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Baby Bash: Latin Hip Hop's Quiet Storm
10/11/07 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview by Dante

 

picture of rapper Baby Bash

Its been two years since we last chopped it up with Houston rapper and Vallejo native Baby Bash (click here for our first interview), and the super saucy artist seems to finally be getting some well-deserved shine. Although his upcoming album "Cyclone" isn't slated for release until October 30th, Bash has already earned the rank of #1 Latin artist on Myspace. His recent boost in fame is validated by over 750,000 digital single and ringtone sales thanks to his latest smash hit "Cyclone" featuring T-Pain.


Since launching his career in Cali and later heading to Houston, Bash has sold nearly a million albums and has recorded countless guest spots on various chart toppers. The flyest Mexican under the radar speaks with LatinRapper.com about making hits but it keeping it low key in our exclusive interview.

LatinRapper.com: It's been over two years since we last interviewed you, what have you been up to since then?

I been on the road, I still been a road warrior, doesn't seem like I stopped getting on the road. I been on the road, I been writing, I got Paula Deanda going. Paula Deanda's a great success story for her, I wrote songs for her, writing songs for my record label. Doing a movie with Chingo Bling. I'm just in the studio, I'm doing everything.

What can you tell us about the new album?

I'm still gonna keep my classic Baby Bash style, classic Bash. Convertible candy paint, chrome, drop the top, hang out with a fly chica. Know what I'm saying? Fly women type music, I call it that Buttery music, that super sauce.

 

I got a couple of club bangers, I never did no club bangers before, so I went ahead and did some club bangers for this album. I gout a couple more conscious songs, songs with messages on them, kind of more evened it out. But I kept my classic Bash formula.

"Cyclone" has more of a Down South feel than your past singles, is Houston starting to rub off on you now?

Its not really that. I love Houston, I love Texas, I love California, I love everywhere. I got to work with Lil Jon, and that's what Lil Jon gave me. That's a Lil Jon sound, I tried to sprinkle it up best I could, he actually liked it because I put melodies on it, he's used to his beats being nothing but chants.

 

I put my little melodies over it to keep it different, it still had the same crunk sound that Lil Jon produces, but with a little more melody over it. It has a more Down South flavor, but I still keep my Baby Bash sauce on it, real club friendly and keeping it cracking.

What was the inspiration behind the song?

I listen to a lot of reggae. There's a song called Steppin Out by Steel Pulse, I always wanted to sample Steel Pulse. They said a part called 'Cyyyyclone!' and I've always loved that word, I always said I'm going to make a song about it.

 

When I actually seen a cyclone on the weather channel spinning around in circles, I just thought of a girl dancing going around in circles. I just thought of it for a female moving her body, round and round, and I'm just watching kind of like a dance record.

I've been hearing "Cyclone" and "Na Na" on the radio, but I'm still not really seeing you in magazines or sites over the last two years, why have you still been under the radar?

You know, its a strange. I'm happy about it, I'm a low key guy anyway, I've never wanted a lot of attention, not running around trying to get attention. My manager's always kind of mad about that because I'm a low key dude. But being Mexican.... I think it's weird. If you met the people behind the magazines and behind the TV shows, have you ever seen the editors and all the producers that seen these shows...

 

I'm not Black, and I'm not White, they don't know about the in-between. Especially if I say I'm Mexican, a lot of the big time people think Mexicans are the people that are fixing the road, and illegal immigrants, they don't know about the urban Mexicans that we have now. I'm pretty much pioneering the urban Mexicans that grew up the way I did, around nothing but Hip Hop and Rap.

 

I do think there's kind of reverse racism going on a little bit, I don't want to get all crazy about it, but I actually think it's because I'm not Black, I'm not White, I'm not Puerto Rican either. I'm Mexican, I think that has a little bit to do with it. I'm just a down to earth guy, I don't have no drama stories, I don't have no crazy stuff going on in my life. I'm just a down to earth dude, if I was committing robberies or some other stuff, yeah, they'd jump all over it. I'm just a down to earth guy, I don't think they understand me yet.

