Sitting at the Table With BA Badd (Interview)

There’s no doubt that in this post-Griselda era, upstate NY emcees / producers are finally starting to get their proper recognition.  As Westside Gunn once said (and I’m paraphrasing so forgive if it’s not exact) “I’m from Buffalo, I’m not supposed to win” and before his ascent, I’d be hard-pressed to name more than a handful of cats from above Westchester I was aware of who can catch wreck.  However over the past year most of my daily whip rotation is heat from spitters from the 585 and 716 area codes, it’s apparent that these outlying regions of the Empire state is rife with lethal spitters and producers.

Meet BA Badd, though he spent a good deal of his life in and out of Buffalo, he claims Syracuse, NY foremost.  After an explosive tear of singles and mix projects over the past year, his full-length project Everybody Eats (1st Plate) drops digitally on November 27th.

A video for first single “Codes” featuring Rome Streetz recently dropped (video below) and other guests include Conway The Machine, RIM (Da Villains), Adonis, AA Rashid, Mafiosa (Maf) and Prxfet.  Producers on the project include Vinyl Villain (Ankhlejohn, Nolan The Ninja), Chup The Producer (Rigz, Benny The Butcher), Graphwize (Eto, Blaq Poet) and Reallyhim. He recently answered some questions on the project as well as his history.

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I think the first time I saw your name pop up is when the “Knowledge Born” video dropped. However your bio said that you originally part of a group that was making moves before you had to go away for a while. Where you making similar music in this group and how much notoriety was the group getting outside of the Syracuse area?

Actually, we were based in Buffalo. The Group was really a collective of artists and producers Da Zombeez / Zombee Gang and yes the music is very similar. Real dark , heavy, bass driven, energy filled. We had different elements in that the producers were situated in Buffalo, NY to Pittsburgh, PA to Cincinnati, Oh and Providence, RI. If you’re familiar with Aarab muzik then you’re familiar with our sound, being that he was added to our production team towards the end and adapted the sound that made him famous. So to answer if we were making noise outside of the upstate area … Yea you can say that.

Obviously you have a lot of intimate knowledge of the streets and that life, but a lot of our readers are probably not familiar with Syracuse outside of the University, what’s your town like?  is there a viable hip-hop scene/audience up there to promote to?

My town is like every other city in America. Filled with property, drugs and violence. We’re a small city so everything hits home that much closer. So even if you not in the streets the trauma still hits your front door because it’s your uncle, your cousin, your brother and even your sister.  Like you and opps could share the same corner store and in some cases that’s the reality. So that intense feeling is all day long . As far as hip-hop goes, yea it’s a hiphop scene but it’s not huge . You got some dope artists coming out the 315 but when it comes to this underground shit it’s really just me and my guy Maf.

I know that you have also spent time living in Buffalo and that Conway is on the new project “Everybody Eats (1st Plate).” What’s the difference in scenes between Syracuse and Buffalo and did you witness the GXFR movement early on?

Yea I been in Buffalo since a freshman in high school. Living back and forth between Syracuse and Buffalo through the years. It’s really no difference in any of the cities in upstate NY . It’s the same story, different players.

In terms of Griselda, yea I was tuned in early because I follow all the music up here. Like the talent been here and everywhere is just finding that out but if you grinding up here I’m already tuned in especially if you coming from the big 3 (Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester).

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There’s a lot of variety on 1st Plate, there’s that boom-bap vibe and then there’s more modern and murky trap-like joints, is there a certain sound or vibe that you tend to gravitate to when selecting tracks for your projects?

Energy!!!! I like that shit that get a nigga body-slammed lol. I love that hoodie-season music!! Thats what I come from. I grew up off D-block and State Prop , All the QB emcees and Dipset . I’m also influenced by the south so I need production that’s going to make the license plate rattle.

This project is different from my last (A.R.T Work) though.  I wanted this one to be more aggressive, my A.R.T installments are more like zone-out’s, more introspective, more personal.

How many other projects have you released since establishing yourself as a solo artist? Out of those projects (before 1st plate), which would you suggest our readers go track down and listen to?

Well I’ve always been a solo artist. My first project since coming home was A.R.T Project I show more range on that release and on my A.R.T Work release I was more focused.

The first single/video “Codes” from 1st Plate with Rome Streetz is pretty ill, how did you build with him and is there any other featured artists on the project that you plan to release videos with and do other work with?

That collaboration was one in the making. I came across his music on soundcloud. We followed each other for like a year and it was a mutual respect for each other, so we just made it happen.

As far as videos go I plan on doing as many videos as there are songs on the project, so to see what comes next you just have to follow and pay attention but I promise it’s going be better then the last.

Now regarding future collaborations I have the Dirty Revolver EP with Maf, which is produced entirely by Graphwize. I also have a EP coming soon titled Trump Era produced entirely by Reallyhim. That’s all I can speak on right now.

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Purchase Everybody Eats (1st Plate) here: