Queensbridge hasn’t been the same since Baby Sham was first discovered on the block by Busta Rhymes. We’re not talking about Nas and the Infamous Mobb coming out of QB, but a young boy that turned into a man and still awaits his OWN time to shine.
Baby Sham has been with Flipmode Squad, the Busta Rhymes creation, since 1996. Yeah, he’s been featured on hit songs, movie soundtracks, traveled and lived the life of a music artist, yet Baby Sham only ever lived half the life of a music artist. It’s been over 10 years and the solo album he signed up for with Flipmode never materialized. Baby Sham’s okay with that because this time around, he’s doing it on his own terms.
At the age of 27, Baby Sham has seen the high life and seen the struggles of the industry alike. What’s most admirable is that he’s still around to tell his story. Baby Sham plans to take on 2008 in a momentous way, with hopes of releasing his first solo album, The New Movement. With no Flipmode affiliation on the album, Baby Sham created a full compilation of diverse songs and to show the true essence of Baby Sham. The entire album was produced under his own watch and wallet, for that matter. Handcrafted and self-made, this album just might be the answer to put Queensbridge’s Baby Sham back on the radar. Let’s see if Baby Sham can jog our memories about the old days of hip-hop again.
BallerStatus.com: It’s been a minute. What have you been up to?
Baby Sham: Working. As far as recording, working on the new album now, The New Movement. Doing the thing. I’m putting out the album myself. This right here, what I’ma do is the second album called Re-birth that should be coming out. New Movement, we outta here, everything together.
BallerStatus.com: Sounds promising. How many tracks are on it, can we expect “Shampane Love” and “How I Feel Bbout you” to be songs on the album?
Baby Sham: We have 22 tracks. So it’s kinda a double CD right there. First, me being signed with Flipmode, I was so used to doing eight bars here and there, 16 bars this and that. I’m being greedy on this New Movement album. Sharing tracks. When people buy it and cop it, they gonna get the whole feeling what I’m about. It’s basically my story — as far as me growing up, things I learned being around Flipmode. Nobody can get confused. Real big album.
I got my own editing and filming company called Dolten Bros. Inc. When I first signed with Flipmode, my first check was to buy a little camera. From 1999 to 2008, my brother done became a monster. The video game stepped up. We on that grizzly right now. My brother is editing the new video called “New Bounce.” The second single is “How I Feel About You.” “Shampane Love” is the strip joint, naming all the strippers… show me what you’re working with. Everybody had a story. It’s usually the females. I got a lot of commercial joints on this too.
BallerStatus.com: These two songs seem like a new vibe compared to your typical work. Are you trying out different flows with your music?
Baby Sham: Every last song, I promise you would not hear the same flow or tone in my voice. It’s completely different. If you play from 1-20, it’s still the same dude on that album. That’s Queensbridge slang and talk. I keep it commercial and keep it street. I learned that from Bus. That dude is not afraid to think outside the box, so is Ludacris. It’s never the same flow. He crushes it. I just spoke to Lakey The Kid, trying to get up with him and get him on something. As far as Queensbridge, everyone is on their own hustle. I don’t wanna be soundin’ like Queensbridge. I can’t have it. “Get Money,” that right there sounds like Miami. I’m not native Jamaican, but I can sure fake it. I grew up around Jamaicans and I can pick it up. I got one joint on my album called “Dying.” It’s Jamaican and crazy. “Can’t Move Me,” I’m also rhymin’ in Jamaican just to give people a taste that I can go that way. [Breaks into Jamaican freestyle and sounds legit]. You know, there’s a Jamaican Baby Cham, like me. He a good dude, I love his music, but I got something for everybody — you wanna shake your ass? Shoot somebody? Ball hard? Busta hasn’t even heard [The New Movement album]. He prolly heard like 10 out of 400 [songs]. The relationship with Bus is cool. We still rock. Before the New Year came in, we was on the phone. I sent him some joints. Whatever is whatever. As far as me and Bus, it’s good peoples. This time I’m going all out on my new album, ya dig?
BallerStatus.com: How did you get into the game in the first place?
Baby Sham: Before I started with Bus, I was already on Hot 97. I was on Killa Kids. I already knew I had the talent, but by us doin’ all these shows, every time I started doin’ a show, they always gave me a business card. I was a light. You can’t remove me from the light. If you remove me, then the bulb blows. I was getting a little bit of money. Everybody in my hood knows me — girls, all of that.