 

Personally I love it, I love where I'm at, I think I'm America's best kept musical secret. Because I write, I take pride in my writing. I never wanted to be the best rapper in the world, but I'mma write you a hit. I'mma write you a song, arrangement, all that stuff, choruses, hooks. That's my pride, I don't take pride on being Mr. Rapper, I take pride in writing whole songs. I think I'm not Black enough for the urban, I'm not white enough for the pop, I'm always like the in-between, but I love it.

You mentioned doing a movie with Chingo Bling, what's the deal with that?

We're working on a movie called "Primos", me and Chingo Bling and Danny Trejo. A comedy, a kind of like a Half Baked mixed with Friday, mixed with a little bit of American Me. I'm gonna play off the characters of Chingo Bling and Baby Bash.

 

We're all related, Mexicans have a lot of cousins in cities and states that they know that they had but never really met, the movie's about three cousins hooking up that never met, they hook up later in life and try to make some money. We're working in a panaderia, we're slangin' empanadas, we're slangin' anything to make some money. It's a comedy, it's Chingo Bling at his best, but we're not finished with it yet.

So we won't be seeing this until next year?

Definitely next year, next spring.

Being that your from H-Town, we've spoken with Chingo about the whole immigration thing, what's your take on the issues sparking up in the Houston area lately?

I think it's pretty unfair, they're not rational. I think people are overexaggerating and that overexaggerates to the media and they blow it up. I think a lot of its unfair, they need to rethink and come up with a better solution. 99% of the people that want to come over here want to work, and do good for their families, and send money home.

 

I don't understand the big problem, and I don't understand what the lawmakers don't get. I think there's another agenda going on that they're not saying, but I think its unfair and they need to reevaluate the whole situation. I'm not really political, but I base everything in my life on common sense, and I don't think common sense is being used.

Outside of the music and movies, what else have you been up to?

I'm a studio rat, if I'm not playing basketball or on the road doing shows, I'm in the studio creating, writing. I have about 100 songs. I also sell songs, I have a few groups coming up, the Stouie brothers. I write songs every day, I can't perform them all, so I start giving them to other artists, break some more careers, create my own artists, my own record label. I'm more of a simple guy, I don't know if I'm really ready to take on the responsibility of a big old record label, but I think in the future it's coming.

In our last interview we talked about the severity of heroin and its affect on your family, have you ever thought about going to schools and speaking to students about drugs?

Yeah, I've actually done that a couple of times. Around California, Fresno, in Houston. Maybe not as much as I've should, because I'm a studio junkie. But I like to touch on that, because heroin did affect my family life. I come from a family of heroin addicts and alcoholics, I'm one of the few in my family who took the other route, and it turned out great for me.

 

If there's a way that I can let the kids know, pretty soon after I get off the road and stop being so busy, get some down time, I'll get more prepared and jump into that. I can speak their language better than an older counselor would, they understand it more.

So are you on tour right now promoting the new album?

Yeah, getting ready, I'm gonna have a long October, I'll be everywhere.

What's the craziest thing that's ever happened to you on tour?

(laughs) Craziest thing? The weirdest thing, I've had a mother and daughter try to take me home. Besides that, I still trip to this day. I've had Gold albums, I've had hit songs, to this day I still trip out when I hear myself on the radio. When people want my autograph, kids are screaming and going crazy, to this day it trips me out. I've never like really all the way grasped why I am I so special. I laugh every day, I'm happy where I'm at, I count my blessings every day, but I still wonder why.

Being that you're blowing up, are we going to see bigger producers on this album?

Yeah, yeah. Of course I got Lil Jon, who got the first single. Scott Storch, J.R. Rotem who did Sean Kingston's album and some of Rihanna's album. Happy Perez, of course. Jim Jonsin, Play N Skillz, I got an all star lineup of producers.

Did Smokin' Nephew ever go Platinum?

No, its close. It's close, dude. Never went platinum, but it's Gold. I'm not with Universal no more, so I don't think they put no effort into nothing of mine any more. I'm on J Records now.

You're with Clive Davis now, right?

Yes sir.

How's that working out for you?

Working out great, Clive Davis is one of the few... I've met a lot of CEOs in music, and he's the one more into music more than numbers. A lot of the music industry is based on numbers, all the big CEOs, all the big time people who own the labels, they wouldn't know a hit if it kicked them in the ass. They go off trends, they watch MTV all day. 'Do that! Follow this!' a lot of fad followers, I call them robots.

