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Why is Boston's quirkiest rapper leaving town?

Michael Christmas

Roxbury rapper Michael Christmas is moving to Los Angeles.

Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Michael Christmas is leaving.

The rapper plans to move to Los Angeles next week, where he'll work on a new album he hopes to drop in 2015.

It's been a big year for Christmas, a 20-year-old who grew up on Warren Street in Roxbury. His mix tape Is This Art? was downloaded 40,000 times in its first week of release. National hip hop publications took note. He was named one of Complex's "25 New Rappers To Watch For In 2014." He packed the upstairs at The Middle East. He played South By Southwest. He met fellow rapper Childish Gambino, who told him he loved his music.

Lyrically, his style is often described as eccentric. Arguably his most well-known tune is named after an actor best known for playing scrawny, awkward adolescents. In another tune, he raps about searching for superlative tacos. It is, you guessed it, called "Taco Truck."

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Now, he is Hollywood-bound. He said he visited LA for the first time a few weeks ago and fell into a "really creative rhythm."

He's coy about who he wants to collaborate with; he says he wants to incorporate comedians into his work but doesn't name names and he balks at talking about a timetable for his new album. He has larger ambitions than hip hop; he says he wants to break into script and comedy writing.

"In terms of becoming a full-on entertainer, LA is the place for me to be right now," he said. "I'm going to make my album, and aside from that really become a full-on writer. I want to write for TV and movies as well. I want to make people laugh. I can do that a lot faster there."

Humor, he says, is "the biggest part of my life."

"I'm broke and my whole family is broke but we figure out how to smile. I want to try and do that for someone else, try and a put a smile on their face."

He added, "I can always go home. I'll have Boston and it'll be here for me."

Now, he is Hollywood-bound. The trip will mark the first time he has lived away from Boston for an extended period of time. He said he visited LA for the first time a few weeks ago and fell into a "really creative rhythm."

He's coy about who he wants to collaborate with; he says he wants to incorporate comedians into his work but doesn't name names and he balks at talking about a timetable for his new album. He has larger ambitions than hip hop; he says he wants to break into script and comedy writing.

"In terms of becoming a full-on entertainer, LA is the place for me to be right now," he said. "I'm going to make my album, and aside from that really become a full-on writer. I want to write for TV and movies as well. I want to make people laugh. I can do that a lot faster there."

Humor, he says, is "the biggest part of my life."

"I'm broke and my whole family is broke but we figure out how to smile. I want to try and do that for someone else, try and a put a smile on their face."

He added, "I can always go home. I'll have Boston and it'll be here for me."

 
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