When Busta Rhymes came to the hood, they said let Baby Sham rhyme. Next, I’m at my table drinkin’ a Heineken, twisted rhyming to Busta Rhymes. He prolly didn’t understand the words comin’ out my mouth, but he felt my gear and flow. Busta stopped the video — “Ayo shorty, come back over here. Leave him alone, he’s already signed,” like “Yo, shorty f*** with me, f*** with me. Forget them n****s.” He put me in the car, me and Bus was talking. Yambo, God bless… he’s real big, he saw my talent and knew what I was. Yambo lookin’ at me like “Yo, Sham come out the car for a minute.” Yambo like “Ya, [Sham] a good dude.” Next thing I knew he took me across the street to the Infamous Mobb… Prodigy and Havoc. “We just figured you would be a little patient, we thought we could get ya’ll [Killa Kids] signed with us when we got our label right.” This is my time, I’ma do me. They were like “Go ahead, do your thing.” That day I was already a celeb. People come do a video, ask where Baby Sham at? Lil Cease askin’ for you, Missy’s [Elliott] askin’ for you. Like “Oh, sh– that’s what’s up.” I thank him for even giving me that quick opportunity. I’ve been spoon fed point blank.
Now, I am the CEO of my own company, I’m the CEO of Baby Sham. I’m free, I’m doing me. My own studio and other studios. I ain’t ballin’, but I’m managing. I’m pullin’ all this off myself without the help of other celebrities and I got my own contacts. But no, I don’t want no favors ’cause I don’t wanna owe anybody nothing. When the second album comes, I’ll call all my peoples. I want this album to be on the whole of Baby Sham. I was promised the album since 1996 and it hasn’t happened and it’s not fair. I want this year. I want this whole summer. Whatever I gotta do to get it, I’m pushin’ for it. Real talk. I know what path I’m choosing and that’s the won’t stop path. I haven’t even shopped my music that tough.
BallerStatus.com: We know that Rampage and Lord Have Mercy have left Flipmode. What’s the deal with that?
Baby Sham: Everybody is completely gone except Spliff [Starr]. He still rockin’, being a hype man for Busta. Spliff is not really focusin’ on Busta Rhymes, but if Busta Rhymes gives him the call, he’s gonna ride with his n**** and do what he does. As far as it goes, we get checkup calls — if you need a contact, Happy New Years, birthdays. It’s not phone calls everyday. We still check up on our n****s. We still got that relationship, but as far as business wise, Flipmode? Nobody’s there. [Busta Rhymes] got new artists on Flipmode, I wish them the best. Nobody can sell me the dream no more. I’m not gonna just jump out and be like “Let’s go, let’s go.” I’m worth more than what I was worth back then. I am the sh–. I picked up my talent. I know what I’m worth. Flipmode forever, but businesswise… NO.
BallerStatus.com: We heard that some of you left Flipmode and formed your own label called FMS. Is there truth in that?
Baby Sham: Me and Ramp [Rampage] spoke to Spliff and Digga [Rah Digga] about it. FMS is dope. We like that. When Ramp said the meaning of it [Famous Millionaire Squad], I mean I ain’t no motherf***in’ millionaire. I can’t take that name and ride with it. When I get my millions, then I can ride with it. It’s not supposed to be Famous Millionaire Squad, just Flipmode Squad. No one is actually working on a Flipmode album. I don’t think that’s going to happen right now. If you lookin’ for a Flipmode Squad album, it might not be the original members. Everybody wants that classic Flipmode stuff back. I heard online that people been petitioning to get another Flipmode album. We worked on a new album called The New Rulership. This is when we was signed to J Records. Bus leaked a song that has my solo, “Do Somethin’ Bbout It.” So the album was completely done and let it do its numbers, but obviously something happened between J Records and Busta. We had joints on there with Missy [Elliot], Snoop Dogg, and me, Slick Rick and Nas on one track. I did “Young World” over. It was supposed to come out in 2001. The Flipmode joint with Mariah Carey was on The New Rulership album, but he took that song and put it on his album. That sh– just never came out. I was so disappointed. He started shoppin’ and went to Aftermath [Entertainment]. Everyone just thought do your own thing. Bus was like “You always welcome in Flipmode, if you wanna do your own thing, on the grind, go ahead.” I’ve been with Flipmode since I was 16.
BallerStatus.com: Do you feel Busta is more concerned with his own music than Flipmode’s success?
Baby Sham: You know what? Busta is an artist. If you’re with an artist, Bus has a reputation to keep. By him having to deal with fixing other members of the group — he’s concerned about his own career. I’m not mad at him for that. He’s a triple platinum dude, but if you’re gonna rock with a team, then have everyone be on the same page. He was always a couple pages before us. I thank Bus what he did for me and what I learned from him, just by being around and watchin’ how he structures sh–. By me being 16, the next following month, I was in Italy. I thought this is beautiful, I love it. I’m just happy to be here. As I started getting older, I learned what it’s like. Wish you the best success, do your thing, but I wanna go over here for a minute on my grind and do my thing. Love Bus to death, but I can’t sit there and wait to get exactly what he wants and that’s gonna take too long for me.
