We had the pleasure of conducting an interview with a talented up and coming artist who goes by Josh Baker. His song “I Don’t Care” has been nammed the official NHH Song of the Month and is currently streaming online.
“I was born July 17,
What is your background? tell us where you grew up and some information about your upbringing/experiences as a youth:
I grew up on the south eastside of Chicago, so at a young age I was introduced to many cultures and also a lot of bad things that comes with Chicago. When i was little l lived off State Street for those who know where that is. After a little bit I moved to Whiting which was like a 15-30 min drive away from where i lived originally. But living in this area i had seen a lot at a young age. I saw drug deals, all the way up to murders happening and so on. My dad was working his ass off at the time to help me and mom my get out of that enviornment. See my mom had lupus so there were days she was really sick becasue of it. Some background on it, its and autoimmune disorder that messes with for example organs or joints and your immunesystem. So i was young helping take care of her so i had to step up and figure it out myself and also figure out how to be a big brother soon because i had a brother on the way then another one a few years later. I had a little group of friends living out there, but one of my closest ones i had was a friend who went by the name of “Ze”. He was a few years older than i was but he was like an older brother to me. He taught me of the streets, he taught me what to do in certian situations, everything basically. We would rap just for fun here and there, but we didnt record nothing. About when i was 14 he passed away due to an overdose unfourtinately. I had already moved to Portage, a town in Indiana by then and we only saw eachother here and there when i could. But from the last time i saw him before his death, i knew something was up i just regret not asking you know. He told me straight up that i had talent in rapping and that he could see me make it. Then he said i know its your dream… i see it so you better go get it. Once he died, something clicked and I just grinded my ass off. Ever since then i been just sudying the greats from old generations to the new generations. I just wanted to make him and my family proud to where i would make it. I wanted to prove to everybody that i really could do this, and so i did.
At what moment did you know that music was part of your life and what feelings did you have towards making an active impact with your music?
I would probably say at the age of 9 i was really wanting to do this music thing. thats when i had got my first guitar for Christmas and i would play that thing like no tommorow. I wanted to be and felt like a rockstar. It was my dream then to be one. I even did band in middle school and partly in high school, and looked at music as a passion. I didnt care if people thought i was a band nerd, i was still a hood band nerd so let them say something. I know how to play some guitar, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, and a little bit piano. So music was an escape for me really. I tried to implement as much as i could from what i knew to my music with sounds i liked and wasnt afraid to try something different.
What artists inspired/influences you and if you could collaborate with any artist (alive or passed) who would it be and why?
I have many influences when it comes to artists. Pac is definitely an influence, Juvenile, Bigge, Juicy J, J. Cole, Kendrick, Drake, Speaker Knockers, Chief Keef, Lil Durk, to new wave artists such as Denzel Curry, Smokepurpp, Night Lovell, Juice Wrld, ASAP Rocky, and the late Lil Peep and XXXTENTACION. My friend Miguel was a heavy influence when it came to my music he really helped me mold and construct my style and the way i do things. I look up to high in a very high regard and make music with him still. He is one i will always make music with. I’ll continue to make music with people of the city that i’m in right now, i see some potential with some kids here so we’ll see what i can do with them. X is would be a heavy influence on my music. There are a lot of aspects the he did that really pushed me to do this. His confidence, his originality, he wasn’t afraid to express himself in his music and didnt care what people thought of his music. If he loved it thats all that mattered. If he were still alive i would have wanted to make so many songs with him. Same with Lil Peep, he really brought that Emo Rap up in the community and made it popular. He said how he felt and the way he did it with a mix of rock and hip hop is something i loved because i love those two genres as well. I would collab with Juice too, hes poppin right now in the industry. I love his style and his melodies it’s amazing. Night Lovell would be another i would love to collab with, hes cool asf and his music is dope, his dark sound is something i aim at with my music too. Of course i would do a collab with Drake, like who wouldn’t? He’s the face of rap right now and no matter what his songs are bangers and that would be a gift from god if i ever got that collab.
What do you think about the current state of hip hop/mainstream music?
