Everybody knows we’re Native Tongues fanatics at Bboysounds, and we’re truly stoked to bring you our interview with Afrika Baby Bam of the mighty Jungle Brothers (@junglebros4life), for some wisdom on the culture, along with some bboy sounds.
DJ CHiEF: Who is Afrika Baby Bam?
Bam: Afrika Baby Bam aka Bam is one of the lead vocalist of the legendary hip-hop group Jungle Brothers. The name pays homage to Afrika Bambaataa for giving the inner-city youth a positive vision of themselves and their community.
What was the Breakin scene like in the days before the JBs? Did any of the Brothers break?
Back in the days before we became a group, I was b-boying and popping on cardboard mostly for fun and to get loose to the breakbeats!
The Native Tongues collective produced many mandatory tracks of what has become the “Bboy” genre of music. Did you ever find yourself making a track with Bboys and Bgirls in mind?
Most of the breaks and grooves we used to make records are what we heard at block parties, neighborhood jams, and on boom boxes. It was the sound of those records that we understood and identified with.
“Those breaks speak a language to us that we can communicate our ideas and tell stories about our experiences with.”
“I’ll House You” is such a seminal moment in Hip-Hop and House music, marking in retrospect a paradigm shift in the directions of both genres. You’ve worked on a number of House tracks over the years, but can you ever imagine taking it back to the “Hip-House” days?
I can imagine taking it back to the Hip-House days. When I wrote “I’ll House You” it came from the inspiration I got from going to after parties at house clubs.
I wrote the song in twenty minutes. It had a double-meaning. We used to say “I’ll house you!” when we were slap-boxing. It also meant we were going to bring a girl home; since we were the Jungle Brothers, to the Hut. It was a flash of inspiration from hearing breakbeats edited into a house beat. I love to dance so this was a fun record to make.
What are you working on now and where can the people listen to it?
I am working on a collaboration for a Bam & Mr. Dero self-titled Ep to be released this 4th of July, 2014. The first single “On & On” and my other current works can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/officialbam.
What message do you have for the Bboys, Bgirls, and Hip-Hop heads around the world?
“The art of breaking and the culture is a positive recreation. It saved a lot of youth from gangs, drugs and a life of crime.”
It gave the youth something positive to do with their life that they could feel proud of and respect. This was before the sponsored events and media attention. I think it’s important for people to remember that when they’re battling in competitions.
Much respect and appreciation to Afrika Baby Bam, Jungle Brothers, and the whole Native Tongues family!
Make sure to listen up for upcoming releases from Bam as well as all the dope sounds he’s been putting out, such as this illness: