It's hard to turn a radio dial nowadays without stumbling on a track that has Baby Bash's signature free-flowing raps strapped to it. The 29-year-old Houston resident is featured on no less than three singles currently making the rounds on the charts, including tracks from both of his Latium Tour mates, Frankie J's "Obsession (No Es Amor)" and Natalie's "Energy." And he's still reaping the rewards from "Baby I'm Back," the first single off Super Saucy, which dropped in March.
Bash said he and "Baby I'm Back" collaborator Akon were initially hooked up by their record label but quickly found common ground. "I think we related because people don't really know how to categorize our music," Bash said recently. "Is it hip-hop or is it R&B? For us, it's just a combination of everything." The duo also knocked out "No Way Jose," a mellow, flowing tune anchored by Akon's soulful vocals.
Baby Bash, who considers himself more of "a songwriter than Mr. Rapper Guy," makes a point of sprinkling his tunes with bits of new slang, or "ear candy," as he prefers to call it.
"I don't wanna say something like 'Baby, I love you' or 'I'm crazy about you.' Everything out there is so basic," he said. "I like using slang to come up with something more fresh and hip, like 'super saucy.' It just makes people smile and puts some humor into it." The title track off the LP, which features Avant, will be the rapper's second single. "It's funny, because the mainstream will get these hip words like eight years after they first hit the streets, so I'm hoping I can bring in something fresh and quicker."
And ladies, if a man rolls up and calls you saucy, consider it a compliment. "When I talk to girls, I'll say, 'Hey, you look super saucy tonight,' and they understand the way you say it, it's a good thing," he said.
Bash also intends to play a much larger role in the making of this music video than he has in the past. "To tell you the truth, I've been disappointed with my videos so I'm definitely going to have more of an opinion on this one. I just did whatever the director said. But now I don't want my videos to look so dry."
Don't look for Bash to be pulling any ab-baring moves, à la Usher, anytime soon, though. "No, I'm not gonna take my shirt off [just to get attention]. Even though I'm in decent shape, it's all about the music, man. And who knows, I could look back and say, 'Why didn't I get naked on TV!' But as of right now, I'm happy."
Bash's latest LP, the follow-up to 2003's near-platinum Tha Smokin' Nephew, was produced by beatmaker Happy Perez (Frankie J, Natalie) and sees the rapper collaborating with other artists including Nate Dogg, Pitbull and E-40 on all but one of the 15 tracks — a strategic move for Baby Bash. "I like to have different voices and different textures on a song. I don't want people to say, 'Oh, there's Bash. There he is rapping again.' I think it's cool to vibe out with people."
Despite his mounting fame, Baby Bash can still carry on with his life as usual, and do things like pick up his own groceries. "I'm still the same cat as when I started," he said. "I don't need no bling bling. I have one gold chain that my grandmother got me a few years ago for good luck, but I don't wear a bunch of platinum and diamonds. I'd rather put that money in the bank."