I’m sitting and listening to the current album “Dubbed Out” from Badbwoy BMC and all I can think about is how far Billy McCain aka: Badbwoy BMC has come since we both met more than 15 years ago in our hometown of Houston, TX.
I was finally able to catch up with BMC, as he is known by many including his friends, and I was finally able to ask those couple of questions I should have asked when we were both putting together events or enjoying other people’s events. What is it about your sound that is so addictive and where do you get the ideas for it? The conversation went well and as a matter of fact it was literally like catching up with an old friend.
You see the thing about Houston is that it’s not the easiest city to make it in. You have your supporters, your haters, your inbetweeners (the people that flip flop weekly on whom they support) but then you also have your movers and shakers. BMC has always been a mover and shaker, maybe it’s due to spending time in Port Arthur where it may not be a large city and to many it’s still a small town. Maybe it’s the fact that in 1994 we were all listening to the sounds of Chris Anderson on KTRU radio or at the teen clubs where you could catch Andrei Morant spinning the latest underground sounds prior to his climb as a now celebrated Techno producer. What ever it was it all played a hand in BMC discovering the sounds of Break Beat, Acid House and early Jungle; a drive that remains in him today. I asked BMC what attracted him to the “the scene” and aside from the various sounds that had no label at the time other than Acid, Gabber, Jungle and Techno what was the attraction? His response was a simple one “To expose people to a vibe, music and culture as well as build a community full of like minded people”. The two guys early in the scene that allowed BMC to forge ahead with this idea were none other than DVS1 & Vishnu, these are two names that I recall and respect greatly. They were also the earliest members of The Purrin Lion Crew. If memory serves and I believe it does, The Purrin Lion Crew was the biggest Jungle/ Drum and Bass crew in Houston. Some of the largest Drum and Bass events to date were because of this crew. Right smack in the middle of it was BMC. Don’t believe me? Google Houston Rave Scene and you will find countless flyers with his name alongside some of today’s and yesterdays largest names. Not an event would go by with out running into BMC as we ventured out each weekday or weekend night. Rather it was when he was playing Tuesday night at The Oven, Wednesday night at Cardi’s, Friday night at The Orbit Room or a Saturday night at some event in the four corners of H-Town you were sure that where he was… so would be a crowd thick as well as deep. But, this conversation was not about where we all hailed from it’s about where BMC has forged ahead too. Badbwoy BMC is a Houston legend and a Space City leader by most accounts, so I wanted to know how that makes him feel? I mean that’s an honor most never even accomplish! Think about it… in your city or town what DJ/ Producer has gone from listening to New Wave music back in the early 90’s to arranging remixes for one of Hip Hops largest labels Swisha House? Ok, Ok… so maybe you don’t have to think of it in that context but by today standards and with the way we jump at any kid who tweaks a knob and calls it original art, how many can really say they hold a title that is still respected by countless many? Back to my conversation with BMC and I am still wondering how he feels about being looked at as a legend in his own right? So I let him put it in his own words.
“Ya know I have always done my own thing, with the help of many people, we have done a lot to maintain a healthy scene for bass music. I think I have influenced the scene in my own right. I know I connected the EDM scene with Houston’s rap scene through my Swisha House stuff. But, Houston has a lot of good talent and many people do their best for the scene in their own ways.”
Maybe that’s what led to the arrangement and the various collaborations with his current album “Dubbed Out” as well as his previous “Welcome to Trillstep” which by the way is still available via Google Play, Amazon MP3 and iTunes.
I’m talking to BMC and inquiring about how the whole match up came about. The match up I’m referring to is Swisha House & Badbwoy BMC. Remember Houston isn’t a city, it’s a culture. When you grow up in the 4th largest city in the nation or a city of just under 9 million people, you’re going to expect that some type of identity will be at the forefront. For Houston it has always been Hip Hop but just not any kind of Hip Hop we’re talking Dirty South and for The South it’s pretty much a religion. BMC was no exception to that religion and when he found his own way to merge Hip Hop with Drum and Bass then add a signature twist to it… well… ladies and gentlemen you get Trillstep.
