Smoke Bulga out of Boston, Massachusetts is the newest artist to be signed to Maybach Music Group (MMG). The partnership with MMG has been in the works for over a decade. Bulga made his first appearance among MMG on former protégé Masspike Miles’ song “We Made It” with Rick Ross in 2010. Over the years, a personal relationship was formed and Bulga eventually captured the attention of Ross.
With previous collaborations with Jim Jones, Conway the Machine, and Statik Selektah, Bulga is no stranger to the music industry. He recently revealed his latest single “Water Whip’N” featuring CEO Rick Ross sampled Black Rob classic “Whoa” that was released in 2000. The video features appearances from Fat Joe, N.O.R.E, and Jonathan “Foodgod” Cheban.
His upcoming debut album “100 Million Ain’t Enough” is set to release this year. Aside from music, Bulga has hopes of becoming more involved in the Hollywood movie scene. Recently, he starred in a movie called “Lethal Procedures” on Netflix.
Not only has Bulga formed a partnership with entrepreneur Rick Ross, but also with hip-hop artist/producer David Banner. Banner introduced Bulga to the entrepreneurial side of the music industry by showing him how to be a man of many hats. This way he will always bring something new to the table. DG Collectives is Bulga’s new clothing line that features jackets, shirts, and various items. This is another way Bulga hopes to become a mogul in the music industry.
Check out our latest interview with Smoke Bulga below.
The Knockturnal: How was it growing up in Boston? How was the music scene like in Boston growing up?
Smoke Bulga: It’s crazy because I had a mixer meeting with some DJs from Boston last night. We were talking about growing up in Boston, there was a lot of crash and burn for me. I had to bump my head to learn right from wrong. In Boston, we don’t have anyone that kind of blaze the trail for us or have a blueprint for us to follow. So we had to learn on our own as we went along.
The Knockturnal: As an artist who has been around the industry for a while before this opportunity with MMG was presented to you, what would you say to an upcoming artist who thinks getting into this industry is an overnight process?
Smoke Bulga: Man, I heard you guys talking about the late great Nip before I logged on. In his words, it’s a marathon. It’s not a hundred-yard dash, you have to have the endurance for the game, and be ready for the long haul. Some people can go viral and it can happen that way, but even some of those guys have been putting in a lot of work over the years, it’s definitely something you have to prepare for. You have to have the mental capability to be able to stand the test of time because it doesn’t happen overnight. A lot of people give up before that time happens and that has a lot to do with having endurance and sticking at it.
The Knockturnal: Not only did you have the opportunity to form a mentorship with Rick Ross but also hip-hop artist/producer David Banner. Talk to me about this mentorship and how this relationship helped you become the artist you are today.
Smoke Bulga: Wow. You know David Banner has been one of my OG’s in the game, definitely taught me a lot. He showed me a lot about work ethic and working hard at your craft. Him being a producer, writer, rapper, and entrepreneur. When I met him at the time, he was at the back of his trunk, he was on the bus, he had his studio on the bus, he was selling his CDs out of the truck. So I learned a lot about entrepreneurship, you have to be a man of many hats. It can’t just be one thing you focus on. You have to have a few different things you bring to the game because it’s always about bringing something to the table.
The Knockturnal: Your sound is very unique and it’s not something we hear everyday. Artists sometimes spend years perfecting their sound. How long did it take you to find this sound? How much has it changed from when you first began your career?
Smoke Bulga: Wow. You know it’s crazy because when I meet people that’s the first thing they reference, it’s my voice. Since a young age, going through puberty and everything, my voice settled in. So it’s always been a part of me and my sound. I take pride in my voice and having a unique voice like you said. Everyone I saw, who had a voice that I had, not the same thing but similar, made an impact on the game. A big impact on the game. I’m hoping to follow some of that success such as DMX, Pop Smoke, Tupac, just following their footsteps and bringing the same greatness to the game.
The Knockturnal: Your latest track “Water Whip’N” featuring Rick Ross was a Black Rob sample from the classic “Whoa” that was released in 2000. Was this track recorded prior to you signing with MMG? Also, did you release this after Black Rob’s death to pay tribute to him?
