Tobacco Ryan: The Ghetto Samurai

Interview By Nasa Lamode

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Houston, Texas has a rich culture that is ever growing. This culture is cultivated by artists and creatives that constantly push the envelope and innovate. I got the opportunity to interview a specific artist who has both their hands and feet submerged and is part responsible for the creation of an aesthetic that is unique to the city. This aesthetic combines vintage fashion with an alterative melodic sound. Tobacco Ryan, the young black visionary and founder of “Bald Boy Inc.” shares with me his background, future endeavours and latest projects in this Bad Habit Magazine exclusive. Check it out:

Nasa: Ryan. Appreciate you pulling up today for our “Studio A1” prelaunch. How you feeling?

Tobacco Ryan: I’m feelin great man.

Nasa: No doubt, what new projects are you working on right now? 

Tobacco Ryan: Currently, I’m just working on singles right now. I dont really have no like “set projects” at the moment.

Nasa: Oh word. For those who don’t know you, what exactly do you do? 

Tobacco Ryan: For those who don’t know me – I direct, I screen write, I’m an artist – a music artist. And um…yeah. And I act.

Nasa: What is ‘Bald Boy Inc‘?

Tobacco Ryan: So ‘Bald Boy‘ is just like a creative space. A creative firm. It’s in the startup stages right now. But yeah, I call it a “creative firm” because we have people that’s into fashion, art, modeling, videographers, cinematographers, photographers that are all part of ‘Bald Boy Inc‘. So it’s more of a community within the Houston creative space.

Nasa: Interesting name bro. Haha. As far as the music go, how would you describe your style?

Tobacco Ryan: Um, my style generally changes by the seasons, but my niché is basically like Alternative and Melodic Rap and R&B. I’m kinda getting into the Pop sound a little bit more. But right now, mainly Alternative Hip-Hop, Alternative R&B.

Nasa: It’s definitely unique – I first got put on to you from your ‘Pink Tobacco’ project. Since then what’s changed?

Tobacco Ryan: With me, I would say it’s been like a cycle since “Pink Tobacco”. Right now, the change has just been more of just getting back to the “Pink Tobacco” space of just having fun and creating music by just telling my story.

Nasa: I peeped you had a record out with Lil’ Flip. That’s a big W. How did that come to be?

Tobacco Ryan: So my team decided to just network and collab with some Houston names and Lil’ Flip happened to be one that came up. I grew up listening to Lil’ Flip and I would say he was like one of my biggest inspirations as a child doing music. I just remember watching him on TV, tryna learn his lyrics. So to do the Lil’ Flip feature was a full circle moment. Shoutout to my team for making it happen and reaching out to Lil’ Flip and his team.

Nasa: I actually interviewed ‘Sensei MJ‘ a few months back and I also had ‘Big Zay‘ feature in one of my videos. Both of them brought up ‘BloomxSet‘ – for those who don’t know, what’s Bloomxset‘?

Tobacco Ryan: ‘Bloomxset‘ is a music collective that kinda branched out when we were in college. It was me, Gardvn, and Anbujxne. So it kinda seated from us and spread into multiple creatives and multiple artists that we all just come together and collaborate and make great music.

Nasa: My homie Trell, the mind behind “Set Sail Apparel” had a nasty campaign posted with you featured in it. Bro, you’re all over the place. How do you manage to do all you do and still day to day shit?

Tobacco Ryan: Umm..honestly, I dont really think about that actually. I just go with the flow man. Whatever life brings me, just dive into it and just have fun with it. Stay positive with it. I just, ya know, just see what the present got to offer. And yeah.

Nasa: Do you creative direct all your projects or do you sometimes let others take the wheel? 

Tobacco Ryan: For the most part, yeah. I usually direct most of my visuals and my art direction as far as the music goes. And then, you know, I may reach out to collab with other people. Like last, “Your Wildest Dreams” album, I collabed with Josh Allen on the art direction for the rollout; which is like the album cover and the first video to the album. But as far as the music aspect, it’s generally me, Teruo Rhodes producing or Concept Studios producing and engineering or Barron – Dorothy or Izzy engineering. So yeah, that was baically “Pink Tobacco” and “Your Wildest Dreams” which is that collaboration with all the people I just named. Along with Pierre Cohen.

