Montecuzoma Sanchez exclusive to Bilingual Weekly
Content of this interview is preserved in its conversational form.
STOCKTON, CA – Baby Bash known to the country for his R&B, Rap, and Pop style music. Originally from Vallejo, California he is one of the few Chicano’s that have prevailed into Mainstream music. Bash came to Stockton to have an album release party at Taste Ultra Lounge on Friday 25, 2011 and we got to ask him a few questions:
Motecuzoma Sanchez (MS)
Baby Bash (BB)
MS: First of all congratulations on your new album Bashtown.
BB: Thank you.
MS: As somebody who has been following your career since back in the 90’s, congratulations on your latest album Bashtown. It is good to see that you’ve found mainstream success.
BB: Thanks, I feel like most people don’t know me. They know my songs, but a lot of times they don’t realize it’s me or who I am. It’s the story of my life. I stay under the radar.
MS: It’s rare for an artist to have long term success in the rap music industry. What do attribute this longterm success to?
BB: I’ve had a long career. I feel like that’s a result of my humble hustle. I learned from a early age the value of hard work. I feel I got that from my grandfather who used to do work in the backyard from mowing lawns to landscaping. I used to go over there and he’d always be working so I learned to work hard too.
MS: What is your recipe for success?
I’m one of the hardest working in this industry. My recipe I would say is I build a song first before I ever work on the lyrics. I grew up listening to Oldies so I learned about melody. I build the song first with the beat then I get a hook and a bridge up. Like a robot I do it in order. Then I give it a title and the lyrics come last. I listen to the music. The music tells me what to say. I love the process, it makes me happy and that happiness comes through to the music.
MS: Do you feel like growing up Chicano has had an influence on your music?
BB: Growing up Mexican was crazy-a** experience. We’re raised rough, but it developed a rich perspective from listening to Doo-wop and oldies like Brenton Wood and Duke of Earl, it gave me a diverse ear for music. Also listening to reggae. Not regeaton, but original reggae.
MS: What do think your strengths has been to maintain in this game when so many other artists don’t, expecially coming from a Mexican background? What obstacle shave you had to overcome?
BB: Well I gotta say it’s hard on a Mexican. I’ve been around for a long time and it’s a tough game and I’m like the only Mexican…beside Franky (J).There’s a lot of politics. But I’m just a regular guy and I’m able to work around that ’cause I feel I’m good with people. And I work hard and put out quality work.
MS: In December I went to [Washignton] DC to lobby the Senate to pass the Dream act. I made some friends from all over the country and being that you live in Texas now some friends from there wanted me to ask you if you support the DREAM Act. The Act allows those who are undocumented and brought here as chidren without a choice, to go to college or join the military?
BB: Most def [definitely] I support that. I support that one thousand percent. I went to Iraq to visit the troops and it really changed my perspective on what it means to be in the military. They gotta deal with a lot and many of them would come up to me and ask for my autograph and some would even be crying. I was tripping how they were looking up to me, but I felt like nah, I was looking up to them.
MS: As someone who served in the Iraq in the Marine Corps I know they appreciate you going to see them.
BB: I got a lot of respect for them. I was only out there for ten days, they’re out there for much longer.
MS: So what can fans expect to see in the new album with Bashtown?
BB: There’s a new track by SPM (South Park Mexican) is one of my mentors.
MS: Being that he is currently incarcerated how were you able to coordinate that?
BB: A Mexican’s got his ways [chuckle]. What happened to him was a bad situation, a sad story. That’s a clear example of how someone can be setup. That dude was really framed.
MS: Being that you’re from the Bay Area, you’ve been able to work with a variety of artists from different regions, from Bay Area, to LA [Los Angeles], to Texas in the South, and now nationwide. From Mac Dre —a Bay Area legend— to Kid Frost and T. Pain, that’s a wide range of artists. How are you able to be so diverse?
BB: I’ll always consider Cali[California] home. But everywhere I go I keep my Mexican style whether it’s Cali or Texas we all want the same thing. We want success, girls, a house…I take that all in and soak it up. From working with artists like JT, Kid Frost with Latino Velvet, SPM, I take all of that combine it like a big pot of Menudo.
MS: What do you feel has been the key to your longevity being that you have been in the game [industry] since the 90’s?
BB: You know, they’ve been telling me there’ll be another Baby Bash. They been trying to find another Baby Bash for the last 8 years. My secret to staying around is I keep it fresh. Being from the Bay Area you learn that player swagger. I’m humble. You know I keep it clean- I don’t mess with heavy drugs, and I don’t drink much. I stay focused.
MS: What advice would you give to upcoming artists?
BB: Network, Network, Network. I don’t wanna get into any cliches, but I’ll saying expanding who you know and your network is important. Make hits. Concentrate on making a buzz and work on your viral. Make a good product ’cause your first impression is important. Also be honest with yourself, make sure your stuff is good. Don’t listen to people pumping up because they’re your friends or they got a verse on a song. Make sure its really good before you put it out there. Your first impression really matters.
MS: For someone who’s been able to navigate and find successin working with different artist from different regions, what advice would you give to young Chicanos and Latinos fighting amongst themselves in our communities today?
BB: It’s hard on Chicanos, there is a lot of tribalism. There is a lot of jealousy amongst ourselves I’ve seen and been in a lot of crazy situations, but if I could give any advice it would be to love one another. And love yourself. If you respect yourself and love yourself you’ll be able to love and respect others.
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