Hella Juiced: Baby Gas

September 23, 2019

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

Baby Gas is as real as they come. The Bay Area native has been grinding in this music game, creating not only bangers for his growing fanbase, but ensuring real, authentic content in each one of his lyrics. With his breakout single “30 On Me” at over 3.4 million views on Youtube alone, he quickly followed it up with an explosive remix of “Life In The Ghetto” with E-40. Read more…

Most recently, the 23-year-old arrived in Los Angeles after being shot in the leg. He states, “I won’t get into detail too much ‘cause I like to leave the streets in the streets, but just wrong place wrong time.” Regardless of the situation, there’s one thing you can count on from Baby Gas and that’s honesty and integrity.

For those who don’t know, who is Baby Gas?
Man Baby Gas, the most ghettoest vato out of East Oakland to be exact. It’s me, just a Mexican kid putting on for all of the Latinos and where we come from.

Why should people fuck w/ you?
It’s not really why they should, they’re going to regardless because the message is too authentic. If you come from the struggle, I’m sure you can relate. You’re going to have to respect it. I speak for the people who don’t have a voice for themselves. I’m good with the people who do fuck with me for sure.

Are you talking about the Mexican community?
Just the Hispanic community. I know hip-hop first started off with the Dominicans and Puerto Ricans, but I’m half-Mexican and half-Salvadorian. I don’t think we’ve ever seen that combination in the game, so I’m trying to speak for everybody all at once. Start having the people shed a little more spotlight — not in the Latino category, but as an artist who just happened to be Hispanic.

Being from East Oakland, what were you seeing growing up?
Man, it starts off with your typical ghetto shit. When you grow up in the hood, you see violence. There’s a lot of things nobody else sheds light on, a lot of game we learned from Oakland coming up. Just the way we move, they say the most dangerous man is street-smart and book-smart. Definitely has a lot of street knowledge and street game for you, how to survive out here. I come from nothing so it definitely taught a poor kid how to survive. Typical East Oakland, I’ve seen it all. Mexicans, Asians, Middle Eastern, we’re real black and brown out there. I know some areas are segregated in SoCal but back home, we’re all united. Coming up in East Oakland not only was I knowing my culture, but I was actually getting familiar with everybody else’s. The black culture, the Asian culture, all of that.

So when did you start making music?
Just fucking around, probably 9 or 10. Professionally about 13, so we’re looking at about 10 years ago. It just started off on some hood shit. Everybody was freestyling in the hood and once it turned into therapy….

Were you in the streets?
Oh yeah, for sure. I still got one foot in, one foot out.

That’s gotta be hard right?
It’s definitely hard but you know, it’s that realistic when you come from a life you really live and you aren’t just rapping about. You have to deal with certain things every day, no matter how big you get. I know people say “hey you’re getting bigger, you gotta move a little different.” But actually it’s not as easy as people may think. You come from something all your life and this is all you know.

Even when you start coming up and getting a little money, for some reason you always end up back here. Whether it’s to go eat at your favorite taco truck, whether it’s to go take your kids and show them around to where you came from — any little moment like that, you put yourself back in a situation where you become a target. It is what it is though. The whole music thing just became therapy when we were going through struggles. Too many people out here don’t speak up, so we take advantage of the platform.

At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Probably around 16 or 17. Not only did money start coming in, but it was more of the impact. Inspiring people, helping people get through their situation. I’ve always been an individual who gets more excited when I got DMs about the impact we’ve made on someone’s life, rather than when I look at my bank account and see a deposit. Money comes and goes. We got it before rap, that’s not a problem. But to be able to actually touch somebody like when we were listening to other artists, that’s a big thing. A big accomplishment.

What was the inspiration behind your name?
They called me BG growing up my whole life, my parents and everybody in the streets. Obviously BG stands for Baby Gangsta and we’re already familiar with B.G. from the Hot Boys. When I started rapping, we kept the Baby just ‘cause I was the youngest everywhere I went. You gotta be from the Bay Area to really understand where the term ‘gas’ came from. Now they use it like smoking gas and shit, but where we come from, it was you were talking that shit! He gassin’! It’s been a term going on for some time in our area, it just all came together. This youngest n*gga gassin’ over here!

