FLINT, Michigan — In the ascent of Flint music, men have held the top spots, attaining greater visibility and shaping the overall narrative. However, that hasn’t deterred women from stepping into the ring through pushing the boundaries, generating conversation, and expanding the body of creative work.
From pop-R&B diva Brelia Renee
to the hard-hitting flow of Jada Ali
, and the in-your-face attitude of JB Smok3zz
, the Flintdustry
houses a diverse group of women artists. Joining the ranks of these talented women through classic hip-hip vibes is 24-year-old Tay Boogie. Known as one half of the business entity, The 810 Flow,
2021 has catapulted her into the upper echelon of Flint celebrity and cemented her role as not just a musical artist but an entrepreneurial visionary.
“I think I’ve seen a shift in the last three months,” Tay says, wearing a mustard-colored button-up, black leggings, sporting a black bomber jacket with her name etched across the front, The 810 Flow
logo, and a Jay Kay chibi design on the back. “I’m very humble and kinda introverted, but I said if I started dropping music and [Reese and I] start this business, they’re going to coincide and push it further. I’ve worked with a lot of people and had good experiences with them all. So I have to challenge myself not to get comfortable. It’s love, but ultimately, people are watching.”
“My goal was to have people listen. I didn’t expect people to share it and openly say, ‘I love your music.’” - Tay Boogie
Inside 501 Bar & Grill in downtown Flint, Tay sits with a smile and possesses calm energy, but her reserved body language illustrates her still coming to grips with newfound social and business status. Taking a sip of her drink, checking text and notifications, she shakes her head in simultaneous disbelief and gratitude at the level of success she’s experienced over the past year. If 2021 was anybody’s breakout year, it was undeniably hers.
At 24, she and business manager Reesé Nicole created The 810 Flow
, a platform catered to giving visibility and access to Flint’s music scene through behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, social media shares, and network connections. For Tay, it’s a type of pressure she’s learning to navigate through, balance, and feel excited about every day.
“You put on social media the glitz and glamour, but you don’t post the distress and everything that comes with it. It’s a lot of pressure for two black women,” she says. “Not only do we run a business together, but being an artist is a business. It’s a hard balance, but I feel for our first year, we learned a lot. We did a lot, and I’m proud.”
Tay Boogie's 7-track debut EP, I’m HER, gives listeners a feel for who she is through introspection and storytelling verses.
Following The 810 Flow
’s success, they turned their platform inward, boosting promotional efforts and paving the way for Tay to release her seven-track debut EP, I’m HER
. While she calls the EP a little “thrown together,” you can’t tell from her meticulous selection of “very detailed beats and instrumentals” that give listeners a feel for who Tay Boogie is as an artist through introspection and storytelling verses.
She implores her listeners to “get off yo a** and get yo mind right” and declares that everything that’s happened to her is “destined.” But Tay’s no rookie to music. Her music and video credentials include King Ca$hes
, D. Nelson, Smok3zz, iShotRaw, and MealeoStone Visuals. Her music videos have amassed over 20,000 views, and I’m HER
’s release post has been shared over 100 times. All of this, she says, taking a moment to pause, is “definitely something new for me.”
“My goal was to have people listen. I didn’t expect people to share it, tag me in statuses, talk about it, and openly say, ‘I love your music.’ This s*** is exciting,” she says with a laugh. “My dad asked me the other day, ‘do you realize what’s happening?’ My family pushed me to start putting out music. I’ve always been reserved, quiet Tay.”
That and the blossoming confidence expresses itself as we move through 501, capturing Tay at the bar and around the tables. It and her roots start on Flint’s southside, where Tay always found solace in music. “I feel music is my way of dealing with everything,” she explains with a pensive expression.
“Musically, I plan to come very much put together. The visuals, the ideas, the graphics we have in line, I’m excited." - Tay Boogie
The motivation to begin her rap career was encouraged by cousins pushing her to release freestyles on the internet as a teenager. She kept quiet for a while, eventually telling her parents that “I want to do music.” While her mother wanted Tay to follow a more traditional route, her father, having been a DJ around Flint and Detroit, told her, “I’ll have to hear what you talking about.” With a chuckle and a grin, Tay tells the story of rapping in front of her father for the first time — an experience that propelled him to purchase a mic, soundproof an extra room, and ask, “what can I do?”
“I remember we linked up, and I was scared, shaking. He said, ‘rap something,’ and I never cussed in front of my daddy before. He has this chuckle that he’ll do,” she remembers. “He pulled his phone and started recording. To this day, he’ll say, ‘I knew then that all you needed to do was gain confidence behind it.’ It’s important to acknowledge him because there was not a moment of doubt.”
And it is without a doubt that Tay has proved him right. Now, as 2021 ends, the Tapped Out
star is looking to the future for many reasons. The 810 Flow
continues to build upon its foundation with plans for events and artist showcases. Having dropped I’m HER
two months ago, she’s already preparing to release its follow-up, The Recipe
, telling me that she’s feeling “more inspired than ever.” Indeed there is something destined about Tay Boogie’s success.
“I see this going beyond imagination. I see [The 810 Flow] elevating in the city. The goal is to have a studio here at some point,” Tay says as if conjuring up universal forces. “Musically, I plan to come very much put together. I want to do some skits and interludes. The visuals, the ideas, the graphics we have in line, I’m excited. The Recipe
is on the way.”
You can find out more about Tay Boogie by following her on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. I'm HER is streaming on all platforms. You can tap into The 810 Flow and check out new Flint artists across their Facebook and Instagram.