At least that’s how it was explained to me but I still had to ask the question “why?” and “how did that it all come to happen, furthermore what as an artist do you do with Swisha House?”
His response to my persistent questions of the what, where and why were actually interesting.
“Yea the Swisha House thing happen because things fell into place at the right time. Growing up in Port Arthur at the time UGK was blowing up and southern rap was kinda was ingrained into me. I have always followed them and other Houston rappers like Lil KeKe, Slim Thug, ESG, Watts and DJ Screw. Growing up in Southeast Texas there’s no escaping it. So, even when I was doing Drum and Bass I would mix in these guys over it. Mainly ‘cause it always went off on the dancefloor. So that being said Swisha House and I were kinda drawn together. Mainly by Mike Frost, he did all the artwork for Swisha House and a lot of the Houston rappers. When I found out he moved his art studio into my old apt I asked him to let me remix a Swisha House song. He got me two acapellas and I made one song out of em and gave ‘em back. I never really heard anything from it, besides they liked it. So about a year later Frost randomly shows up to one of my weeklies I was doing. I saw him walk in and I did a lil’ set of rap remixes that my friends Dread Foxx, Big Ben, Chango and I had been making. He really liked it and told me that night he was gonna set it up with Swisha House. A week later I go into Swisha House and meet everyone we all hit off nicely and got to work.” While listening to BMC break it down for me I start to notice on my tablet a series of remixes as well as what seems like a cult following under Badbwoy BMC remixes via YouTube. I also begin to notice how he’s holding back something. That something is his recent coming aboard West Coast label Shotcallers.
I ask him what it all has to do with his “Dubbed Out” album and what more we can expect with this recent coming aboard? “Shotcallers will be putting out an EP with a Trap infusion Dubstep thing with my new tune Bad Bitches as well as Stop ‘n Look. Also, we are working to find a way in teaming up and bringing additional support to the Swisha House LP Dubbed Out. Watts and I will be doing a Swisha Bass, a sub-label to Swisha House and doing that soon so we’ll be looking to Shotcallers for that added support as well as looking forward to working together soon.” From original productions to remix work, from label association to even touring. The Badbwoy BMC brand continues to move like a machine. Up to this point it’s been a one man machine and that man is BMC. Even with providing a platform that has allowed other artist from not only Houston but Texas as a whole to share their sound and style. That place is Texas Dubs, a gathering of various artist/producers sharing their sounds solo or together. Later came a website that started simply as a forum listing info of the next event to catch those artists as well as what area nightclubs were supporting them. Over time it grew into more than that with merchandise, news, artist releases and DJ mixes as well as where the people attending these events could discuss their likes and dislikes.
It’s this place that Badwoy BMC announced his touring a few years back and it’s this place that he would continue to push the boundaries to share his sound, his craft and work. It’s this place that such touring in California, Louisiana, Florida and his home state of Texas were announced. People could follow along through various updates as well as blogging. This kept things as interactive as possible.
