Rashkind and Jenks’ Hip Hop Duo

Henry Wieman, Staff Writer

Fresh faces entered the already crowded Wilmington Friends Rap scene late last month. On Tuesday, March 23, musical group Hoss Boggs announced their plan to expand into the genre of Hip Hop. The duo, made up of Mandolin/Guitarist/Singer Jacob Rashkind and Guitarist/Singer Jenks Whittenburg, is well-known for their blue-grass and folk sound. However, the pair have expressed interest in a new sound. “Times are changing, and popular taste in music is changing with it,” said Rashkind, in an interview with Vox; “It’s about time we change with it”.

Musical genre is not the only change the public should expect from the duo, however. Hoss Boggs seems to be taking the move as a chance to rebrand entirely. “We’re looking to sign on with Atlantic Records,” Whittenburg says. “And lots of internal changes are happening as well. The name ‘Hoss Boggs’ just isn’t hip enough in this day and age, so it has got to go. We have not yet settled on a replacement yet, but ‘Hos-style Bogglands’ sounds promising”. The shift among Rashkind and Whittenburg’s musical act shows a push for modernization, while trying to keep their current fanbase appeased and on-board with the new sound. There is some evidence that it is working, too. “I’ve always wanted to get into rap music, but never knew how,” Estelle Hegenbarth ’21 admits, “but Hos-style Bogglands is a perfect opportunity for me.”

Appeasing their more diehard fans may be a tall task for Hoss Boggs, however. Sander Katz ’21 has been a staunch supporter of the group since their emergence onto the Delaware music scene, and he is skeptical about the shift. “I really like their old stuff, and I’m not sure anything new will be able to measure up to that,” Katz says. Other fans are criticizing the move as a simple money grab at a more popular genre. Whittenburg sharply rebuked the accusations in a statement last Friday. “Jake and I are committed first and foremost to creating music that we are proud of. We love the genre of bluegrass, and what the industry has done for us. But it is time for us to move on as musicians to newer and greater projects.”

Doubts about the duo’s ability in the new genre was quickly squashed by their new single, “Readings, Robots, Rapping”, released on Sunday. “Jenks teaches Algo-Rhythms, of course he knows his way around a synth” commented Brandon Williams ’21. Rashkind similarly received praise for his seamless use of mandolin in a genre otherwise devoid of the instrument. The duo announced plans for an as of yet unnamed EP later this summer, and a subsequent state-wide tour to promote the rebranding. A lot of questions remain unanswered about the future of Hoss Boggs, but it looks to be an exciting and promising ride.