Feed the Streets” for the hearty mixtape, a track that has racked up nearly 9 million Soundcloud plays.
Devoid of food puns, "Mark" is now up on iTunes and all the major streaming sites, including Spotify and Apple Music. Part of the buzz behind the full-length release comes courtesy of the previously released single “Famous Bitch,” which earned an endorsement from none other than original “Baywatch” babe Pamela Anderson. That tune is posted below along with a video for the album’s lead-off track, “Purgatory.” Bobby’s electro-crooning Stand4rd bandmate Corbin, aka Spooky Black, makes a prominent showing on the record in the beatless acoustic cut “Highway Road (Interlude).”
Last seen performing in town with the Stand4rd at Soundset in May, Bobby will be back as part of the lineup for Go 95.3’s Big Fancy Go Show with Wiz Khalifa and Vince Staples on July 30, taking place on the street outside the Fine Line in downtown Minneapolis.