I asked BMC how that touring went and if he found the support he was hoping to find for his upcoming album release? “Well, California was sick and with some very cool people! Big ups to Ritual, Church and the Grimey guys for doing it up right. New Orleans has Bass Church and it was off the chain, large up everyone over at The Den and to Erik for rocking out till 7 in the morning on Sunday night. Danger! My man Prolific, who runs shit in Florida, brought me down to Nighttown in Destin for a week long adventure. It was a good vacation and I got some remix work done. Texas this last time around was pretty cool. I got to play a Red Bull sponsored party that was raising money to overturn Houston noise ordinance. Cool thing ‘bout that party was Bun B and Webbie played after me and watched my whole set. Someone from Webbies camp contacted Watts and they want a Trillstep remix for Webbie new LP. So I’m looking forward to that project. Also, I played in San Antonio for Vincent V and got to kick with my Eye Ten family and the club was off the chain! A really big vibe in there and the crowd was diggin the trillstep bits.” After touring BMC took some much needed time off and what better place than at his new home in Colorado. Recently BMC relocated to Colorado and in regards to new adventures as well as to expand on his sound. It was time for a move and I even recall having that conversation with my long time friend. Rather than dive in head first or take things on as maybe he has in the past BMC decided to walk into this new adventure. I’m talking to BMC and he seems more centered, more focused almost a Zen like persona. It would be creepy if it wasn’t for the fact that I know that feeling well. It brings me back to my time in California where yes the area has a lot to do with it but so does stepping out of your element and trying on new challenges. That’s exactly what BMC did and it’s paying off. With meeting new people and forming new circles who continue to point him in the right direction, as well as his recent playing at such venues like Club Vinyl in Denver, I couldn’t help but wonder if there would ever be a reunion to The Purrin Lion Crew? It didn’t sound like that would be happening anytime soon… but hey… maybe I put an idea into motion. After all, this was the crew that brought the who’s who of artist in the world of Drum and Bass as well as Jungle, their own magazine, clothing line and paved the way for many of today’s Texas artist. Sitting here chatting it up with BMC, we’ve talked so much of where he has come from as well as the recent touring and all the various things that gave him the ability to share his signature sound and even the labels that are in support of that sound. But, where does he go from here? Where does he transition from here and if he already has, when did he see it happen? I know that question can seem almost cliché but that’s why I’m sitting down with BMC for in the first place, right? This is my chance to finally ask my long time friend those things that we all want to know from an artist and never seem to get the chance to ask. I’m only lucky that at this point BMC hasn’t outright gotten up and said “forget this, buddy!” Nope instead he shares how Swisha House and getting to DJ with Michael Watts was a big transition and accomplishment. Now, he’s finally getting his sound tight and able to play more originals in his sets not to mention being more creative with his productions. I guess that’s why you end up with an album such as “Dubbed Out”. Well, actually I don’t need to guess cause I’m talking to the man that did just that. It took years of various creativities, pounding the pavement, up’s and down’s, failures to success. It took growing up in a city that has no problem seeing you fall and walking right over you without extending a helping hand. Houston is also a city that will celebrate you proper… if you give the people a reason to do so. That’s exactly what BMC has done. He shook up the city of Houston in a positive way and with a sound that has everyone knowing where it came from. I live in Austin, TX yet I hear it everyday of people that were playing House music now incorporating Trillstep and Trap into their sets. Badbwoy BMC accomplished being able to set standards while raising the bar without even trying.
We know it as The Third Coast or H-Town and it’s represented well by artist we continue to celebrate today. What Badbwoy BMC has done with this latest release is take a remix LP that covers a lot of different styles of Bass music and find a way to not water it down. I’ll be honest with you, it’s damn refreshing. With all the blah blah blah you get from producers that are playing today within Anytown, America it’s hard to actually listen to an album from beginning to end as well as do what in BMC has done “get the sippers leanin”.
This is not a “watch what I can do and see if you can do it better” album. This is a contribution to today’s ever changing music scene and it’s blending of genres.
With so much attitude that comes from many of today’s artist/ producers, it’s nice to see a full album come from someone that has been doing it longer than most while still preserving that Bass Heavy sound with Hip Hop Grimey flow! It’s that time to wrap things up, too much coffee has been drank and people starting to give that look as if you are about to heist the joint. I decide to ask one last thing from BMC. Can we expect any upcoming releases or collaborations and if so with whom?
“Yea… Watts and I are gonna make a trap mix with all kinds of artists on it, should be ready in a few weeks. Swisha Bass will be droppin some new artist from the Texas Dub camp and few other producers I wanna get to do releases. Shotcallers will be also puttin’ some of my stuff out so look forward to that.
I’m currently working on some remixes for Karina Nistal, a latin vocalist from H-Town that now lives out in Los Angeles. Foul Play Rec. will be puttin’ out an EP of mine this fall. Werd2Jah and I are working on an EP and there is some talks of me and Lil Young doing an LP together.”
To learn more on Badbwoy BMC or about his upcoming releases visit. TexasDub.com | SwishaHouse.biz | ShotcallersMusic.com | Soundcloud.com/Badbwoy-BMC