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Chillin' With the Baka Boyz : The Morning DJs Talk About Rap, Their Generation and 'Taking It to a Whole New Level'

November 20, 1994|MIKE WYMA

Eric Vidal, 25, and Nick Vidal, 21, are the Baka Boyz, morning drive hosts on Power 106 radio. The brothers take their moniker from their hometown of Bakersfield. High school dropouts, they are among the leading deejays in their time slot. Their station recently took heat for an advertising campaign promoting them as "2 Fat Mexicanz." The station has dropped the ads, but the Baka Boyz still use the label on-air. They were interviewed by Mike Wyma:

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Nick: This is a job we never thought we'd have. We set goals when I was younger, like 14 or 15. I wanted to be a deejay for a rap group. That was as far as my dreams went. And Eric wanted to produce records for rappers.

Eric: But every time we set a goal we would go for it and get it, and set another one, and set another one. Every one we've set, we've got.

Nick: The Fat Mexicanz thing started with B-Real , from the big rap group Cypress Hill. He was on our very first show at Power 106. He came out and said, "Hey, I'm chillin' with the two fat guys," and we rode off of that. Eric V. came up one day with 2 Fat Mexicanz.

Eric: We didn't expect no one to be offended.

Nick: What I'd tell them is, "Hey, I'm sorry you got offended. We didn't mean it to offend you." That's not our thing. Especially older people, because you have to respect them. But at the same time, there's a whole new generation saying, "Just like you were popping drugs or going to Woodstock, this is my generation. You didn't want your parents to say anything about what you did. Don't mess with mine because we're taking it to a whole new level."

Eric: There's nothing secret no more. Before, people wouldn't talk about sex, but now it's on TV. Everything's out in the open.

Nick: People say there's no morality, but I don't think that's the fact. The thing is, it's gotten dangerous and people need to speak upon it.

Eric: If this generation is troubled, it's because of the one before. They had the kids without the fathers and without the upbringing that they needed. The kids didn't have role models. There are a lot of kids that don't have dads. The family's split up, divorced.

Nick: Our base is Latin females, but we cross all barriers, such as high film executives listening to us and 40-year-old guys who live in Beverly Hills and own helicopter companies. I've spoken to people like this.

Eric: We play more music than anyone else in the morning. Everybody else is mostly talk.

Nick: We're not talking about the O.J. case and Heidi Fleiss. We don't care about that.

Eric: We stay away from the news. Our show is probably the only morning show in Los Angeles that does not do news. Someone got killed, 68 people died in a plane crash--people don't want to hear that in the morning. If they want that they go to a news station. If you want a Big Mac you don't go to Joe's Burgers.

Nick: Rap music is bringing everybody together. Pop culture is rap music right now. Pop culture is Snoop Dogg, is Dr. Dre, is Warren G, you know what I'm saying? Warren G just went 3 million records sold.

Eric: Dre sold 3 million. Snoop sold 4 million.

Nick: Rap is the new rock 'n' roll. It's going the same way rock did. No one wanted it to be heard, but you couldn't stop it. Snoop Dogg is the Beatles of today.

Eric: They're rapping about things that they see and things that they know about. It's a window to what's happening in the world. If you want to know what's going in the streets, listen to some records.

Nick: We're regular people. That's where we came from and that's one of the reasons we're successful. We came from the streets, we know the street lingo, what the new music is. We're in our demo (demographic group), which is 18 to 34, not old like Howard Stern or Rick Dees.

Eric: We started real young, deejaying at parties and like that. Our first show was an AM station in Bakersfield, Friday and Saturday night. It was funny. Nick was a little kid. He was 15 years old, talking on the radio.

Nick: I started deejaying and I knew that was my heart, that was where I wanted to be. It had to be something with music.

Eric: Not to take away from high school, but for what we were doing and the field we were going into, it wasn't going to help us. We decided to concentrate completely on our work, our music. We'd come to L.A. to buy records and listen to music because we had to be the hippest ones in Bakersfield.

Nick: A lot of people don't take what they learn and put it to work for them. They don't take 15 cents and make a dollar out of it. That's what you have to do these days. You have to get that little opportunity and blow it out of proportion. And if you don't, you're outta here.

Eric: I'm always thinking. I'm thinking about what we're gonna do, what's the next step. I've been losing weight because my mind's not at rest. I used to be 215 but I'm down from that.

Nick: I weigh 247.

Eric: We want to do a talk show or some type of TV thing. Basically what we do on the radio. Bring in guests, they do songs, just have fun with them. We're talking to some big TV people and we're looking for some people to take the chance on us.

Nick: This is what we were born to do.

Eric: We like to make people feel good in the morning. We had one girl fax us and say her child had passed away from sudden infant death syndrome.

Nick: She said she didn't want to do nothing for two weeks. She just stayed home depressed. She was in bad shape but she had to get up in the morning and go to work. She said she turned on our show and we got her through. She laughed and it got her mind off the child enough that she could go to work.

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