*Bangladesh is a country east of Pakistan, west of India that was partitioned from Pakistan in 1971 after a war of independence against Pakistan. That’s about as much as we knew about Bangladesh prior to last week. And as far as producers named Bangladesh, we hadn’t a clue … until last week, as well.
OK, sure he has worked with Beyonce, Usher, 8 Ball and MJG, Jamie Foxx, Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris and Missy Elliot, but it’s not like we’re running around reading CD labels anymore. What, with all the subpar production going on?
But Bangladesh, born as Shondrae Crawford in Iowa of all places, has been producing hot tracks since 2000. Who knew? There are so many trash tracks masquerading as hits that we tend to not even listen to broadcast radio preferring to download music instead. To our surprise Bangladesh even agrees with our assessment of modern pop-leaning rap music.
“The music is dumb because, in this generation, the parents are terrible,” Bang tells our Lee Bailey. “It’s all a chain reaction. You’ve got kids that are raising themselves and they set the standards kind of low. If they only look up to Souljah Boy, and that’s the standard, then that’s not hard to do. They’re kind of dumbed out already. They’re dumb.”
That’s awfully critical to be certain. Normally artists and producers are hesitant to criticize others in the industry for obvious reasons, you can’t cross a bridge you’ve already burned. But the advocate of modern pop-leaning rap music will quickly mention those controversial rap groups of the past that had America wanting to censor everything, but Bang says common sense still starts at home.
“Honestly, if you’re not being parented you can’t blame it on the music,” he told us. “I was brought up on NWA, Ice Cube and 2Live Crew. See, the difference is I learned in the home. I learned right from wrong being parented, not only by my mother and father, but by my aunt, my uncle, the lady down the street, the dude at the park … all that. So, I didn’t believe what was happening in the music. My kids won’t have an excuse to blame it on the music. It’s entertainment. Even if something makes you contemplate on something that really happened to you or somebody you may have lost, it’s nothing to make you wild out and start taking drugs and acting out what you hear in the music.”
As the interview progressed it was no time before it started like he was indicting the music industry for crimes against artistry.
“I grew up on music that was changing the game. I grew up on Organized Noize, which created Outkast, which is one of the best groups, creativity wise, in Hip-Hop history. I grew up on Timbaland, who changed the game of beat making. I was inspired by a whole nutha level of people. Today they look up to Souljah Boy, and I ain’t knocking him, but we just need more of a variety of things to look up to.”
Everything is all fun and games when it’s time to dish out the criticism, but when Bang was asked about the role he plays in helping perpetuate modern music’s creative malaise he quickly jumped to defend his craft and explains why he’s different.
“Me, personally, I’m on a whole different creative level,” he explained. “I don’t give a f**k what a song says in it. It’s how you say it. Even if you talking about murdering somebody. It’s how you say it. It’s the creativity you put in it that’s going to let me know if you’re on a whole different level or if you’re just saying something simple and plain. I put in way more than anybody else. I love this music. It’s more than just making money. I’ve got a track record of game-changing music.”
Those that are not certain as to why Bang is relevant today we need only offer “A Milli” the hit single by Lil’ Wayne. The beat is unquestionably hot and is still banging the asbestos off the pipes at your local hole in the wall. But as hot as it is, Bangladesh tells EURweb.com that he’s still trying to get his money. Sure he’s getting industry props and some of his money, but, in the words of Jay-Z, if a man is owed 10 dollars he ain’t trying to take 9.
“The thing with that is, for ‘A Milli’ getting played on the radio, I get paid for that. But the unfortunate thing with Cash Money, the record company, is they get their money first. All the money comes to them first. It don’t go through no other company. It goes through them first and they pay Universal. It’s up to them to be responsible and dish out the rest of the money. It’s not Universal or Interscope that’s not paying royalties or nothing like that. It’s Cash Money Records. It’s so crazy that they were taking (former Cash Money producer) Mannie (Fresh) performer’s rights away.”
Wait, Mannie Fresh? Aren’t he and Baby like fric-and-frac, peanut butter and jelly and so forth?
“That’s my whole point,” he continued. “You’re looking at the situation like they’re tight and they’re best friends, they definitely don’t give a f**k about me. He (Baby Williams) is screwing his best friend around. What they do in the camp is they pay people cash to take their mind off what they’re really supposed to have. You might get a million dollars, but you’re supposed to have 5 million. If you’ve never had money you’re going to take that million dollars and be quiet. You wouldn’t expect for anybody to do their boy like that. He’s a big reason why you’re prospering and why people are playing your f**king music. He’s one of the founder’s of Cash Money. Why wouldn’t he pay him? Why wouldn’t he pay? You’re still making money. He’s gotta be extra greedy.”
That’s a whole lot of money and Bang tells us that he’s just trying to get what’s his. He says the sad part about it is this is simply how Cash Money does business. He says he did everything that he was supposed to do but Baby is simply trying to wait him out.
“There’s nothing that I did to get myself into this situation. Plain and simple, they’re not paying me the money. There’s nothing in my contract that gets them into a little loophole where they ain’t got to pay. And that’s just what they do, they don’t pay and you have to sue them to get your money. A closed mouth don’t get fed and Baby has done this to a lot of other people and they don’t say nothing because they’re scared and I guess they just don’t want to get paid. There’s no bad paperwork. I get paid royalty from Beyonce, which is much bigger than Lil’ Wayne. I get royalty from everybody I work with, that’s accumulated royalty money. That’s just what you’re supposed to get. They’re just blatantly not paying and they’ve done this for years. I’m just the only one that’s saying something about it. The whole industry knows that Cash Money doesn’t pay royalties. Nobody says anything and that’s why they keep doing it. If you don’t claim yours then you’re not going to get paid. As soon as I say something about it I look like a hater. I’m trying to go against the team because Wayne’s in jail, naw man! It’s nothing like that. They need to pay what’s owed, man!”