Boogat Pura Vida

Boogat Pura Vida
Montreal rapper Boogat has rapidly found his persona. His Spanish MCing is always completely locked in and terse, but he stops well short of putting on a permanent sneer to reinforce some mythical bad man image. He reps his home base both in his lyrics and in his beats, as demonstrated by his paean to fine-looking "Montrealesas." Poirier has achieved a chemistry with Boogat greater than he has with any other vocalist, most likely because Boogat isn't only a great MC, but also a capable singer and harmonist. Poirier's tendency towards atonality is balanced by Boogat's tunefulness, which nonetheless is a little left of centre itself, as in "El Hueso" and the uplifting, minimal "Hey." The beats are deep and confident no matter the tempo, touching on Cumbia, reggaeton, up-tempo boogie, hip-hop and a touch of jazz. The standout track is "Dos Cervezas," which has a truly anthemic feel. Unlike so many "drinks in the air" songs, this one cruises steadily rather than bounces robotically; it's a more realistic and achievable tale than the usual dreck. While there's no shortage of digi-Latin beats coming out of Canada these days, Boogat is at the forefront.

How much input do you have in the music? Do you have a consistent sound you're going for?
Kind of. I used to do a lot of French hip-hop until 2008, then I started playing with any band that would hire me for a show. Somehow everybody was pointing me in a Spanish direction and I started playing with that and until Poirier came with that "Kalima Shop Titi" song, I wasn't quite sure where to go. I always tried to mix hip-hop with Latin samples, but once I discovered moombahton and Cumbia and all that stuff, it felt like, "okay, I'm not alone trying to do that mix." I know what I want to be rapping over.

You're always bigging up Montreal. What else do you try to convey in your songs?
I'm trying to put out that you can be Latin American without being in Latin America; I'm trying to create a scene of Latin American beats. If I go to Puerto Rico, I'm not trying to do reggaeton like they do it; I'm doing it like someone from Montreal. There's a lot of different music here that we have access to that people in Latin America don't. I'm trying to mix it all together. (Masala)