Smoke Bulga: I actually had two versions of the song. It was a whole different beat on the song originally. I had sent the song to the producer, we had the video and everything was already done. I just sent it to the producers to get their ear on if they hear different things on my music. I said let me send the Water Whip’N to see if they hear something different on the production side. They called me and said yo, we put the Black Rob sample on there and flipped it and brought it to 2022 even though we were in 2021. He was like yo, I want to sequence in there for a few bars, and I’ll let you hear it. Then when I heard it, I was like yo that’s crazy, we gotta run with that, that’s it right there. Then when Ross heard it, he loved it. After that, the rest was history. RIP to Black Rob. Coming up as a shorty, that was one of my favorite records. So it was an honor to be able to represent black Rob and hold it down for the East Coast as well. So RIP Black Rob, shoutout to Diddy, the whole Bad Boy family, Black Rob family, and his management team. We’re working out everything right now as far as the beats. It looks like they’re going to come through and look out for the kid. So that’s definitely a blessing.
The Knockturnal: As a newly signed artist with MMG, what can we look forward to from you?
Smoke Bulga: We got a lot of great things happening. Being a part of an all-star team a collective like Maybach Music, I can do nothing but bring greatness forward. With guys like Meek Mill, Wale, and Rick Ross, it’s nothing but greatness on the label. I look to add on to the team and put another banner in the back and bring another championship ring to MMG.
The Knockturnal: In one of your interviews, I heard you say you worked on a movie recently. What project was this? Are you trying to get into acting more?
Smoke Bulga: Definitely, Definitely. I was in a movie recently called “Lethal Procedures”. It was on Netflix, you can look it up. I had a nice role in that movie. You know the movie is pretty dope. Acting is a subculture within a culture for me that I’m looking to do my thing in as well. Acting was one of those things as a kid I always wanted to do. So when I gave it a try in the movie, I was getting a lot of great reviews, and everyone was saying I did my thing. I improvised through the whole thing, I had two days to prepare. I think I did a pretty good job, and I loved what I was doing. So I really could see myself doing this in the future.
The Knockturnal: I feel like Boston is very lowkey in the music scene. You had a few artists coming out of there but recently I wouldn’t say people look here for music. How important is it for you to put your city on the map with this opportunity?
Smoke Bulga: That is so important to me because I really feel like I was one of the guys born to bring that respect to Boston. To make people respect Boston. To finally bring us to the plateau. I feel like we need to be respected alongside the other big cities. I just really feel like this is what God put me on the earth to do, to take Boston to that next level. Musically and culturally, to bring us into the game like never before. I definitely feel like I’m going to be one of those artists. Just like in a race, you have seven or eight lanes, and as long as I’m in one of those lanes, I’m running the race and I’ll get the baton in the relay. I’m definitely going to finish the race and do what I have to do.
The Knockturnal: Who are some artists we should be on the lookout for in Boston?
Smoke Bulga: We got Milly doing his thing right now, BIA definitely doing her thing right now, Joyner Lucas, Cousin Stizz. We got a line of different artists, there are so many of yall I can’t even name. There are so many artists in Boston that’s doing their thing right now. I feel like right now we have one of the best teams on the court in order to win a championship. I really feel like with the artists we have right now playing on the court, we definitely could win.
The Knockturnal: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years in the music industry? Aside from movies, is there anything else you hope the music industry gives you the opportunity to be a part of?
Smoke Bulga: I see my new LP coming out “100 Million Ain’t Enough”. I see myself having a great coach and playing for a great team like MMG and having a coach like Rick Ross. Ross is definitely one of the goats when it comes to Entrepreneurship. Me learning everything from him, I see myself going on into my ventures and being a mogul within the music business as well as the fashion industry. I have my own clothing line, I do jackets and a little bit of everything. Check out my clothing line DG Collectives, we’re doing big things with that as well. I see myself being in a movie, getting off into Hollywood. Tapping into the fitness world. Just everything I can get my hands on, being an asset to the culture, and bringing something to the game. That’s what I’m here for.
The Knockturnal: What artist are you looking forward to collaborating with the most?
Smoke Bulga: Wow um, right now I would love to collaborate with those guys at CMG. I love what they’re doing, I love how they move as a team. First of all with my MMG counterparts, Wale, Meek Mill. I already have “Water Whip’N” with Ross. That was like a dream come true. I would love to do a song with Drake, I love what Drake is doing right now. It’s so many artists, I would love to work with every artist doing their thing in the game right now.