Interning for HipHopDX gave me the opportunity to work under whom was at the time their News Editor, Soren Baker. I remember feeling intimidated by Soren's incredible talent and journalism experience. Now I have the honor of holding a conversation with him at this years Tucson Hip Hop Festival on Saturday, February 24th.
Having published several books including various editions of "I'm the White Guy: The Journey of Soren Baker's Life as a White Rap Journalist," I respectively decided to hold a discussion regarding being a white journalist in the Hip Hop industry.
With over 3,500 articles under his belt for publications including (but not limited to) The New York Times, XXL, and The Source, Soren Baker's conversation at the festival is not one to miss. Below are eight q's with Soren.
What’s the most memorable concert you attended and why?
A July 2002 LL Cool J concert at the House of Blues in Chicago. During a break in his performance, LL Cool J saw me in the crowd and said, "We got my man Soren Baker in the house." I was stunned. I had interviewed him earlier that day and we had an incredible conversation after the interview. It means so much to me because I think LL Cool J is the best rapper of all time.
If you were to select one piece of Hip Hop history that truly inspires and/or moves you, what would it be?
The Schoolly D poster my dad gave me when I was 12. Schoolly D is my favorite rapper and I look up to him in so many ways.
What’s your favorite Bun B track or lyric?
There are so many, but I always loved how he mispronounced "my scenario" and then corrected himself on JAY-Z's "Big Pimpin'."
What unique aspect of your career is your favorite (or most fulfilling)?
Being able to live my dreams. I dreamt and had the goal of living a life in the rap world starting when I was 12. I've been able to to do it, which has been phenomenal.
What are you currently trying to learn?
What I don't know.
*How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success?
When I don't get something I'm aiming for, I try to figure out another way to get it, or decide if I should keep trying to get it. This process taught me that sometimes "failing" to get something means creating another opportunity for myself. I always try to keep that in mind.
How do you define success?
Being able to do what you want to do.
*What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
When I started writing, my dad told me to make a database of all the articles I'd written and was writing. More than 3,500 articles later, it has been a regular and steady resource.
*Q inspired by Tim Ferriss
To attend Soren Bakers panel discussion on "Being a White Journalist in the Hip Hop Industry" at the Tucson Hip Hop Festival Saturday, February 24th, purchase your ticket here or at the Rialto Theatre box office.