“30 On Me” is at over 3.4M on Youtube alone. Talk about the realness in the lyrics.
The hook was definitely talking some real shit. If you peep my videos, I don’t really do too much of bringing the streets out — and that day we did. We pulled up on everybody, went all around Oakland. All around the East at least. We pulled up on a couple different neighborhoods, a couple reputable areas, landmarks. That helped and kickstarted it. Took us about 9 to 10 months to do the first million, then the other 2 million came faster.

What were you going through when you recorded that?
Exactly what the hook says, being in situations where we nearly lost our life or losing people and wondering why we’re still here. Because it’s real out here, people die every day. We don’t know when it’s us.

Talk about enlisting E-40 on “Life In The Ghetto.”
First and foremost, a lot of people don’t know this but that’s actually a remix. The original “Life In The Ghetto” was released in 2017 on the Quarter Soups and Sugar Water album. When I make music, I want it to be timeless music to where you could bring it back and nobody even knows it was old. So in order to do that, I linked up with EMPIRE and we came up with this strategy to revive that song. I just had E-40 at the top of my head, he’s OG in the game. Been doing his thing for years. It’s funny because at first, half of my management team didn’t fully agree.

Why not? It’s E-40.
It’s E-40 exactly, but it’s also the fact they’ve gotten used to E-40’s party music over the years Some people might have forgot he started this mob shit. I thought about it and put it into play with my manager GTDFOE. We pitched it to E-40, he hit us right back like “man I fuck with it.” Dropped a verse. He actually was the one who insisted on the video, so that was love from a legend. It all worked hand-in-hand man, all the bussin’. We pitched it to Worldstar, they picked it up like “this a dope record.”

Talk about HoodClips making a meme from the song.
Man that came out of nowhere, it was dope. I actually was chilling at the house, kicking it with my kids. I got a text message. At the same time, I got like 5 DMs. Everyone’s like “yo they made a meme about you.” Now I’m thinking someone pulled some funny shit, so I go back and they tag me in the post. I click on the post, it was actually Hood Clips. It was a funny ass little meme they made, that shit was dope man. It hit over a million views in a day. Just dope to see the support I was getting from people because Hood Clips posted it, then they posted the name of the song in the comments. All the supporters and fans made sure they tagged me so people know. Don’t get it fucked up, this is Gas. Everybody flooded the comments up, that’s dope as fuck to see. Shout out to Hood Clips on that.

What do you want fans to get from your story?
I want them to get a little bit of their story reflecting off of mine. Whether I talk about the struggle and not all of the details might be the same: I grew up without a dad, somebody else might’ve been broke with a dad. Little things like that at least to be able to reflect somehow on your own life. Because not everybody from the hood lives the same. You might have an individual who lives in the hood and has a fridge full of food, then you have another individual in the same neighborhood but don’t have no food. But we’re still all in the ghetto.

When I was coming up, I was embarrassed of our household as a kid. We were broke, we didn’t have anything. Even though we were in the ghetto, I felt my house was even more ghetto. I used to dodge people from coming to my house. The people who did see my living situation are the ones that I’m still friends with now 15, 20 years later. Just inspiring kids to embrace the struggle. It’s beautiful, you learn a lot of shit. Even with my kids, my kids don’t live in the hood. But when I do take them down there, they for some reason have a little more fun than they would in our neighborhood we live in now. They love the hood, the ice cream man, all the other kids. All the shit you do without the electronics nowadays, so it’s dope.

