Who is aka Big A? Big A is a Detroit underground emcee of Lebanese origins. Deeply rooted into Detroit City, the emcee stays true to his Lebanese heritage. Listen to his say!
Big A interview questions
1.What motivated you most to get involved into the rap business?
-I’ve been listening to rap music ever since I was 3 or 4 years old. I loved walking to the record store in South Lebanon an hour away to buy rap tapes. The feeling I got while listening to this music was a mix of entertainment, empowerment and inspiration. It really touched the deepest parts of my soul. I travelled to the United States at age 18 and didn’t start rapping until 3 years after that. The pure business aspect is necessary for an artist cause when you dedicate more time for the music by quitting your day job if possible for example, you will be able to paint a better picture with your music.
2.What is the story behind your nickname?
-My real name is Ahmad and after growing up listening to a lot of Big L and Big Pun, I decided to be the next “Big” rapper and now you have me: Big A.
3.From what I understand you’ re of Lebanese origins. To what extend is your music bridging your country of origins with the Detroit style?
-I love that you said -Detroit Style- cause Detroit got so much style and so many international music pioneers. The bridging of styles and cultures is all over my music. A local Hip hop producer: Zhao-Ski (who’s my music mentor in a lot of ways) played a huge role in initiating my recording career and he introduced my 1st album Conscious Gangsta to the music scene in the summer of ’08. One way to really answer this question is by watching the music video of the song Same Struggle which showed how the 2006 Lebanese war can be put in the same video with the struggles of Detroit city.
4. What is your opinion about fellow Detroit Lebanese rapper Merciless Amir? Do you like his style?
-Wow I really respect that you know Detroit’s history like that. I’m really still learning myself and it’s amazing when you look at the influence that such artists like Merciless Amir had on our favorite rappers in Detroit. This made me make a phone call to my homie Mudd from 5 ELA and the conversation extended to almost 2 hours. He told me to look up the song “A Day Without A Rhyme” by Merciless Amir and was showing me how he was like the Rakim of Detroit! Thanks for this question yo! And also as far as Lebanon’s contributions to Hip hop, my homie DJ Lethal Skillz from Lebanon has been holding it down for quite a while and the Hip hop scene there is growing with artists that have amazing talents like MC Moe, Malikah, RGB and so many other rappers, producers and so on.
5.What is your opinion about the local Detroit hip hop scene?
-I love the Detroit Hip hop scene and I’m proud to be a humble representer of it. Last night I went to my favorite spot called 5 Elements Gallery. This spot is starting a movement thanks to DJ Sicari (the owner) who is one third of the crew 5 ELA. Piper Carter was hosting a weekly event called Foundation and it’s about bringing it back to the roots of Hip hop culture. At any moment you’ll see music heavy hitters come through like Finale, Invincible, 5 ELA, Dj Head (Eminem’s 1st Producer), Jessica Care Moore, Monica Blaire, Dwele, USM crew, Slum Village, T3, Elzhi, DJ Dez, One Be lo, Nick Speed, AML crew…. The point I want to make is: The atmosphere is amazing and the theme can vary from Break Dance lessons to Graffiti art to the vital role of Women in Hip Hop and so on. It’s just amazing to me to see positive things and positive people in the middle of going through an economic crisis. I have a big front-bumper sticker on my truck that reads: I LOVE DETROIT. “what more can I say?”
6.According to you, is it an advantage to be Detroit rooted?
-It’s a huge honor and something to be proud of to be Detroit rooted. I’m building with different groups of the community and we all love Hip hop. J Dilla, Aretha Franklin, Steve Wonder, Awesome Dre & The Hardcore Committee: They all from Detroit. There’s a lot of credit to be given and that’s a whole interview by itself but for example a lot of people don’t know Detroit is where Techno music was originated.
7.What is the most difficult challenge you had to face since you started rapping?
-Being in the States in 2006 while my family and friends were in Lebanon during the July war.
8.Which local Detroit artists have you collaborated with already?
-Zhao-Ski, Fes Roc, Miz Korona, Technique De Elite, Illite, Finale, Asylum 7, Aztec, Lab Techs, Sleepy Biggs, J Borro, Joe Nehme and some more other cats…
9.How would you define yourself as an artist?
-I spit that real grimy gangsta rap combined with the humility of being God’s servant. I reach out to everybody and I love making songs with different artists from all around the world. I’m just here to learn and I’m down with creating a new revolution based on respect and honesty while taking over the world.
10.According to you, what makes you appear as unique on the Detroit scene?
-The way I represent Lebanon to the fullest and stay true to my Arab Heritage and our Palestinian cause.
11.Who is your biggest influence on the local scene and why?
-Of course I’m very influenced by all Detroit artists but Zhao-Ski has been consistently my mentor through all this journey. We’ve developed an amazing stage show together and he’s been bringing a lot of knowledge and wisdom to the table.
12.Could you summarize your work since you started rapping within a few lines, especially for the readers who don’t know you well?
-I’ve shared the stage with the best local and international performers. The musical collaborations have been non-stop. Most importantly,my album “CONSCIOUS GANGSTA” speaks for itself. Please check me out @ WWW.MCBIGA.COM
13.What are your current musical projects?
-There will be surprise joint projects coming soon with a couple artists I look up to. And I’m also working on new Big A solo material. If any beat-makers want to provide beats, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and you can go to facebook.com/mcbiga
14.Which Detroit artist(s) (you haven’t collaborated with yet) would you envision a collaboration with?
-5 ELA, Invincible, One Be Lo, Black Milk, and Elzhi to name a few…
Thank you for the interview.
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