Big B Interview
Author: Adam Bernard
Both physically and musically Big B is a large man. He has to be to fit in
all the genres that have influenced him and come out in his work. Big B's
latest effort is Good Times and Bad Advice, and RapReviews caught up with
the very busy Suburban Noize emcee to find out more about his good times,
the bad advice he's received, and some of his non-musical artistic endeavors.
Adam Bernard: Tell me about your latest effort, Good Times and Bad Advice.
Do the two always go hand in hand?
Big B: Not necessarily. I have had good times listening to people's fucked
up advice and now it's time to do it my way. Most people that try to give
you advice are people that failed and think they have all the answers.
AB: In the spirit of your album's title, what's the best time you've ever
had, and what's the worst advice you've ever been given? And please tell me,
whatever the latter was, you didn't take it!
BB: The best advice would be just to be myself and do what I do. I've had so
much bad advice over the years I can't even single out one thing. I've seen
far too many artists that chase after whatever is hot at the moment and try
to cash in, and they tell you to do the same. That type of success only
lasts while whatever trendy is in. I'm trying to go the distance and have a
catalog of music that people will enjoy for years to come.
AB: You work with Everlast, Cisco Adler and Scott Russo on this album.
That's quite a bit of diversity. Are the songs you do with each of them
tailored to their style, or did they find a way to tailor what they do to
BB: I've always been proud of the fact that I've never paid for
collaborations I've done. I've had everyone on my record by becoming good
friends with these guys over the years, so it made sense to have them on
this album. Some of them we just jammed together and hammered out a song,
others the track was already written and they just came in and added their
own flavor to it. It really was dependent on how much time we had together.
AB: Like your previous efforts, Good Times and Bad Advice
has a rock influence. With that in mind, do you consider yourself rap-rock, or
something else entirely?
BB: I make feel good music with a hip-hop flavor. This is the kind of music
that a person can kick back, drink beer, and BBQ with their friends to, but
at the same time it can be the perfect music for a party. I feel that I have
written an album that I can look back on and be proud of, and that can stand
the test of time.
AB: What do you feel the rock influence provides that you might not have if
your music was strictly rap?
BB: I've always been a fan of all genres of music so that is what my music
has become. It's kind of a melting pot of all sort of different styles. I'm
a fan of Johnny Cash, Social Distortion, Eric B. & Rakim, Biz Markie, for
sure Everlast. I went to a lot of punk rock shows as a teen, but the first
big one was the Beastie Boys. Enough said. Obviously all those influences
come together to make my music what it is.
AB: How much of a role does honesty play in your work?
BB: it's everything. If I'm not honest and making myself happy then I might
as well get a 9-5 job, because I would just be going through the motions.
With this album I am in a different place and I wanted to be known of more
of a songwriter. If my fans don't take to the change then I guess they were
never really fans in the first place. I write my music as an outlet for me,
I don't write music thinking what would the fans like. It's the fan of this
album that will use my music as a voice for them when they hear me sing
about something or a situation that they can relate to.
AB: When you look at the entire Subnoize roster, do you think of yourself as
different from the rest of acts?
BB: I'm different, but Suburban Noize has one of the most diverse rosters
out of any label. They have hip-hop, rock, metal bands and alt-rock groups.
I fit in perfectly because my music is a little bit of everything and is not
confined to one genre. I've done the major label thing back in the day and
it just didn't work out. Major labels want you to be whatever is hot at the
moment. Suburban Noize doesn't tell you to be anything but yourself and
write the music you want to write.
AB: In addition to your music, you were also a regular on Inked on A&E. How
did you end up becoming a part of the show?
BB: I've been good friends with Carey (Hart) for years and have worked with
him to build the Hart and Huntington name. When A&E wanted to make a show
around what we built, it made good sense at the time. It was a great look
for all of us involved because it showed what we were building.
AB: From your rhymes to your tattoos, art is clearly a big part of your
life. What are some of your other artistic endeavors that people may not know about?
BB: I enjoy building cars! Not just any cars, but classic cars and hot rods!
One thing most people don't know about me is that I used to work at a body
shop. I always try and stay busy, even when I'm not out on the road. I've
got a clothing company called Controversy Sells that I'm involved with and I
have a lot of input in the designs that we put out.
AB: Finally, the title track from Good Times and Bad Advice is going to be
used for MSG's summer advertising campaign. As a Knicks fan I must ask, when
are these "good times" going to arrive?
BB: I am from the West Coast so I can laugh at that question.
Big B's new album Good Times and Bad Advice
is in stores now! You can find B online at feedbigb.com.
Originally posted: October 5, 2010