Honestly hip hop is hot right now. Theres so much new stuff coming out, and so many talented people coming up in the game at the moment. Right now is a good moment for hip hop definitely one to go in the books. Obviously it isn’t something the old heads don’t like because music is changing, it’s gonna change no matter what. It’s just life, it’s gonna happen. I think the state hip hop is in is more positive than what it was. People are donating to families, schools, and small towns that need it. Drugs were a big problem in the rap industry, the way they were brought out, it made it seem like drugs were candy that you can just buy at the store. So i feel like now people realized that after Lil Peep died unfortunately. People quit lean, xanax all that stuff that was popular at the time. Ever since then you really haven’t seen much of it. I can’t lie i was a victim of the system, you know I had my problems and stuff. I talk about it in my music that it’s one of my “demons” and say how it affect me and made me feel. I’m trying to just put my own personal life so people will listen and learn so they can be like damn i should probably listen you know.
Currently, what projects do you have in the works that you are most excited about?
Right now i’m working on a project or mixtape called “1700” and it’s basically showing what i can do with different sounds. I’m showing what i can do with different flows and styles. I just really want put my versatility out there ya know. I’m really excited for this tape because i’ve worked really hard on this to express myself. I just show the challenges i went through making this tape, a little bit of flexing, some real talk, just a little bit of everything. I don’t consider my music rap, i consider it my art, my craft, my “music” only because it isn’t just rap. It’s music and music makes you feel a type of way. That’s all i want is people to feel some type of way when they listen to my music. I plan on some collab tapes with my friend Miguel that i’ve really itching to start with him. I’ve recently started one with SB, someone i’ve been working with. We made a song called ‘Trill” that i mastered, produced, and featured on that got 10k+ plays on soundcloud. I am also excited to work with someone new i’ve been working with in canada. His rap alias is Frvsty and is featured on songs in my next project, “Curse” and “Spaceship”. Hes dope i want to work with him more
What are your short term career goals within the next 6-10 months?
My short term goal right now is to graduate high school and get somewhere with my music. I promised my parents i would finnish school before anything so i plan on keeping their promise while still working on my music and pursuing my dream. Another goal is to be more consistent with my music and start putting stuff out every month or so since i know what i need to do. I want to push myself to get a decent buzz within the next 6-10 months with music and grind it out.
What are your long term career goals within the next 2-5 years?
Long term career goals would be to graduate college like
If you had one song out of the catalogue you have created to show a person what song would it be and why?
It would probably be “Spaceship ft.
- IDC - Josh Baker
To the person who had never heard of you what is it about your music and story that you would tell them to entice them to be a supporter?
With my music you have to be understanding and open minded to music. One that is just dwelled on one specific genre or subgenre, will say any music is trash if it isn’t what they typically listen too. My music is there to feel a type of way like i had said already. Whether it’s sad, energetic or hype, chill, what ever you choose to be when you listen to it. To me it’s all about the feeling is when it comes to music. I want my supporters to understand where i’m coming from, why i do what i do and the way i do it.
If your music could be described in five words what would those five words be?
Melodic, simple, vibrant, energetic and melancholy
What do you bring to the game that is unique and different?
I bring versatility to the table when it comes to my music. I like to reach out my comfort zone and try as hard i can to perfect it. Most rappers will stick to one style of music but I can bring all types of sounds and vibes to people. The way i flow and the way i structure music and the complexities of it. That’s what really makes me different and unique.
To the aspiring artist who is considering a career as a musician what lessons or advice would you give them to inspire them or to uplift them in the journey?
The best advice i could give to an aspiring artist to inspire or uplift them in their journey would to be consistent, persevere yourself, be open, and work your butt off if that’s what you really want in life. It’s your life, your dream so go at it no matter what people say. It’s you who determines your future, be humble and grateful but also give it some hustle. People love the hustle.
What are your social media profiles and where can people purchase/download your music?
You can find me on twitter as @BakerThaGod, Instagram as _bakerjosh, Soundcloud as J Ǝ Y, and on YouTube as Jey.
What are your final words you would like to say to people that you have left out?
I just wanna thank everybody that supported me all the way through this journey. Everybody is awesome for that, i love you all, i really do. Without the support i’ve had from everybody, honestly i probably wouldn’t be alive. I’m grateful for all that the people do behind the scenes for me, keep doing what you do like for real you guys are the MVP’s for that. I want to thank Moe Rock for this opportunity to do this, it’s like a dream come true almost. This is only the start and i hope to make you all proud.