It's Bobby's world. We're just living in it. Photo by Tyler Clinton courtesy of High Standardz.

Pop Music

Bobby Sessions Is Happy To Be Here

The Dallas rapper's new album, Grateful, is a testament to the potential of optimism.

Bobby Sessions lives his life by the law of attraction. The poet-turned-rapper brought this philosophy to the Dallas rap scene with his 2015 debut album, LOA. Now, he’s releasing a second treatise. Grateful, Sessions’ sophomore album, out today, is a testament to the Law of Attraction, a salute to Dallas hip-hop legends, and a lesson in optimism.

“It’s really just the next step in LOA,” Sessions says. “You receive the things that you want when you’re constantly in a state of gratitude.”

Whether it’s that theory or another force, something’s working for Sessions. LOA was widely regarded as one of the best local hip-hop albums of 2015. His smart, politically-charged single “Black America” earned him national attention. In April, he’ll perform at Fort Worth’s inaugural Fortress Festival. And he just made the album of his dreams.

“It’s been my dream for the past five years to do a whole project with (Dallas producer) Picnictyme,” Sessions says. “It was my dream to work with RC Williams, and guys like Ja Born. This was all stuff that I wrote down on a piece of paper before it happened.”

Before he subscribed to the law of attraction, and before he was a rapper, Sessions was a student of poetry and philosophy at the University of North Texas. He was reciting poetry at Poetic Justice, a weekly showcase of student performances, when he got the idea to start making music.

“They had a cypher at the end, and I saw the guys rapping in the cypher and felt like I could beat those guys,” he says. “So I went home, wrote my first raps and came back the next Tuesday—recited it, the place went crazy, and then I knew that that was gonna be my career ever since.”

He left UNT to pursue music full-time, and rap became the perfect outlet for his poetic talents and philosophic musings.

Where LOA was about making your own luck, Grateful is about feeling lucky for what you have.

“It’s about waking up everyday with a sense of purpose. Waking up everyday excited, thrilled about life, thrilled about what you’re doing, and finding ways to monetize it. That’s really the point of it,” Sessions says.

The inspirational messages in his music have made the rapper especially popular among personal trainers, spiritual coaches, and life coaches. But Sessions isn’t here to be a motivational speaker.

“I would describe my sound as when consciousness meets entertainment,” he says. “I want you to have fun while I help empower you.”

This comes through on Grateful’s upbeat first single, “First World Problems,” featuring Dallas songstress Sam Lao. The song conveys one message, soulfully: “F— your first world problems, baby.”

Grateful might be the next step in following the law of attraction, but it’s a step in a different direction. The album’s first single is a bit smoother, more polished than Session’s debut.

“My music IQ is significantly higher, just from working with the quality of musicians that we brought together to create Grateful,” he says.

A handful of local artists contributed to Grateful: Lao, Sikwitit, RC Williams, Ja Born, and Picnictyme, among others. Sessions, a born-and-raised Dallasite, wants the album to pay tribute to local legends.

“A lot of artists want to escape Dallas, thinking that if they go to these other markets that they’re somehow going to propel their career to new heights,” he says. “What I wanted to do was the opposite. I wanted to pay my homage and respect to all the legends from the neo-soul scene to the hip-hop scene that paved the way for me to even have a platform to do what I do.”

The rapper is not content just working with Dallas legends. He is determined to become one.

“Dallas has everything to break not just one artist, but several, if they stick with it,” he says.

Sessions says the last couple years have been landmarks for local hip-hop, and he’s excited to keep up the momentum.

“With what I’m doing, with guys like Blue, the Misfit, X [the Misfit], and others, I think it’ll definitely blow the lid off if we continue to keep pushing for it and not get complacent,” he says.

Equipped with the law of attraction, Sessions knows his dreams are within reach.

“I won’t leave until I have a major breakthrough here,” he says. “And if I decide to move, it’ll be because I like a different neighborhood.”

Grateful is available for free online via High Standardz, and physical copies will be sold at Sessions’ shows. You can hear the rapper performing his new album at the Grateful release party this Saturday at RBC in Deep Ellum.

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