Nasa: Where do you get your style inspiration from?

Tobacco Ryan: Umm. Bro I just- I think it’s a genetic thing probably, cause my mom. She’s big on style. She probably is not as much as she used to be. But I would say probably my mom. And my dad. Like growing up and watching them dress and like, I dont know…I feel like that’s where I picked it up from. And just like watching a bunch of music videos and movies growing up. I just always caught onto like, the eye of things.

Nasa: No, your eye is dope – it has a heavy retro feel, but modern. Do you draw creative inspiration from throwback films?

Tobacco Ryan: Well, I could say so, yeah. I grew up favoriting a bunch of Black Romance Films. So you can kinda like peep that in my music sometimes, in my visuals. That’s kinda like where I picked up alot of that inspiration. And alot of those movies were like 90’s and early 2000’s. So i kinda like, meshed them, in a sense. And then I get the 70’s style vibe from old vinyls that my grandpops used to collect or I used to listen to and things like that. So it’s just a mesh of a buncha things bro. I just soak up alot of things and I just formulate them within myself.

Nasa: What’s some of your favorite throwback movies? Like 80’s, 90’s and shit?

Tobacco Ryan: Ehh. Umm. I like “The Grinch”. The one with Jim Carey, I just think aesthetically that was just like a great movie. Umm. I’m ashamed to say it, but goddamn, “Baby Boy” man. I grew up like just liking that movie; like the fashion trends in that movie was kinda like slept on to me. Umm, what else? It could run deep man. I liked the “Parent Trap” growing up.

Nasa: I personally really like Tarantino. I fuck with “Jackie Brown” and “Kill Bill” heavy. I also like them A24 joints. Pretty much anything that’s DIFFERENT and artsy. Like “Batman Forever” from the 90’s. I like a mind-fuck. Like “Sorry To Bother You” and “Scott Pilgrim Vs The World”And then I like that Black poetry shit like “Love Jones” and “Brown Sugar”. One of my favorite joints though is “Man With The Iron Fist” with RZA. But what about music? Who’s in your playlist right now? 

Tobacco Ryan: Right now, I’m getting ready to drop. So I been tryna listen to alot of my things while I’m planning like the creative direction for it. But other than that, I would say I just been getting into alot of like Alternative Pop and Jazz and so I would say – like I listen to “Harry Styles” of course. Even though he came out with his last album like a year ago. I kinda catch on late to things- I’m either like super early or super late when it come to things. Who else I been listening to?

I listen to the new “Lil Yachty”. I be listning to alot of old records, like a lot of old R&B, like “Joe” and one of my friends sent me this old “Billy Davis Jr” album. I been listening to that.

I like “Fetty P”“Fetty P Franklin”. I been listening to him alot. He kinda like gets me on my hustle-grind. That’s really about it honestly. And umm, “Dijon”, forsure. I been going back and listening to “Frank” alot, getting ready for Coachella. Other than that, just my homeboys. “Gvrden”, “Jxne”…umm…“GoldenChild”. Yeah, thats some projects I been listening to.

Nasa: What’s an interesting facts about you that people don’t really know?

Tobacco Ryan: I don’t know man. I can like draw and paint really good. I’m a hell of a screen writer. I’m probably like top 5 funnniest niggas alive. But yeah.

Nasa: Anything other knowledge u wanna drop on us before you slide?

Tobacco Ryan: Umm, shout out to you, for being a dope creative in Houston. But, just look out for a lot of dope content and dope music to come out this year. Expect alot of just DOPE THINGS to coming from “Bald Boy Inc”. And new faces joining “Bald Boy Inc“.

Nasa: Appreciate that bro, off top. Alright, well thank you for pulling up yo. And I’m geeked to see your career unfold.

Tobacco Ryan: Likewise.


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