Go Against the Grain

By Evan Groll 10.21.2011 blog

Over the summer Shelby Holliday and I traveled to my hometown of Houston, Texas for a few stories we were working on at the time. One of the stories was a profile piece on an up-and-coming young rapper named Baby Jay. As a Houston native and hip hop fan myself, I really enjoyed producing this story. Here’s why?

We started off our day with Baby Jay over chips and salsa and some mean tamales at the original Ninfa‘s in Houston. I always find it useful to interact with people in a casual setting prior to an interview. That way, everyone has the opportunity to get comfortable with one another before the cameras turn on.

From there, we headed to one of Baby Jay’s recording studios and got an exclusive listen to some of his latest music. (Actually, I think part of his upcoming single “Respect” will air in the piece.) We didn’t quite know what to expect from Baby Jay’s positive music, but as soon as it came on we were blown away! Baby Jay and his manager played us three songs from his new album and each one was better than the next. I was amazed by his sound and his ability to intertwine such a positive message into such provocative beats. It was incredible! We were listening to music that you could hear blaring at a club or dance party, yet the hard-hitting rapper was going off about respect and treating women properly. It was refreshing.

We also had the chance to speak with some of Baby Jay’s former classmates. That was cool because we were able to hear how his music affected them. They had nothing but positive things to say. I could tell that their relationships with Baby Jay were very impactful and they viewed him as a source of inspiration. It was encouraging to witness someone so young make such an impact through his creativity.

After spending the day with him, I can tell you that the he’s going nowhere but up! And when he does, remember that you heard it here first. Right now! Trust me, Baby Jay is a name you won’t soon forget.

You can also check out the videos below for a behind-the-scenes look at the story.

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