Brendan Bohan (aka Brendan B) is a rapper out of Ocean Beach. Like many San Diegans, he’s a transplant. Brendan grew up in Chicago — or “Chi-Town,” as he likes to call it. He doesn’t feel that being from out of town has hurt his street cred in San Diego.
“No matter where you go, there will always be haters, but since I’m so ill on the mic, SD has shown me love,” says Brendan. Well, not everyone. The cruelest irony for Brendan since he left the mean streets of Chicago to live in the bohemian sunshine of Ocean Beach occurred one night in October 2006 when he was stabbed in an alley behind the Arco on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. The young perpetrators were never caught, and Brendan was left with a wound that just missed some vital organs.
Over the past couple of years Mr. B has added a full backing band to his live shows. The group consists of his cousins Patrick Bohan on percussion and Ryan Bohan on guitar and sax. Chelsey Nelson plays the violin, and Chris Plaia plays…the kazoo. (Have I mentioned that Mr. B is known for his sense of humor?) Emcees M-double-A-L and Audios join Brendan on stage.
Brendan cites Redman, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Kanye West, and Rodney Dangerfield as inspirations and says the best places to play around town are Canes, Winstons, Kava Lounge, and “anywhere else the Fresh Committee plays.”
Fights and other acts of violence surrounding San Diego hip-hop shows have caused some club owners to back away from booking rappers. Brendan feels there is room for improvement. “There are definitely some flakes in San Diego. If everyone kept their word and stopped getting so damn drunk, we would move forward a lot faster.”
When not rocking the mic, Brendan can be found working at Lahaina’s Beach House, PB Shore Club, and Bub’s Dive Bar. He doesn’t seem intent on working at bars forever. “I’m a doorman and a bar back, but I’m sick of taking trash out and toilet-bowl cleaning.”
1. A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders. “Phife and Q-tip are some of the illest lyricists, and I love the jazzy smooth beats.”
2. Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. “It’s a classic. Pop that disc in to get the party jumping.”
3. The Beatles, Rubber Soul. “I’m a huge fan of the Fab Four. The track ‘Girl’ may be my number-one song of all time.”
4. The Clash, London Calling. “Expand your music collection, hip-hoppers. The album is so raw and original. R.I.P., Joe Strummer.”
1. Fight Club. “The movie is good, but the book is better.”
2. The Blues Brothers. “Lots of cameos, the music is good, and it’s filmed in Chi-Town, baby.”
3. American Psycho. “I swear this movie is based off of my old roommate’s life. It’s funny, sad, and disturbing all at once.”
4. Donnie Darko. “Spooky movie, confusing ending, cool bunny suit.”
5. Pee-wee's Big Adventure. “Yeah, son — I’m a Pee Wee fan. Don’t hate.”
“My best show had to be in Telluride, Colorado. Me and my boy Apoc opened up for Slick Rick in front of thousands of people. Slick Rick watched from the side, and after we got off he told me we ‘killed it.’ ”
“The worst show I did was at Canes last year. I opened up for KRS-ONE and De La Soul. I was the sixth opening act, and the crowd was growing restless and started booing…this was the first show my mom attended.”
CITIES I LIKE TO PLAY OVERSEAS:
1. London. “The day after my show on October 25 I am going to see the Chargers play at Wembley Stadium against the New Orleans Saints.”
2. Amsterdam. “I hear they have delicious baked goods.”
3. Munich. “I will be there for Oktoberfest. I’ve been watching MBeerfest Mto prepare myself.”
MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
“My most prized possession is my beats. As long as I have my intros to lay my lyrics over, I’ll be fine.”
VINYL, CD, OR MP3?
“I’m old school. I like to throw back with vinyl, but I do love my iPod.”
“Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria in North Park.”
THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A BOUNCER?
“Meeting beautiful women from around the world and denying men with fanny packs.”