Bo James is born and raised in the urban core of Des Moines, Iowa. Despite going up in a two-parent home, being in gifted and talented programming, marching band, an honor roll student, and a world class athlete he was in a constant state of survival mode. By high school, most of his closest peers and relatives were in gangs including his younger brother. By his senior year in high school most of them were in detention centers, prison and some had even lost their lives to the streets. He accredits music, sports, and mentors for keeping him from falling into the traps of society that snared his family and friends.
After graduating high school Bo attended Simpson College on a full academic scholarship. He also had a flourishing music career that landed him a deal with Funk legend George Clinton as the bass singer for an R&B group. At the end of his freshman year, he decided to pursue music. The deal didn’t work out, but it did set Bo James on a course to establishing his own record label, LaunchPad DMI Entertainment. He became a producer, promoter, and music business consultant with a passion to develop, educate and advocate for “Starving Artists”. After 17 years of working with hundreds of artists, promoting shows across the nation, and cultivating the music scene across Iowa he decided to impact Iowa by empowering youth who reminded him of his friends and family that he lost during his primitive years.
In 2015 Bo founded Hip-Hope Inc. whose mission is to utilize arts and culture to promote Hope where symptoms of hopelessness are prevalent. Hip-Hope has been fulfilling its mission by hosting a series of programs and projects designed to mobilize community stakeholders from the city’s academic, non-profit, corporate, legislative, medical, and religious sectors. The purpose of our programming is to empower society’s most valuable assets, our youth. The outcomes are the presentation, organization, and utilization of solutions, the application of enhanced skill sets learned, and improved relationships within families, peer groups, and community stakeholders. Hip-Hope’s programs have reached over 10,000 youth underprivileged/over-challenged k-12 of all races, nationalities, socioeconomic status, and genders representing the greater Des Moines area, throughout the state of Iowa and around the world.
Bo James remains Hopeful in his community, his family, his network, and most of all his “Cool Krew Kids”, whom he refers to as his constellation. He has been called a Founder, Executive Director, and CEO but prefers the title of “Believer” because he believes that when Hope happens we are together, when Hope happens we are better.