Risky Biz: Bosco’s SLUG Is a Heavyhitter

The rapper and musician has just launched her own creative agency, and it’s rad as hell.

By Remy Ramirez

Women like Brittany Bosco, known simply as Bosco to her fans, are the reason “Who run the world?” was a rhetorical question. The rapper and musician who most recently wooed us with her Girls In the Yard mixtape collab, is now applying her vision, gumption, and Nickelodeon nostalgia (feel you, girl) to her creative agency, SLUG, whose tagline “Where an opportunity does not yet exist, we create it,” is only further proof that the girl means business. We sat down with the Atlanta-native to talk about adding “entrepreneur” to her About Me, merging the youthful with the political, and staying grateful for all the fuck ups along the way.

Tell us about SLUG!
It’s my baby! SLUG is a way for me to separate creative Bosco from musician Bosco. I’ve done my own visuals and creative direction for my music for a long time, and it was important for me as a young African American female to have a place for people like me: a little left of center, a little weird. This is my way of giving back to the minority community, to kids, and artists, and musicians who didn’t have a media outlet. That’s why I wanted to do it. And eventually, I want to put out my own content; I want to drop my singles on my own platform. Also, it’s another way for different brands and sponsors to work with me as a creative outside the realm of being a musician. We offer branding, marketing, brand collaborations, design—we can bring anything to life visually. That’s basically what we did for the “Castles” video—we scouted all the locations, we created the aesthetic.

Speaking of your music career, we know (and love) you as a musician—what inspired you to forge this entirely new path in your career?
I’ve been inspired by people like Chance the Rapper and what he’s been able to do with his career, not only as a musician but also a creative. Solange is another one—she was able to have her own label, which is now a media hub that puts out other artists. Tyler the Creator is a great person to look at. I looked at all the artists and realized if they can do it, I can do it. It may not be on a platform where I have millions and millions of eyes on me, but I’ve learned that the key to abundance is being able to give. So as long as I do my part, I’m good.

How does the kind of work you do for SLUG fuel you differently than performing does?
I really like creating art, whether it’s animation, illustration—I’m using a whole different side of my brain that I don’t get to use in music. As Bosco, my image is pretty set; SLUG gives me the liberty to try new things that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It also gives me an escape into the lo-fi world because I really love cassettes, I really love VHS—I love the ‘90s. It’s a way for me to access that aesthetic. Plus it keeps me young; I super identify with that Odd Future kind of vibe. But ultimately what I love is how BOSCO and SLUG sort of talk to one another and fuel each other.

What gap in the market did you want SLUG to fill?
There was this magical Nick at Nite/Nickelodeon moment—Clarissa Explains It All, Pepper AnnDoug, Daria, The Weekenders, Rocket Power. And when it ended, there was just this sudden discontinuation of the narrative. That’s graphically where we come in. We’re like a Nickelodeon for adults. We can work with Crayola, for example, but still create content for an 18 to 30 year-old demographic. I love to work with the innocence of design: visuals that just chill people out. Especially with the political climate right now, people need an escape. People need to feel alive, and color is very therapeutic for that; it’s a language we use to communicate. That’s the gap I wanted to fill. I wanted to bring fun activations to the forefront.

Are the rumors true? Did you guys put out a zine??

We did! Part of what I loved about the musicians who’ve inspired me is their relationship to politics, so that’s what we wanted to do with the zine. It’s focused on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and police brutality, so it gives us another way to get the message across beyond music. We dedicated the first issue to A Band Called Death, which was the original black indie rock band.

On the topic of being Black in America, did you run into obstacles getting SLUG off the ground as a WOC?
Okay. I will say that because people trust the Bosco vision and aesthetic, they’re more willing to trust my creative decisions. But yeah, in this climate, the odds are stacked against you as an African American. It’s like you’re always trying to prove your worth and prove yourself—everything you do gets looked over multiple times—all because of the color of your skin. I deal a lot with older male execs not trusting my input, but in all honesty I think it has more to do with being a woman. I’m very aware of racism, but I’m also aware that my femininity is at the center of a lot of the prejudice I receive from these higher ups.

Has being a musician and performer prepared you for this new role as an entrepreneur?
Oh yeah. I definitely have my battle wounds. It took me a long time to really be able to accept failure. Most people are really afraid of failure, but it’s the best teacher. I’m so grateful that I made a lot of mistakes early on in my career instead of messing things up later down the road. I’ve taken a lot of the tools that I learned as a musician—things like roll outs, release dates, assets—it’s literally the same blueprint in what I’m doing now. Also, I just know what I want now, and that has come from me making mistakes and being real with myself in the past about what I should have done better. You just can’t be afraid to fuck up.

You were already crazy busy as a musician, and now you’re a business owner on top of it–how are you striking a balance and making everything work?

Girl, I’m just figuring it out as I go. I honestly don’t know. I literally have to ask God every morning to give me the strength. But one thing that’s vital for me is my team–I do rely on them. Also, I don’t take on projects I don’t vibe with. I would rather do two to three really great things a year for my agency than 10 subpar things. I’m not trying to rush the narrative, and everything is so curated–that keeps it manageable.

In the ultimate best-case scenario, what’s going on with SLUG 10 years from now?
Well, in the near future we’re getting an office space and a store because I want to make toys like figurines, action figures, coloring books–things like that. I want to be my own Mattel. I also want to do carnivals! That’s way down the line though. Getting to that level’s gonna take the whole 10 years, but we’re on our way.

Check out Bosco’s new video, Castles, one of SLUG’s first productions:

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