It’s been said a million times before, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” One look at the five guys that make up BFO Strange’Us and you’re is compelled to question just what it is that unites them; the answer, an undying love for music, and an intangible sound that puts them in a class all their own.
The group traces their roots to Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA 2004. In their humble beginnings, BFO began as a group of college friends making rap parodies in dusty dorm rooms on desk mics. From there, the collective decided to try their hand at writing and producing their own music. The members at the time, Jordan (J-Mizz) Wooten, Nic (Roundtree Baby) Roundtree, Sam (Sammy Ives) Sooyola, Jamaal (Jay EL) Hutchinson along with long time friend Cedric Thomas were young hip-hop hopefuls making music that appealed to them. Spinning tales of college life and all that came with it.
In 2006, the group would add its then sixth member, Darin (Felix St. Cool) Woodard. Their humble roots were still present, but BFO wanted more, and as time went on, their talent grew. The music began taking on undertones that would transform them into the well-rounded musicians they are today. Performing in local Statesboro music competitions, open-mics, or anywhere else that would have them to develop their talents and hone their performance skills.
A handful of victories and a few flops later, BFO found themselves in avid pursuit of stardom. Even after members graduated and moved to the southern hip-hop Mecca Atlanta, GA, the group stayed in constant contact with each other as to not give up on their dream. With their undefined sound, BFO is the future of hip-hop. Being composed of members from various backgrounds, their individual personalities emanate through their music to create an unidentified monster. Whether it’s upbeat party themes like “Aint Gotta Go Home,” or melodic rider music in “High Chant,” BFO’s ability is seemingly limitless. Movements come and go, there’s always one to overwrite the next. BFO is more than a movement. Their sound and personalities have evolved into something greater…a lifestyle.
Jay El - Artist/Producer/Engineer
Felix St. Cool - Artist/producer
J-Mizz - Artist/producer
Sammy Ives AKA Hookz - Artist/producer
Roundtree Baby - Artist
Single: "Gone" on iTunes ( from Album "Party Animals"-Released Jan 2010) - http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/gone/id351524210
Album: Party Animals (released Sept 17, 2010)
Mixtape: Buffet Food Only-Bread &Cheese (Released Apr 2009)
Six Albums By Six Indie Artists You Should Know
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If you ever needed a party soundtrack, this is the album that you should download immediately. This ...If you ever needed a party soundtrack, this is the album that you should download immediately. This album offers up party anthems such as “They Don’t Play (Leave the Hard Way)” that will have your guests in a frenzy. There are also tracks that offer up down time tunes for your party such as “Remember” that will give you time to make out with the girl you just met. BFO has brought the roof down around places in Atlanta, GA and has given people a reason to party again, A-Town style
Connect with BFO
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When the Wu-Tang Clan formed in the early 90’s, the RZA promised in the "Wu-Tang Manual" that he wou...When the Wu-Tang Clan formed in the early 90’s, the RZA promised in the "Wu-Tang Manual" that he would conquer the rap world. BFO, a local hip-hop group in Statesboro, may not have written a manual, but they're on the same path.
“We are trying to change the game… one town at a time,” said Darien Woodard, a 21-year-old journalism major at GSU and member of BFO.
BFO formed five years ago when six guys from all over the United States with the same musical vision met in Statesboro. They are all current or former students at GSU. They make their own beats and write their own rhymes.
If one word could describe BFO’s style, it would be diverse. If one were to ask about BFO’s influences they would probably get a range of different responses from each member. They draw from artists in nearly every genre of music. Jimi Hendrix, Jay-z, and Ella Fitzgerald are just a few names on a long list of inspirations.
“We have samples from all sorts of musical styles in our arsenal,” said Woodard. “We want to make beats like people have never even heard before… first we give them a taste of the familiar, then it's 'bam' over the head with a billy club.”
BFO was able to show off some of their sounds at the 2008 Battle for the Boro competition. They won first place in rap and second overall. BFO credits their on-stage demeanor as being one of the reasons for their success. “We try hard to get the crowd involved,” said Cedrick Thomas, a 22 year old marketing major and member of BFO. “We incorporate routines and skits into our shows; we want to make sure people have a good time while listening to good music.”
Making good music is the main reason the group’s members created BFO.
“There’s a lot of artists out there just trying to make little 'get-by-hits' to break into the music industry,” said Woodard. “We believe in making music that’s permanent. Good music lasts because it goes beyond just words.”
Woodard claimed the band is able to make their good music because of BFO’s tight-knit bond.
“We have respect for each other, but we also constantly question and judge each other. We give each other feedback and make sure we’re not half-stepping,” said Woodard.
The group carries this tireless work ethic into the recording process. They finance all of their efforts by themselves, while also balancing work and studies.
“There were times last year where we literally had to scrounge up change to make it to the studio,” said Thomas. “A lot of people just sit on their butts and wait for someone to throw a contract at them. We had to go out and record ourselves.”
The members of BFO believe they will make it because they have no problem being different.
“The most successful people in the record industry are the ones who do what others can’t,” said Woodard. We want to bring good times back to music, like in the 80’s and 90’s, you just don’t see that anymore.”
Woodard believes this mentality is paying off. The group is as of right now in talks with Universal about a possible record contract. Until BFO finds national renown, however, Thomas said they are happy where they're at in Statesboro.
“Statesboro has a lot of diversity. There are a lot of educated and unique people here, and we feel like we identify with many of them," Thomas said. BFO hopes that one day they can create a strong following for the group.
“You have to leave fans wanting more, you have to make them addicted,” said Woodard. “We don’t think small scale, we want a whole culture … we want the world.”
Anyone curious about BFO can find clips of their shows on Youtube.com or on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/BFO06. They will be performing at a benefit concert at Oasis on Oct. 11
Set List: 30 Minute Show
1. Get Down (3:44)
2. Gone (4:54)
3. High Chant (4:25)
4. Closet Freak (4:16)
5. Charlie Sheen (3:54)
6. They Don’t Play (3:43)
7. Ain't Gotta Go Home (4:01)
*** Will cut some songs short in the show.
*** Interaction between certain songs