While Brandon Almond was gearing up to spend the holiday with his three kids and family, he took the time out to speak with us and bless you with a virtual tour of his Marietta (pronounced May-retta by locals) hood. For a little background on the town, between 2004 and 2012, 1,300 units of affordable housing in his hometown were demolished, “due to poor conditions of homes and high criminal activity.” It was a move by the Marietta Housing Project that left 120 families displaced and led children to start hustling at early ages.
As for the man, “B.A.” stands for the initials of his birth given name, and “The Great” is a title he earned in the streets. Today, Mike WiLL Made-It’s new artist, B.A. The Great drops his new mini-documentary “Marietta” right here with Don Diva for an exclusive world premiere. The presentation peels the curtain back on what the town and its history mean him and his community.
Before taking the “tour,” here’s what B.A. had to say:
Don Diva: How long have you been rapping and what inspired you to start making music?
BA: I been rapping since like 2010. Just being a voice for the streets and my hood. Nobody knows about the shit that was going on around here. The turmoil, the struggle and all that. I just wanted to be the voice to speak on that and make a way and platform for all the youth in poverty coming up behind me.
DD: How did you meet Mike WiLL Made-It and can you recall how it made you feel?
BA: I was at a club performing at an open mic. I showed up late and people were already telling him about me. He was like, “I got to hear him since I’m already here,” so he actually took my disc, took it up to the DJ and made them play it. He seen the crowd’s reaction and came up to me after the performance like, “Bro, I got to work with you.” He got my number, pulled up on me the next day, dropped off some beats and I murdered them. It just been on ever since. It was like a confirmation from God. It’s like a blessing, an opportunity to make a way for myself.
DD: What’s the story and inspiration behind “Marietta?”
BA: That’s my hood, where I’m from. That’s the place that made me and raised me. In “Marietta,” we’re basically speaking on three generations that been lost and never talked about. It’s a side of Atlanta that nobody knows about and I’m going to bring it to the world. It’s a billion dollar crack trap full of kids and It’s just crazy poverty. Nobody knows about it and I’m introducing it to the world for the first time.
DD: What do you want fans and viewers to take away from your music and mini-documentary?
BA: I’m a real person. I came from shit and just kept believing. I want them to see the perseverance and continuous grind. After all the jail, chain gangs and all that, I just didn’t quit. No matter your circumstances, believe in yourself. There’s a bigger picture. Don’t look at your circumstances, just dream big.
B.A. The Great came from nothing to something and, to some, his story might be an inspiration. It’s not where you start out, it’s where you end up. So, if you’re inspired to witness his come up, go do these three things: check out his debut album Cross Town executive produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, follow him on Instagram at @2nd2noneBA and take a walk through his city by watching “Marietta” right now! The mini-doc has been described using the following words:
In the mini-doc, B.A. and other former residents of the Marietta projects show their determination and defiance, returning to the site of the former housing projects to host block parties and barbecues, dodging police officers and city officials, all in the name of keeping the community spirit alive. It adds new context to Cross Town — after Mike WiLL Made It saw B.A. perform one song at a club, Mike made him a promise: if B.A. spent a year wholeheartedly putting his life into his music and staying out the streets, he would give him a chance. The result is Cross Town, a story of redemption that pays homage to his hometown that gave him a sense of community amidst a great deal of struggle.
Without further adieu, Don Diva presents “Marietta,” the new mini-doc by B.A. The Great.