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Baby Bash: Flyest Mexican Under the Radar

4/8/05 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview


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Baby Bash stays on the grind when promoting his music, its no surprise that 2003's "Tha Smokin' Nephew" is closing in on platinum status thanks to "Suga Suga." and that his new release is destined to go further.  Blending styles from different regions of the U.S. into a melting pot of music, peppered with slang from his native Bay Area, the Mexican-Italian game spitter releases his new album "Super Saucy" riding on the popularity of the Aventura-inspired track "Obsession" with Frankie J.  Bash spoke with LR about his new album and more in our exclusive interview.


LatinRapper.com: Tell us a bit about your new album, Super Saucy.

Stickin' with my format, you know. I kick that buttery, saucy flow. Saucy is an extension of the word 'fly', I use a lot of slang in my music. I got the ear candy, the car bangers, the club music. Some people think I just do radio sh*t, but they hear me and they know I do fly sh*t too. I do that, but I do my hustle on the side. Happy Perez, that's my Dr. Dre, great production. Say you got a good ass lobster tail, and you sprinkle it with lemon, and then dip it in the butter sauce. That butter sauce is my album. Its got that flavor.

How would you say this album is different from Smokin Nephew?

Suga Suga took off so quick, Smokin' Nephew used a lot of recycled songs. Super Saucy I had more time, put more spirit into it.

Your last album went gold this time last year, its almost plat now. Do you think Super Saucy has platinum potential?

Well, you know, I'm ahead of schedule, I'm about 50,000 [CDs sold] ahead of schedule than last year, in 3 weeks.  So it took a while to go gold, but I think its gonna come across.

So you pushed decent numbers for Smokin' Nephew?

Yeah, debut at number eleven, number seven in hip hop and rap. I don't even know if my music is rap, or hip hop, or R&B or what. I'm not a rapper or an MC, I never even referred to myself as an MC in my life. I just like to write good songs. I leave all that MCing and battle rapping to the other cats. So if you ever hear me say "hey I'm an MC", someone slap the sh*t out me, please (laughs)

Who did you collaborate with on the album?

Of course Akon, Avant, Nate Dogg, Natalie, Paul Wall, E-40, Pitbull, Happy Perez of course, my producer.

Who are some of the producers that were involved with the new album?

80% Happy, then I got Akon and Fred Wreck.

Have you been doing any touring to promote the new CD?

No, I start touring on the 29th. Baby Bash, Frankie J and Natalie go on tour.

Who are some of the artists you've been working with lately?

Of course, Frankie J, Natalie, about to start doing stuff with Eamon, write a song for him. That's about it right now, been promoting, out on the road lately doing radio promos, I hardly have time to do anything for myself lately.

But I read that you write a lot of material on the road.

Yeah yeah, I try to, I used to more than nowadays.  'Cause 'Obsession' is hitting hard, they got me grinding. I got some sh*t up my sleeve. When I do a song, I already know what the texture of voice [will be], I know who can do it, I gotta find the right texture. I got a song with my boy L.A. Nino Nrown.

You put out a huge single last year and have been generating a strong buzz this year, why haven't we been seeing more of you in the bigger hip hop mags yet?

Well, I mean... I don't know, not everyone is catching on. I think I'm still under the radar. People are like, "What am I, am I Mexican, am I White, am I Cuban, what am I? And you got the traditional old school hip hop kids, who think I'm not hip hop enough, but I'm not corny enough to be pop. The people who run mainstream like MTV, they mostly cater to black or white, or reggaeton, but I'm not doing none of that, so they don't know how to market me. I like being under the radar, I like my music speaking for me. East coast, they pretty much run everything, probably takes them a while to figure me out. If I'm not hip hop head, if I'm not that corny, tight pants type guy, what am I? (Laughs). My music aint one thing, its Rap, R&B, Reggae all in one.

What are you working on outside of the rapping at the moment, whether it be business moves or sponsorship?

Real estate. You not gonna catch me with no clothing line, no drinks, nothing like that. I'm a more conservative guy when it comes to my bread. I got three houses, I wanna have 3 more by the end of the year. I don't run around with an entourage, I roll by myself and my homies, aint gonna catch me with a bunch of jewelry on, throwbacks. I'd rather invest in housing.

The Bay Area has produced a number of established artists that helped keep the West respected, how important is it to you that you continue to keep Vallejo on the map with your music?

I've never been the type of guy to put anything on the map, really represent anything. But I cant take away from the fact that every rapper in the world, from East coast, Dirty South, every rapper that you've heard blown up because of the Bay Area. E-40, he came up with most of that slang, even the kids don't understand, but that slang all comes from the Bay; off the heezy, it's all good. I just try to spread the hustle the way I talk, the way I rap is the way I talk. Some people be in the booth sounding like a monster, a killer, get out of the sound booth and talk like the geek of the world. How I talk is how I do my music in general.

