“B.A. The Great, born Brandon Almond, could be the next artist you see make an impact in 2018” – HYPEBEAST
B.A. The Great represents a new voice in the Atlanta scene, and he has the blessing of Mike WiLL Made It. The rapper met the hitmaker in an unlikely way. “The first time we met was inside of a club. I was trying to get a song played. Not even knowing me, he took the CD straight out of my hand and up to the DJ and told him to play it,” recalls Brandon Almond, who uses his initials. “I grabbed the mic out of the promoter’s hand and performed my song. Mike saw me and the crowd’s reaction, and came up to me and told me, ‘Bro, I gotta fuck with you.’” True to his word, the Grammy-winning producer for Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, and 2 Chainz pulled up to the rapper’s Marietta, Georgia home the next day. “He saw a real story: a guy who is really from over here and who’s got the hood behind him.” The ATL section lacks hope. “Everybody’s on dope, selling it, or in prison. I’m like a savior out here.” After meeting B.A., Mike made a pledge.Read more
“We just sat down and had a great one-on-one talk about my life and where it was going,” says B.A., who left prison in 2016 after a two-year stay. Hustling since he was 13, Brandon long had wished for an alternative. The poverty-stricken hood is known for its addicts, dope peddlers, criminals, and daily deceased. “I told him that that’s all I wanted in life, was to get out of the street. He told me that if I give him a year of straight hard work—and get out of the streets, wholeheartedly put my life into music, he would give me a chance. That’s what I did.” B.A.’s polished-but-impassioned EMPIRE debut, Cross Town album is that result.
Associated with a label known for melodic superstars like Rae Sremmurd and the Trap vibes of Trouble, B.A. stands out. Growing up, his CD collection was a passport away from the crack bags and an addict father. Scarface, T.I., 8Ball & MJG, and Biggie gave him hope. An homage to B.I.G., Cross Town begins with “Everyday Struggle,” a venting song about circumstance, stress, and survival. “I’m a regular guy. I want you to know that I’m going through what you’re going through,” he says thoughtfully. “I got kids to provide for. I never want you to think that I’m above you. I want you to look me in my eyes, ‘cause I’m talking to the person in front of me.” The aesthetics of his album, from its name, its symbolic stop-sign portrait artwork enforce this. Songs like “Anyway,” loyalty anthem “Day1,” and video single “Trap Crazy” fall in line with a theme. “I’m tired of trappin’,” he says of “Anyday,” a song B.A. is especially proud of. “It would make me crazy, ‘cause I hate having to look behind my back, watch for the cops, watchin’ for robbers, or anybody that would harm me. That’s all the hustle game is about.” Since finding a new path, B.A. admits that he has apologized and paid back the people whom he once hurt.
Mike WiLL oversees the 11-track project filled with hard-nosed raps about turning a page in life and rising above life’s inexplicably unfair disadvantages. Having a freestyled verse appear on Gucci Mane’s “Trap Money (Remix)” in his unsigned days, B.A. is gifted with the pen and the mic. For the first time in his life, the relative upstart has a team behind him that wants to see him make an example out of success. Mike WiLL told The Great, “Be yourself, stay original, tell your story.” Cross Town represents that place that so many people pretend does not exist. B.A. The Great fights for a better way over those coveted EarDrummers sounds, and he does it while looking listeners straight in the eye.
B.A. The Great Causes Chaos at a Car Wash in “Anyway” Video
B.A. The Great Pays Tribute to His Oldest Friends in “Day 1”
B.A. The Great Shares Mike WiLL-Executive-Produced Cross Town Mixtape, Premiered by HipHopDX
BA The Great Engineers a Prison Break in the “Bus Patna” Video
BA The Great Provides an Unfiltered Look at Trap Life in His New DGB-Premiered Music Video
B.A. The Great Announces Cross Town Mixtape, Dropping October 26th, Premiered By HYPEBEAST