City Boyz

Originally in The Oklahoma Daily on October 22nd, 2007.

When one thinks of great hip-hop scenes, Oklahoma City probably isn’t the first town to come to mind, Local rap group City Boyz aims to change that.

The group, which consists of Lava, Lil’ Snap and JP, just completed its new record, “No Time,” and will be unleashing it on the masses early next year.

“We got the new album, and we were listening to it on the highway, and I just had to stop. It got me too amped up. It’s crazy man,” Snap said. “I don’t even got no watch on, man. It’s ‘No Time!’”

Recently, the group went through some lineup changes.

“A lot of people thought City Boyz broke up, or fell off or whatever, but we just regrouped,” Lava said.

Two members left and were replaced by JP.

“Some people stayed and some people left,” Snap said. “But on their part, it wasn’t a wise decision, because it’s going down. We got JP now, and he’s bringing it.”

With both “No Time,” and their first album, “We Ride,” the group worked independently, making all their own beats, and recording everything themselves.

“I respect creativity and original beats,” Lava said. “Even on our first mix tape we had eight original beats. We just want to show people that we can hold it down independently. It’s all about independence and it’s going to continue to be.”

The City Boyz see a lot of talent in the Oklahoma City rap scene, but think that in order to be successful, everyone needs to be more collaborative.

“Everybody is out there doing their thing, and whoever makes it first is gonna help out everyone else,” Snap said. “But for the time being, everyone needs to work together more. It would be poppin’. There is a lot of good artists that could blow, but if they stop being selfish and work together, we all could blow.”

For Lava, Snap and JP, the City Boyz is more than just a rap group, it’s family.

“These are like my bros. This is our family,” Snap said. “This is why we’re good. It’s not like three homeboys rapping; it’s like three brothers rapping. It ain’t just the City Boyz. You go to the club, you don’t just see Lava or just JP or just me, you see all of us.”

When the group isn’t on tour, they can often be found out on the South Oval handing out flyers, selling CDs and talking with fans.

“It’s cool to meet new people,” JP said. “We’ve met new DJs out here, new rappers.”

“As artists, it looks good for us to interact with these people,” Lava said. “Get them to not only like our music, but like us as people. And they cool people, humble people.”

The City Boyz are confident that they can be the ones to put Oklahoma on the hip-hop map.

“We’re just trying to do something positive, and do something, not just for us, but for the state,” Snap said. “There are a lot of good rappers out there, but with the guys we got, I figure we can be the first Oklahoma group to break through.”

“We take this seriously,” Lava said. “This is not a hobby, this is life.”