In honor of TRUE magazine’s Women if Hip Hop issue, TRUE talks with Baltimore female DJ Angel Baby.
TRUE: What essence of Rap music has allowed it to last this long and why do you think so?
DJ ANGEL BABY: I believe the creativity, versatility and the ability to continue to evolve into new things. Also, new expressions and new meanings has allowed rap music to last this long. It seems that every new generation of Hip Hop adds their own little twist to rap music.
TRUE: Which part of the Rap music industry still needs improvement and why?
DJ ANGEL BABY: The part that the record labels control needs the most improvement. For years, they’ve been making extreme amounts of money off of artists and in return those same artists weren’t reaping the same financial benefits. Nowadays, no one really cares about being signed; no one really buys albums anymore and record labels are losing money. If the record labels could get their acts together and evolve with the industry then the world would be a better place.
TRUE: Tell us about your experience being at Washington D.C.’s radio station WPGC 95.5?
DJ ANGEL BABY: WPGC was the best. Imagine a kid straight out of college, using their degree and having fun at the same time. I had many jobs there, but primarily I was in the imaging department. I had some interaction with almost every celebrity you can imagine. Any VIP that came to the station, I recorded and produced drops for. In addition, I was able to work with and be groomed by some radio legends. WPGC was a great learning experience and stepping stone.
TRUE: What have you learned about the industry you work in and what effect does that information
have on you now?
DJ ANGEL BABY: I’ve learned so much and still have far to go. I would say the one thing that stuck with me the most is what one of my mentors told me, “in order to be respected, especially being a woman, you have to be better than the best.” So, everything I do I go hard . Its 100% or nothing at all with me. This industry is obviously male dominated so in order to be respected, ladies you have to be 10 times better than the best and that describes my work ethic.
TRUE: Explain why or why not DJ’s should have a well-rounded knowledge of music from different
DJ ANGEL BABY: If you have no versatility you won’t last long at all. You will be pigeon held in this one little box and eventually you’ll burn out. So to avoid all of that, step out of your comfort zone. Listen and learn music you may not have necessarily liked or grew up listening to.
TRUE: What song would you choose to describe your current mood and why?
DJ ANGEL BABY: Kanye West ft. Jeezy “Amazing.” Why? Well, Young Jeezy says it all in his verse: “B***h I’m amazing, yeah I’m all that. If I ain’t on my grind…then what you call that!!”
TRUE: Name an era of music that you love to mix songs from?
DJ ANGEL BABY: I know most DJ’s would probably say some dope song from the 90’s or dig in their crates for some golden era of Hip Hop. But me? I came up in the industry during the current era so I would have to say the present.
TRUE: What about that era of music stands out to you?
DJ ANGEL BABY: A lot of the current music is light with fun lyrics. It’s not necessarily the most lyrically profound but you can definitely party to it and I like to see people party!
TRUE: Pick a song from 80’s Rap and 90’s Rap that you would mix together and why those two?
DJ ANGEL BABY: Wow, so many to choose from, but I’ve definitely mixed LL Cool’s J “Goin’ Back To Cali” into a mean Biggie set kicking it off with Biggies version of “Back To Cali”
TRUE: What is your style on the 1’s and 2’s? how would listeners know it was ANGEL BABY without it being stated?
DJ ANGEL BABY: My style is simple. I like to play for the ladies in the party…since we make up the party (no girls, no party)! I play what we wanna hear. So if you see all the girls rocking off in the club its probably me on the 1’s & 2’s.
TRUE: Are there still mixing contests between DJ’s? have you ever participated in one? why or why not?
DJ ANGEL BABY: There are still mixer contests and one of my all time favorite battle DJ’s is Qbert. As for me, no, I’m not that nice yet give me a few years though.
TRUE: Tell us about your non-profit organization Urban Artemis and what made you decide to partake in empowering the youth of Baltimore?
DJ ANGEL BABY: Urban Artemis is a non profit organization that my two close friends and I came up with to change the perspectives of young women in our area. Growing up in Baltimore all we’ve seen were girls getting pregnant, getting STD’s, dropping out of school, becoming statistics, etc. Today not much has changed. We made it out of the hood, went to college, have careers and now it’s time to reach back. We want to save as many youths as we can. Simply put, Urban Artemis is inspiring to aspire; we want to show the youth there’s more to life then their surroundings. We want to show them that just because this is where you came from does not mean this is where you have to end up.
DJ Angel Baby definitely has a lot going for her and so much more to conquer through Urban Artemis. Baltimore residents should be proud of her success and watch as she creates more opportunities for herself and the youth in her area.
Interview by Brittani Blackwell