#1: When was the specific time in your life you fell in love with hip-hop and made a decision about pursuing a music career?
In 1996, I bought Twista’s “Adrenaline Rush”. This is what inspired me to start a musical career. It started out as poetry and morphed into hip-hop once I met my click (The Smokngunz) in the U.S. Army.
#2: You are the CEO and Co-Founder of Smokngunz Records. Can you give a little background history of how the record label was created? What do you think is the most prominent factor that has helped the record label last this long?
The Smokngunz was started in the barracks of 2-44 ADA in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Alexander Smith III (Smoke Digga), Haywood Clark (Wood District), and myself, Anthony Baker, Jr. (Bigbake) would have cyphers. Smoke Digga originally had the name for a group that he was rapping with earlier but they never used it. We like it so it stuck with us.
#3: Who were some of your most important musical influences growing up?
Music is my drug. I have kept it going on my own. Wood District is now a gospel singer and Smoke Digga is a family man. I just couldn’t give it up. I would do music for free if I would be able to live and prosper as well. I listened to music more than I watched television as a child. My mom used to blast Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson, All of the Jacksons (together and apart LOL), Whitney Houston, and so many more. My father was more into bands. He played the guitar in a band when I was a child. Through him I listened to Prince, Maserati, The Gap Band etc. As I got older I listened to N.W.A., Rob Base, Salt-N-Pepa, Too $hort, Twista, Outkast, Tela, and waaayyy to many more artists to name. I have always been a music head.
#4: Do you remember the very first hip-hop song you ever wrote? If so can you share what it was about?
The first song I wrote when I figured out that music would be my journey was called “A Nigga Like Me.” It was pretty much about a paranoid soldier’s thoughts in the military. It was very angry.
#5: What many elements do you think that current hip-hop artists are missing from their music right now?
Before the era of Kendrick Lamar and cast ( J Cole, Wale, etc.) I felt that the game was in a state of no substance. Drake opened that door again with the more sensitive rap, which was an ingenious move, then Kendrick Lamar blew the doors down. Now me are (rap is) more conscious again.
#6: How would you describe your sound in four words? Explain the reason you picked each of those words.
My sound in four words: Real, Militant, Truth, and Raw.
Real because it isn’t loosely based on my life, its what was happening at that point in my life.
Militant because I like to preach a lot, give directives and examples.
Truth because it is true LOL.
Raw because before the Drakes, Kendrick Lamars, and a few others, people wouldn’t say the things I say.
#7: You have a blog on Tumblr (The Official Smokngunz Records Blog). Explain what information you have on the blog site.
http://bigbake01.tumblr.com/ is raw and random at the moment. It will be informative about the movements of my associates and I. LOL (don’t judge me)
#8: What gives you the most inspiration when you create lyrical content to your music?
Life gives me all of my inspiration. If I feel like being faithful or in love, that’s what I write about. If I feel like hopping in these streets and getting back to the grind, that’s what my music will focus on.
#9: What does the future hold for Smokngunz Records and Bigbake in the next 10 years?
I will be signing a few artists and releasing projects in the next 1 to 2 years. More signing at first. We will continue to be global. I will continue to push what we already have on the networks now, and simply grow and develop.
#10: Is there anything you want to share with the readers or your fans about any upcoming events to look out for?
You can check out the two singles that we already released:
Bigbake feat. Truth B. Told – “Hustler’s Anthem” (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hustlers-anthem-feat.-truth/id604365673)
Bigbake – “Next Level” (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/next-level-single/id590788950)
You can hit me up on ALL of the social media sites @bigbake01 (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc.)