 

They go by numbers, they don't care about the music, they care about the numbers. Clive Davis cares about the music. I feel proud to be a part of his company. One of the few guys who cares actually about the music, and don't care about the numbers, he cares about the music. That's what I'm about. I'm not about following fads or doing what they're doing, I'm into the music.

What would you like to let your fans know?

Thanks for all the support, you're in for a surprise, a great album. I'm proud of this album, its my best album to date. I'm still writing, for Paula Deanda, Frankie J, Jennifer Hudson, Whitney Houston.

 

I just did a song on Carlos Santana's new album coming out called Ultimate Santana. Baby Bash and Jennifer Lopez, Carlos Santana on one song. Its called the Ultimate Santana, its his greatest hits: Oye Como Va, Black Magic Woman, Maria Maria. He's only having two new songs on the whole album, two new unreleased songs, and me and Jennifer Lopez is on one. So I'm proud to be with a legend like Carlos Santana on his new album.

So you're under the radar but you're obviously working hard, still on your grind.

Yeah, like I said, I'm America's best kept musical secret. I love being under the radar, I don't need all the attention, I don't run around wearing a bunch of crazy jewelry, and making noise. I'm more into the music, the music is more important than Baby Bash, to me, that's my opinion.

 

But when musical people like Carlos Santana and Clive Davis hear my music and get it and understand it, that makes me more proud than being on the cover of all these magazines with all these crazy goofy people acting like they think they know what's up. The media's so submerged with a bunch of goofy nerds acting like they're cool and know what's up. If you would only see the people behind the scenes of all these TV shows and magazines, if you'd only see who they are, you'd say 'Oh my God, how these dorky people know what's cool' and they trying to tell America what's cool.

 

I stay away from that, maybe it hurts me too, but my pride factor is real big. I'mma stay myself, I'm not gonna be all goofy for anyone. I've turned down movie roles because I'm not trying to be a goofy dude. I can't really act, I can only be myself. If you only seen the people behind the scenes who call the shots, you'd be like 'Oh my God, how do they dictate what's cool in the world', but somehow they do, and somehow it happens. I love being under the radar.

 

As long as my music is quality, I'm good. People like Clive Davis, Carlos Santana, Lil Jon, Akon, T-Pain, they understand it, as long as they understand it and they're true musical legends and icons. If they understand what I'm doing, then I'm not worried about what the average goofy person thinks about me. I just think that if they appreciate it and they know music, I'm happy.

When does the new album drop?

October 30th the album comes out, y'all be there. MTV just edited the video, they're starting to play the Cyclone video. They made me edit that video like 50 million times, because they said it was too provocative (both laugh). But then again, like I said, if I was Black or White, they wouldn't have said nothing.

 

I swear to God, to me I have to work a little bit harder because I'm Mexican. I don't want people to get mad because I don't use the word Latino, I use the word Mexican more. It's weird, the media, they're up there looking down, I don't think they get that there's a difference. Just like an immigrant worker, I have to work a little bit harder than the Black or the White worker to prove myself in this music world. I never consider myself just a Chicano rapper or a Latino rapper, I consider myself just a musician.

 

I do music, I do it for Black, White, Mexican, Eskimo, Samoan, everybody. I never label myself. I've been labeled, but my music is for everybody, music has no color. A lot of times you hear my music and you wouldn't know what I was, you wouldn't have no idea, and that's what I like. I don't try to use the Latin race card ever, I just want people to respect my music and the hits. I'm like an immigrant worker, I gotta work a little bit harder when it comes to MTV or the big media outlets, I gotta go a little bit more, work harder.

Well, be happy that you're even on MTV, you could be one of those Latin artists on Telemundo or Univision at two in the morning.

Right, right. And I'm proud of them too, I'm happy for everyone, I'm glad to be a part of all that. Telemundo, Univision, LatinRapper.com, I'm proud of everybody doing their thing. I think in the next ten years, we'll get it straight.
 

Baby Bash official website: http://www.bashtown.com

Baby Bash on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BabyBash 

Baby Bash on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/babybash  

Baby Bash on Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/babybash  

 

 


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