Building a solid and growing reputation by amongst other things, touring with Blade, the Scottish star talks music, performing, labels and the scene.
It was late one evening whilst I was sitting listening to Kiss 100 for a Blade interview that I caught wind of an up and coming rapper who delivered a freestyle live on air which had me thinking 'That's not right. How does he do that?'. Quick to hear more I turned to my trusted friend the internet, and the studio stuff was even better. Here's the score on the Warrior Poet that is…
For those that don't know, who's BA and what has he released up to now?
The names BA, Respect BA. I'm a 19 year old MC and for the past two years I've been circulating around Carlisle promoting and running shows, and competing in battles up in Glasgow and Edinburgh. I don't have anything out yet but I have an album just waiting to be re-recorded and released through the label I'm with, Kriminal Recordz in Glasgow, which is run by Big Div AKA Major Threat. In my eyes it's the best label for me. It doesn't have big money backing or promotion, but Div makes sick beats, and he himself has been around the Glasgow hip hop scene for 15 years so there's a lot of automatic respect up there by just being associated with him and his label. He's a little bit of an O.G. on the Paisely Estates hahah!
How long have you been making hiphop and what's been the best moment?
I've been writing rhymes for seven years seriously, but probably longer than that on a semi-serious level. I started rhyming five years ago, but where I'm from there is no UK hip hop exposure, so I started on some American shit just flowing or rapping along to stuff etc. Then I discovered UK Hip Hop and realized I could do this stuff for real as myself, and put my views out from my perspective instead of living the fantasy. That again was around five years ago. In my mind I've already had so many great moments in my short hip hop career. Definitely going to see Mark B & Blade in 2001 opened my eyes as to how down to earth artists can really be, but I'm more of a fan of small victories. Competing and winning battles really means a lot to me, as right now I'm not going for mass appeal…right now I much prefer getting respect within the underground scene, cause I feel that's how you build longevity into your rap career. Show people you can do it on a raw level first, then take it up a notch when that's been established. My first LP will definitely be one for the heads.
If there was 1 track or release that best represents you, what'd that be?
I'd like to think all my tracks represent the different sides of me. Probably "Warrior Poet" sums up my views on a lot of things in two verses, which is also the title track of my LP.
You can hear the rough version of this track on my website, respectba.dmusic.com Gig-wise I'm pretty much fully booked right now as hype man to Blade, and we'll be going all over the spot this year promoting his album. If I ever get a free few weeks no doubt I'll be jetting back up to Glasgow to do shows with my label, as they are gigging regularly up there and no doubt will still be doing so when I return.
Are you signed to a label at the moment?
Yeah, as I stated before I'm on Kriminal Records. My other label mate's are Big Div, Owner/Producer/MC, Loki (MC), Mac G (MC) and Mr. Hiz (MC). I'd like to think we're taking the Glasgow scene by storm just now, Loki had his album out on CD last year and Div's been releasing 12"s and EP's for years and years. There's going to be a compilation Vinyl coming out this year called "Kriminal Presents: First Offenders" which we'll all be on in one way or another.
How's the experience of gigging with Blade been? Learnt a lot I bet?
So far it's been wicked. It's weird cause I've been doing shows for 3 years, but I've never had to be a hype man before, so I'd say I'm learning a lot more crowd hyping skills etc. doing these shows. Besides that I've learnt not everyone I meet will be a nice person, and the business side of things is something I definitely don't want to get involved in cause a lot of the people within it are cunts. I've also learned how to say hello, thank you and goodbye in Polish, which is basically all you need to get layed over there. No disrespect intended to the Polish bitches.
Besides Blade and yourself, who are you liking from the UK scene?
I'm a fan of lots of people on the UK scene cause I grew up to it at crucial points in my life over the last four years. I definitely check for acts like The Foreign Beggars, Jehst, Phi Life Cypher, Roots Manuva, basically everyone who's made a good song within their career. At the end of the day it all boils down to good and bad music doesn't it, and if someone has a record deal and is unable to make a single good song then they would not be in the position in my opinion.
Any last words?
Why, am I going to die? Only joking….of course big ups to Blade, all my people up in Glasgow and especially the hard workers on Kriminal Recordz, yourself, and everyone who supports myself, Blade and all the hard workers in the hip hop scene.