“For me, it was a dream but my dream may not be yours but put 200% into whatever your dream and goals. Be patient, persistent, have faith, and never give up because everybody is going to have something to say about your journey.”
Check out the interview with Og Big MaMa exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
SKILLY: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
O.B.M: 1989 Watts CA. My cousin Scott/Mc Shake, Rodney/ Mc T.I.E, and Curtis/Funky Gee came to me and said we want you to start a record label and be our manager. I replied, “why me?”. Shake said, “Because you have the money at that time I was hustling.” I told them I had to do some research and I will get back to them. I then went to the bookstore and purchased 2 books: Donald Passman’s All you need to know about the Music Business and Kashif’s Everything you better know about the Music Industry. I read some of both books, then went back and told them lets do it! They had a name, it was D.O.A (Dead On Arrival). I was like no try again. We came up with P.O.W (Prisoners Of Watts) and label Big MaMa Records & Productions. I started Flatland Entertainment LLC when I got out of the Feds in 09. Still grinding.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
For me, it was a dream but my dream may not be yours, but put 200% into whatever your dream and goals. Be patient, persistent, have faith, and never give up because everybody is going to have something to say about your journey. Go to school and take classes to help you get educated on what steps to take because, for me, people I thought should know didn’t know or didn’t want to give me the advice I was seeking. Also, you can’t take anyone with you: you have to get there first. Get your credentials and practice or study your craft daily. That’s something I learned. Practice makes perfect.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Me being a female of my stature, it’s hard first off. I’m a 2-time felon and most of the gangster rappers that Rap about the streets or jail 10 t0 1 hasn’t even done anytime or went to jail. Went for joy riding or domestic violence. I went for selling drugs getting money not bragging but I’m real. It’s hard to get reliable and trustworthy people who respect your grind especially when some of the guys be sex playing you all the time but I’m gay. I like what they like. I wasn’t always in the life but from things I went through with my children’s father or some man, I changed my outlook on some things. Also, remember this is a male-dominated industry. Then you have free Masons who feel we should always stand behind.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
My advice is to really save your $$$ and start grinding, go to the bookstore, get an attorney or a paralegal, because you have to have $$$ for marketing and promotion or go to school and have some willing teammates to take or learn every position you need to achieve your goals! It takes a strong team to win.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I love my city, but it’s Hard to make it here. People come from other cities and get on quicker then you will. I know a lot of people and I am a real gangster, so what you think nobody wants you to steal or take their shine but I’m still grinding. The hustle is real. I cant sit around and worry about no one doing anything.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
Successful in achieving my goals. I’m a Los Angeles City College music/cinema major receiving my AA in Commercial Music. Hopefully have a hit project if it’s in Gods plan.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My mother. She was a very hard worker. Her and my aunt had their own business on main street downtown in Alameda called the MAilBox Cafe. My aunts, my music teacher Shelly Thomas who pushed me to practice on my flute to be the best I could and got to try out at LACC for a scholarship. Ms. Herman at Drew middle school who let me know I could play a Sax but she put me on Baritone! Berry Gordy – I grew up on Motown and when I read his book when I was locked up. I knew I was in the right business label but for real I dreamed my life when I was a child. Michael Jackson, Janet, Diana Ross were a go-getter. Today Oprah, Obama, Maxine Waters, and myself because my change is something I would have never expected god is good, also Carol Carper and her staff for letting me see with a good team you can achieve your goals. Lastly, to George Bugaloo Frazier for making me realize my talents and not to be afraid to go for it.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
Hey, we have Bruno, Childish Gambino, Kendrick, Chris, Drake, but its a lot of BS Asap Rocky, Kevin Gates, and much more terrible the trap music the on lean music. It’s a whole different generation now. The new millennials are way ahead than us where the girls are wearing makeup at earlier ages. I think they see more than we saw back in the day!
Thanks! Where can we contact you and find you online?
Others Links: https://www.discogs.com/POW-Prisoners-Of-Watts/release/3557690