BallerStatus.com: What do you think went wrong at Flipmode?
Baby Sham: Everybody was just tired of waiting around. Also, I was supposed to come out before Rah Digga. The rumor has it, I dunno if it’s true, but more than three people told me that I was suppose to come out before Digga when we was signed to Elektra. Bus probably felt I wasn’t ready, but the label did think I was ready. When I heard that I was like, “Oh, sh–. Word?” Through the years, it’s been like “This is how it really is?” I can be out by myself and do my own thing. I can’t speak for everybody else. Reason I’m not in Flipmode is because the first years I was signed was very beautiful, makin’ sure a n**** was eatin’. But when we got off Elektra, money wasn’t coming in and it was all different. When things started gettin’ critical, I wasn’t eatin’. I would get my one day in the studio, I would get amped and then everything would stop. After I did one song, it stopped. Money started slowing up. I started coming late to the studio and a lot of other stuff started happenin’. I called him up and I was like “Yo, Bus!” I gave him my feelings about what wasn’t right. He’s like “Yo, Sham I respect that, if you wanna go out there do your own thing.” From that day on I’ve been doin’ my own thing recording.
I know for a fact if I call Bus and I need help, you know what Bus would do? He would do it for me. But I don’t need Bus. I haven’t been around Bus like that for a good five years. Not asked him for any favors or anything, but Bus did help put the name out there, which is Baby Sham. As far as right now, this is my thing, not a Busta Rhymes thing. Everybody else got their own stories, some might be deeper. Things weren’t right. I started slackin’ and my slackin’ was for a good reason — I wasn’t eatin’. I was getting on the train at 4 a.m. and my boss was getting in the Lambo. That’s Busta Rhymes being an artist — a rapper, not a businessman. He’s not a corporate type of dude. When you start getting older you notice those things. When I was younger, Bus was getting in a Ranger and I was getting on the train. I was like “Yo, my n**** see you tomorrow.”
It was never my work ethic. My work ethic is very strong, I hugged the studio. I don’t play. I try to record 3-4 songs a day. I started just getting like “what am I getting? I’m not getting nothing. My plate is completely empty and you can hear my fork bang against my plate. God forbid I pass, people gonna still think I’m alive ’cause I got enough music. I don’t smoke weed, but I hear if you start smoking, you see stuff you don’t wanna see. When you smokin’, you start pickin’ up on the smallest sh–. You’ll pick that subliminal and turn it into something. When you sober, that sh– just flies past you. If it wasn’t subliminal and it was straight out, that’s when you handle you’re B.I.
BallerStatus.com: You’ve been on loads of movie soundtracks. What movie did you enjoy working for the most? Are you still doing songs for movie soundtracks?
Baby Sham: I don’t know if it’s official at this time. I think he’s [the producer] from New Rochelle. His cameras and stuff that’s some real sh–. He’s doin’ a movie right now and he wants me to take care of the entire soundtrack and whatever artist I want on it, will work. If I feel like calling Wyclef, he gonna be on it. He’s giving me the opportunity to create an entire album. Every God damn soundtrack I’m on, I crushed every last one of them. It got to the point where Bus and I started battling one another, seven songs in one night. Me and Busta was goin’ head to head finishin’ off raps. Go to the next one, lay that one down. Like “who’s finishin’ what?” The whole studio was booked. We had four studios locked down in that building. When you finish that, you go to the next studio. We was side by side. Busta gave me the look like “Ahhh I see what you doin’, you right here. I’m right here; not behind you… on the side of you.” I have not wrote a rhyme personally in a good year and a half. Whatever that you hear from now, never written down. All that’s from my head. My uncle came and smacked the pad outta my hand and was like “That’s too long.” Ever since then I didn’t write nothing down. All freestyle.
BallerStatus.com: What are some of your goals for this year?
Baby Sham: My company doing way more videos. Hollywood is callin’ my company to do videos or commercials. Baby Sham video goin’ no. 1 on the charts. Baby Sham in the movies, co-starring and building my foundation for the artists under me — Shot and Hook. This way they can feel the grind that I felt. One is from Queensbridge and one is from Yonkers. This dude that I got from Yonkers, he’s a f***in’ problem. This n**** does not stop at 16 bars. This n**** goes to 42. He’s greedy. When he start writing, he can’t stop. Otherwise, I’m grooming them to get them the commercial feeling. Stop killin’ too many people. 41st side, ride. Get it poppin’ homie.
For more information on Baby Sham, visit him on MySpace at MySpace.com/BabySham.