What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
My goal has always been respect. Different respect, not your typical respect in the streets. I’m talking about respect in the game. Seeing me as a Hispanic artist or an artist who happens to be a Hispanic, and respect the fact and work I’ve put in to move my people forward as a whole. That’s the main thing about me, I know a lot of these categories be fucking me up. They’ll try to put me under the category as Latino artist, that’s not me. Like when Nicki Minaj said “don’t call me no female artist, I’m just an artist that happens to be a female.” Same way. We get labeled too much and we’ll get put the same category as n*ggas doing reggae, and we not with that. My goal is to engrave in people’s heads that we playing ball too.

Do you look up to anybody? I interviewed King Lil G and I have mad respect for him because he’s someone who’s killed independently as a Mexican rapper.
As far as artists? Nah. I look up to a lot of CEOs though. CEOs like Ghazi, people who came from our backyard and did what they did. As far as artists, no disrespect to anybody but I feel in this moment, ain’t nobody done the job correctly. At the end of the day, it’s bigger than just coming out and being like “aye I’m a poppin’ ass artist and I happened to be Mexican.” We’ve got to actually pave the way. Make a way, open the door, and let a few others in. That’s one thing I respect about E-40 as an OG, he’s always looking back at the youth. Always looking back at what’s new and getting with the movement, I’m trying to do that. After Gas, I want the labels to all be looking for their own ghetto vato. That’s the goal fasho.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Right now, I’ve been fucking with a lot of these SoCal artists. I grew up on a lot of Louisiana as a kid like Wayne, Boosie. But right now, I’ve been listening to Buddy. I’ve been on Boogie. I’ve been back on my West Coast shit. It’s just dope to see. Growing up as a Hispanic in Northern California, there was always this thing about SoCal and Norcal. When I was a kid, I didn’t really get too much of an ear of what was poppin’ down here. I was a fan of down South. Now that I’m coming out here more often to LA, networking, I bump into a lot of dope people. I come across on my playlist a lot of dope people from California telling their story, that shit too similar. I’ve been off that Buddy “Trouble On Central,” that’s my shit.

What can we expect from you music-wise?
After this album, I’m going to focus on feeding them a few singles. Giving a little more detail. I know the fans been asking for more collabs, I’m not a fan of collabs at all. The rap game is not as authentic as it used to be. I won’t say who, but I’ve been in two situations where I’ve sent off a heartfelt song and since the artist wasn’t going through what I was going through, they sent my song back on a whole different vibe. I take my music seriously. If I make myself bleed on this song and you come back rapping about whatever because you’re just chilling, vibing in the studio, it doesn’t really click. I’ve actually taken off a few big artists off my songs just because it didn’t click. But the fans want it, so I’m in the middle of trying to give them that. What I did was back off of the real deep music and went more with what the younger crowd wants to listen to, that’s the type of music I’m using for features.

3 things you need in the studio?
My kids. At least one of my kids for sure. I need room temperature water, and some food really.

What are you eating in the studio?
Man I ain’t gon’ lie, hella junk food. Chips, Arizona’s, all types of bullshit. Some top ramen probably. My kids are the main thing. If I had to pick anything out of those 3, definitely my kids. It’s a constant reminder when I’m in the studio, you might be getting tired or losing light of what you wrote about, I just look back at one of my kids and make it pop.

Biggest lesson learned in fatherhood?
Everything you say and do will be copied. [laughs] Anything you do and say around your kids, they will catch on to it. It’s real hard for me sometimes because I be forgetting the age they catch on to shit. My daughter’s only 10 months so she’s not at that age yet, I can talk all types of shit around her. But my other kids, my 5-year-old, he’s catching onto everything. That’s definitely the biggest lesson learned, just watch what you say and watch what you do.

Anything else you want to let us know?
I do want to emphasize on the ghetto vato term. I know a lot of people off the bat always wonder why he talks like that, why he moves like that. I just want people to do a little history on me: Ghetto Vato, I came up in the streets of East Oakland, California in the black and brown community. You’re from the Bay, you know how we do. It don’t even have to be a ghetto vato, I have ghetto Asian partnas. Ghetto Hindu partnas. Anybody who’s ever curious, do a little homework and you’ll get the story.

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