Booshua finds the right fit in Northwestern's crowded field of rappers

    Photo courtesy of Matt Liffmann.

    Economics major Josh DeAngelis is only a second quarter freshman, but he’s already made a name for himself in the Northwestern community.

    Otherwise known by his rapper name Booshua (a play on the word bourgeoisie and his first name), DeAngelis has hit viral success with his song “Dear Alma-mater.” It was No. 1 on the site for a week and, after being posted on a small blog, was sent out to Northwestern administration offices and listservs soon after. DeAngelis says what contributed most to the buzz, though, were Northwestern alumni tweeting about the song.

    The song is popular among students, too. The Keg has been known to play the song and DJ Glitch Jockey, another Northwestern student, remixed the track.

    “I couldn’t believe it,” DeAngelis says. “I was just happy people were listening to my music [and] accepting the song for what it was [regardless of my year].”

    And as for the other Northwestern artists who have established themselves or are also deemed “up-and-coming,” like Mo Greene and Chet Haze, DeAngelis says there’s room for everyone.

    “I’m all for these guys,” DeAngelis wrote in a follow-up interview. “I think it’s great that there is such talent here at Northwestern. As for fitting in I wouldn’t put any of us in the exact same category, genre wise, yes we do come from the same school but I feel like we all have our own separate styles.”

    Since the release of “Dear Alma-mater,” DeAngelis has released a mixtape with former high school classmate Nick Wells titled “Bigger Than Big 10.” DeAngelis produced and wrote half the songs on the mixtape, which took about a month to make.

    “I love making the beats, but I think the recording is probably my favorite part,” he says. “[There are] so many niches you have to hit.”

    DeAngelis is working on a new solo mixtape set to come out before spring quarter, as well as another with 30K, a group he has been a part of since high school. He has a meeting with Sony Records in March and plans to perform at events like Battle of the Bands.

    Although he only arrived at Northwestern a few months ago, DeAngelis found a manager in freshman Matt Liffmann and has purchased all the equipment (a few microphones, filters, mixers and some synth pads) he needs to make his music.

    “I didn’t set out to spend all my time doing it, it just happened,” DeAngelis says.

    But clicking with Northwestern didn’t happen right away. With a song like “Hate It Here,” it’s easy to wonder how closely his songs mirror his actual feelings about college. DeAngelis says the song was written during a rocky first few weeks at Northwestern, but that now his feelings have changed.

    “I love school now,” he says. “I like universal themes. I’m not going to write about things I don’t know about.”


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