Papi. Young Don. El Rey. Whatever you call him, Bodega Bamz is a major influence in New York’s underground rap scene. Born on March 17th, 1985 as Nathaniel de la Rosa, his ethnic background is half Dominican and half Puerto Rican. Bodega Bamz constantly reps Spanish Harlem in his own sub-genre of Latin Trap.
Bamz’s brother, Ohla, is a vital part of his life and career. He plays a role in the creative process of most of Bamz’s music, as well as the corporate side of things. “My brother, my manager, everything.”
For most of his childhood, Bamz wasn’t allowed to listen to hardcore rap. His exposure to the genre grew thanks to his cousin, Ace, who had a wide collection of rap CDs. In high school, Bamz began battle rapping. A popular hobby at the time, it was his defining moment as a rapper. However, he started to take music much more seriously when he became a father.
The birth of my son was when I really started to take music seriously… [After the birth of my son] I knew that this was crunch time. I knew that this was bottom of the ninth, two outs to go, bases loaded. I knew that this was the time for me to start to have something accumulating, because I want him to grow up with things that I never had growing up.
Bamz has five solo projects, an EP with The Martinez Brothers, and a mixtape with Tanboys under his belt. He released his debut studio album, Sidewalk Exec, on April 14th, 2015. His first two mixtapes have been lost over time, missing from the Internet with (seemingly) no links to be found.
He has mentioned on certain occasions that his first passion was acting. He starred in the self-proclaimed cult film, The Streets Owe Me, to promote Sidewalk Exec. He stated that he hopes to act more in the future, as he doesn’t plan on rapping forever.
I don’t want to stay a rapper for 10 years. If it takes 10 years for me to get my point across, I shouldn’t be doing it. In 10 years I want to be signing artists under my record label, I want to be an actor, I want to own things. I want to be one of the few rappers who got a Grammy and an Oscar. I want to achieve that.