He’s the first hip-hop artist signed to the Classic Motown label, and as such, B. Taylor both embraces tradition while simultaneously recasting it. Here’s what the Navy veteran has to say about his rising career in music:
What does B. Taylor’s music sound like?
"Many people have said my sound reminds them of Tupac in ways because of my instrumentation and voice, but they also say I have my own unique sound. I’m more than just a rapper, I’m an entertainer."
Pete Moore (singer for The Miracles) called you the "Stevie Wonder of hip-hop." Are there ways in which you try and bridge the classic with the contemporary?
"Yes I do. First of all, working with Pete Moore of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles has helped me develop my raw talent as an artist, musician and producer. He showed me the techniques that Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. taught Smokey and The Miracles. He has also allowed me to be mentored by some of the other legends (The Miracles, The Supremes, The Marvelettes, Martha Reeves of the Vandellas, The Four Tops and others). He says I have a Motown feel because of my musicianship and he wants to bring that out and incorporate the Classic Motown sound into hip-hop to bridge the gap."
Recently, you became the first musician to ever be approved to shoot a music video aboard a naval aircraft carrier and military base for your upcoming military themed single "Best of the Best." What was that like?
"It was truly an honor and one of the greatest moments for me. The former Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig and former (retired) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vern Clark really supported me and made it possible for me to pursue entertainment while I served in the U.S. Navy. They introduced me to Cmdr. Bob Anderson (director of Navy West Entertainment). Anderson is responsible for movies such as ‘Men of Honor,’ ‘Pearl Harbor’ and ‘The Antwoine Fischer Story.’ He and his office have been supportive of me for the last six years and helped get the video shoot approved by the Department of Defense."
You’ve collaborated with a variety of artists, including Nick Cannon, Nate Dogg, Cuba Gooding Sr. of The Main Ingredient and Ray J. What have you taken away from working with those guys?
"I got into this business nine years ago after meeting Snoop Dogg, his mother, Beverly, and his younger brother, Bing. They gave me opportunities to meet people in the music industry and utilize my talents. I performed at Snoop’s mom’s birthday, then her wedding and also at a birthday party for one of Snoop’s kids. From that, I was able to meet and perform with Nate Dogg and also become friends with Nick Cannon and Cuba Gooding Sr. of The Main Ingredient. Nick and Cuba Sr. have allowed me to collaborate, write and produce music for them. All of those connections helped me get recognized by Pete Moore and the other Classic Motown artists. Now, I am the first hip-hop artist on the label and am being passed the Motown torch."
Hear B. Taylor at btaylor.com.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476.