INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Music producer D. Baker is serious when he unveils his new industry moniker.
For the uninitiated, D. Baker — like a few good musicians throughout
history, including la Madonna, Prince, Nelly, Jay-Z and others — uses
an abbreviated name in the music game.
He is also an Independence resident who produced two tracks on hip-hop star MIMS’ debut album, “Music Is My Savior.”
“Savior” contains one of 2007’s biggest hip-hop songs “This Is Why I’m
Hot,” which spent three weeks on the Billboard charts as the top single
in the country. D. Baker appears alongside MIMS in the video for the
“I’ve just came up with my new alias,” D. Baker said. “Just call me the new ‘Mayor of Independence.’”
D. Baker said Independence’s official mayor, Don Reimal, need not worry
— he has no plans to run for mayor in 2010. But he does want to be an
ambassador for Independence, like Nelly was for St. Louis when the
rapper debuted in early 2000.
Before Nelly bowed with the nine-times platinum-selling album “Country
Grammar,” St. Louis was little more than a blip on the hip-hop music
“I don’t think people here in Independence realize they have a
top-selling music producer right here in their own backyard,” D. Baker
said, adding that he has four daughters in elementary, middle and high
schools in Independence. “I go up to my daughters’ schools and the kids
up there recognize me from MIMS’ video and they ask me for my
autograph. The kids love me here.”
D. Baker owns his own production company, recording studio and music publishing company.
A former resident of east Kansas City, D. Baker, his wife and children
relocated to the area a little more than a year ago. The family has
invested in two newly developed townhouses near 23rd Street, living in
one and renting the other to tenants. His recording studio, Sound is
Geto Studios, and production company, Getosoul Productions, are based
out of his home in Independence.
One of the two songs he produced for MIMS’ debut album from Capitol
Records, “Girlfriend’s Fav. MC” (featuring J. Holiday), was recorded at
D. Baker’s studio in Independence. Liner notes from the album confirmed
MIMS’ recording session for “Fav. MC” at Sound is Geto. “Big Black
Train,” D. Baker’s second contribution to the album, was recorded
Those moves, according to D. Baker, are unprecedented in the area. He
wants the city of Independence to welcome him with open arms.
“How many people you know in Independence can say one day they were in
Chicago, chilling with MIMS at a Jay-Z concert at the House of Blues,”
D. Baker said, “then the next day be back in Independence at Starbucks
yapping it up with the local newspaper?”
D. Baker’s entertainment attorney, Eric Kayira of Blackwell Sanders LLC
in St. Louis, described D. Baker as an ultimate hip-hop hustler.
Kayira, who represents signed and unsigned music artists from across
the country in all genres, said he knew in his initial meeting with D.
Baker he was going to sign the 31-year-old beatmaker.
“Right off the top, when I heard [D. Baker’s] production from MIMS’
album, it was outstanding,” Kayira said. “Both were songs of merit and
quality, and I knew right away I wanted to help him.”
Kayira cited D. Baker’s business acumen and fortitude as qualities he
likes in all his clients. He even invited D. Baker to invest in a $10
million dollar studio being built in the historic Soulard neighborhood
in St. Louis. The studio, as well as the record company, will be known
as The Hit Syndicate.
“I like him as a businessman, I like his vision, I like his music and I
like his hustle,” Kayira said. “All my clients are good at their trade
and they have good character. D. Baker is no exception.”
In the end, D. Baker just wants people in the city to embrace him,
embrace change and embrace diversity. Music, he said, is a key in
invoking change. Gone, D. Baker said, are the days of African American
males in the area with substantial assets being unfairly labeled.
“I just want people here to know somebody from Independence has worked
on an album that had the number one song in the country for three weeks
on it,” he said. “A lot of [African Americans] in town are stuck with
the mentality [that] Independence is a city with the ‘good ole’ boy
network’ still working in it. It’s a new day. It ain’t going to be like
that with me.”
(The Examiner of Eastern Jackson County, Mo.)
Baker, founder of Sound is Geto Studios, considers himself an
ambassador for the city of Independence, Mo., in the hip-hop music
scene after producing two tracks on rap star MIMS’ debut album, “Music
Is My Savior.” D. Baker also appears alongside MIMS in the video for
the smash single, “This Is Why I’m Hot.” (AP photo/The Examiner, Julie