“It was a little smoke out that got bigger than it should’ve been,” rapper Baby Bash told TMZ on Christmas Eve right after getting out of jail on bail. The night before, Bash and Houston rapper Paul Wall were arrested and charged with felony possession of cannabis with intent to distribute. The two rappers were doing wax dabs with several others at a “Cannabis Community” event in a Houston smoke shop when the police raided the retail outlet and arrested a dozen people in total. The high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the dabs account for the felony charge and the argument that they intended to distribute. Wall and Bash, who previously collaborated on The Legalizers: Legalize or Die, Vol. 1, were previously arrested together in 2011 after the police caught them with cannabis following a Summer Jamm concert in El Paso, Texas.
Bash, who was born in California, splits his time between Texas and the Golden State, where he claims to own a medical marijuana dispensary. He certainly sells proprietary strains and drops singles like "Light Up" and “My Dispensary” and albums like Don’t Panic, It’s Organic and the gold-certified Tha Smokin’ Nephew. When he did this interview in 2007, however, the rapper born Ronnie Bryant played more to the Hot 100 crowd with his double-platinum “Cyclone” having just cracked the Top 10. Here is what Bash had to say.
Tell me about “Cyclone.”
People know me as being smoother and laidback, which I am, but "Cyclone" lets people know that I got club bangers as well. It's really my first club-banger on an album. Thanks to [producer] Lil Jon for the beat and putting his stamp on it. There are a couple other club songs on there, which is what makes this album different. I love my flavor, I love my style, and I'm never going to try and change my style, but it's good to add a few club elements to my show, to my get-down.
You were on Universal Records before, but now you are on J. What is the difference?
Universal is more into numbers, while J Records is more into the music. Clive Davis actually listens to the songs and dissects them. They're more into the quality of the music. I felt that the other label was more about signing 20 acts, throwing them out there and seeing what catches. It's a difference of trying to make the artist known versus just trying to get the song known. Of course, the industry is full of politics and crazy people anyway, and I have to deal with that no matter what label to which I'm signed.
Tell me about your connection to Houston.
I'm from California, but when I came to Houston in 2000, I got to see it grow. I actually felt it grow. It seems like everyone has that southern hospitality in Houston, and I love it. All the artists are mellow and kickback. I'm proud of being part of the come up. I’m originally from Vallejo. I'm a big fan of Mac Dre and E-40. I'm big on words, and Vallejo is a big trendsetter when it comes to new words and slang. I think that helped my career because I brought the street slang with the Houston-down-south sound and made my own menudo pot. It helped my career bringing both sounds together.
Tell me about your family and what you learned from them.
I got to learn from my parents' mistakes. They were in prison and in jail. With my uncle, they were all on drugs and drinking all the time. My poor grandparents, all their kids had something wrong with them. I saw their mistakes, and I knew I needed to break the cycle. I felt it was up to me to break the cycle. I learned to be logical and didn't try to be crazy. I like to be on my toes, and I'd hate to get all tore up and do something stupid. You can be the best person around, but one slip up can change your whole life. Know that I'm saying? I just want everything to be smooth.