Minneapolis 21-year-old Booboo laughs a little as she recalls her beginnings in music.
She remembers singing and playing Bob Marley and Wyclef Jean songs on a black Flying V guitar at her fifth-grade graduation ceremony, wanting to become a “rock star” (her typical response to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”). But over the course of a decade or so that’s also included everything from a middle-school remix of Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie” to years spent as a member in “dreamfunk” band Treading North while attending Minneapolis South High School, the artist she’s grown into is far from typical.
Booboo’s music is as inventive as you’ll hear out of the Twin Cities today, a focused yet eclectic new sound. And it does feel unmistakably “new,” even futuristic, which is especially remarkable considering her five-song I Don’t Want to Wait EP, released in August, was mostly recorded in 2017. Self-produced along with Distance Decay (who’s also worked with Atlanta rap stars Future, Young Thug, and Lil Duke), it’s a sneakily catchy, alienish Auto-Tuned fusion of electronic, R&B, and rap. “I still love all the songs on there,” she says. “They’re pretty emotional songs, and most of my music is.”
Booboo, whose full name is Miles Gordon Jamison and is black, trans, and queer, is emerging from a sort of unofficial collective of young Minneapolis artists. Among others, there’s her former high school classmate Kamilla Love (whose Barbie Girl Vol. 1 EP Booboo produced in full, earning praise from Pitchfork and a spot on the soundtrack for the HBO movie Share) and 2017 City Pages Picked to Click finalist Izell Pyramid. “A lot of the people that I work with are super-independent,” she says. “We’re just making shit ’cause it’s an outlet, and we’re trying to send a message and build together as the queer black community. We’re just doing what we have to do.”
It’s a statement both modest and resolute, and it sounds like the mere beginning of what could become a musical takeover, citywide and beyond.