Quick question for all the female readers: are you doing the solo thing or do you have a lady at the moment?

I'm doing the solo bolo, 'cause its kind of hard to have a lady all that time on the road. Solo bolo, babybash.com, get at me (laughs)

What got you into rapping in the first place?

(laughs) you got me, dog. I wanted to be a basketball player. This music thing, f**king around to make people laugh. Next thing I know, I come up with melodies and do cool words.. I said f*ck it, beats construction work. I just said I'm tired of selling dope, let me do this and get paid. I just take it for a ride, know what I mean. If people like the sh*t, f*ck it.

So what would Bash be doing right now if he wasn't spitting?

(Deep breath) probably be watching a big screen TV, eatin' cereal, about to go hoop. Workin' with juveniles. That's what I went to school for, Juvenile Procedures. If you can talk to kids in their language, you can talk to them. Let them know so they can say to themselves "I'm f**king up." Them knuckleheads can't have old school people preach at them, they laugh at them. Nothing too drastic. I wouldn't sell crystal meth no more, I'll say that. Too crazy, too much sh*t, I stick to green

You studied in college?

Yeah, that was in junior college in California, back in ‘96

Did you graduate?

Nah, I just did one year, the next year I was gonna play basketball, then I started selling crystal meth, then that fast money came.  Then I figured I wouldn't go to the pros.

From what I understand, you had a difficult upbringing, has that influenced your music?

You know, maybe subliminally. My parents were heroin addicts. I seen a lot, I think that's why I'm never surprised. I'm never excited, 'cause I seen so much. Heroin is a strong, strong drug. It don't really bother me, I don't get angry or nothing, to tell the truth. I just know to not do heroin, you'll f*ck your life up. The music puts me in the mood, of what I'm gonna write about. Once he gives me a beat, if it sounds like a sad story song, I do a sad story, if it sounds like a club banger, I do a club ganger song. If it's a saucy ass beat, I do a saucy ass flow, the music tells me what to write about.

Quiet as kept, you were a star b-ball player in high school, do you ever look back and think about what would have happened if you had pursued that instead of music?

I mean, yeah. I was doing pretty good. I don't know if I could have gone to the pros, but I could have been Division 1.  I still play, I used to ball every day all day.  I don't know about the pros or anything, I used to have two ankles, now I only have one ankle.

Why, what happened?

I tore my ankle so many times, I needed surgery on my left ankle, and never got it. I don't really got strength in my left ankle like I used to. But I still ball, still got my crossover, jumper still there.

You made your start in ‘94, has the rap game changed for the better or worse since then?

Yeah, I was in high school, I still never took it serious. Back then, that was the Mac Dre era, the E-40 era, it was more about the block.  Now its more about video, radio, back then it was a little bit more street, you know. Nowadays, all these radio station say they represent the street, but they a bunch of geeks. You pretty much knew who the real gangsters were back then. Now a guy wears a throwback and a bandana, they think he's a thug.  I'm a big Ice Cube fan, one of the top one or two rappers of all time. He transcended a lot of shit, give him credit for that. He was thuggin' before 2pac was thuggin', the audience just wasn't that big. And Kid Frost, he set the tone, he was the first Latin rapper I seen. He set it off, he was before his time.

Only a handful of Latin artists in rap seem to push the numbers you do at the moment, do you have any advice for some of the readers out there who want to get into this game correctly?

My advice was have an open mind. The only reason any of us Latin rappers can say we make it is because we make radio songs. Make sure its for the radio, not for your gang, for your homeboy. If you are gonna do something, have an open ear. Even egotistically in the rap game, people burn bridges. Don't burn bridges. Even if someone don't dress like you, be as cool as you, if their gay, don't be all hardcore and diss them, cause a lot of gay people high up in the industry. If you wanna complain about not being big, be nice to everyone. Don't disrespect the women too hard, don't burn too many bridges. Study the game, a lot of politics involved, get your sh*t straight otherwise you'll get blackballed. It's a small world, it only takes one dude to blackball you. Have an open ear, don't be afraid to do something new, even if your homeboys think your soft.

any last message you'd like to add for the readers?

Thanks for the love, thanks for the support. I'm trying my best to do what I can do to make my market open a path for other artists. I'm not really political or anything, I let my music speak for itself. Keep it fly, keep it saucy. Don't hang around no weirdos, weirdos in the music game bring you down (laughs)

Baby Bash official website at http://www.babybashmusic.com

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



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