Terrance Stewart, known to many of you as DJ Bay Bay, aka Governor of I-20, is definitely the man in the cities of Dallas, Texas and his native hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. Since 2007, Bay Bay has been engaging Dallas listeners during the KKDA-FM (K104) Afternoon Takeover, each and every weekday from 3pm-7pm. When not on the air, you can find Bay Bay spinning music and hosting nights at Koko Pelli’s, one of Shreveport’s premier adult party spots.
A one-time dancer and choreographer, musician, and Grambling State University student, Bay Bay was always somehow keyed into music or the music industry. He’s become known to many as the inspiration for Hurricane Chris’ multi-platinum debut single, “Aye Bay Bay,” certainly a turning point in both the careers of Bay Bay and Hurricane Chris.
Part of Bay Bay’s significance to the marketplace is his ability to spot new talent, hear the hit potential in songs, and get them played on the air and during his show. He wields a lot of influence in that regard, and is on speed-dial at many major and indie labels. Bay Bay basically personifies the term, “Street A&R.” Once listed at No. 23 on the Source Magazine’s Power 30, Bay Bay says, “My brand is to introduce new music, whether it’s on a national, local or regional level. I like to think I’m a very influential resource in my area. I’m in the community, the clubs and radio heavily.”
It’s no surprise that many of the local artists in and around Dallas are garnering greater response in the market than many of the major label artists with larger marketing budgets behind them. “Dallas is a very special place,” says Bay Bay. “If you can make it in Dallas, you can make it anywhere. The same can be said for Shreveport. If you’re on, you’re on. If you can generate a buzz, Dallas will normally support what is uniquely theirs. And, with me being a tastemaker, everyone, of course, wants to be introduced on the ‘Bay Bay show’.”
KKDA and the ‘Bay Bay show’ can lay claim to ground zero for a bevy of acts—among them, some of the hottest underground acts to hail from the South and Southwest over the last five years; whether Hurricane Chris, the GS Boyz (known for “The Stanky Leg”), Big Chief, Young Black, Dorrough, Gatorman, T-Cash, JJ the Freestyle Prince, Doski G, Tum Tum, Prime Time Click, Mr. Lucci, Cottonmouth, Big Tuck, Pooca Leroy, [Dallas-based] Rich Mind Records, and dozens more. “I’m so excited about the local scene, because we really have some great music coming out of here, like Silverback Records. I think they’re gearing up to be the new Cash Money. But these are people I rock with,” says Bay Bay, who maintains close ties with numerous DJ Coalitions. “I’m good friends with Tony Neal of the Core DJs. We are like brothers. I’m a Heavy Hitter DJ. And I used to be a Hitman DJ.”
What’s keeping Bay Bay even busier these days is the promotion and buzz being generated by his own single, “Trunk Full of White” (AnWhat Entertainment). The song features Yo Gotti, Dorrough, and Jim Jones. Regarding the label, Bay Bay says, “AnWhat Entertainment is a machine that consists of a bunch of DJs, street teams and dancers, all under one umbrella. It is a hub to create opportunities for independent artists and for artists looking to generate a buzz.”
Bay Bay will be the first to attest that his success didn’t come quick or by working alone. He’s been through some rough times, and has gone through the fire and back. He also shares that a number of friends and mentors have helped in shaping his career, individuals he’s mentioned like KBTT air personality Jabber Jawz, Shreveport PD Quinn Echols, K104 air personality Cat Daddy, former K104 PD Skip Cheatham, current K104 PD George Cook, K104 morning show producer Gary Saunders, and K104 owner Hymen Childs. “I went to private school, so many of my teachers and my marching band director Cleveland White also mentored me. But I thank everyone who God put in my path.”
Bay Bay goes on to say that, “There are no quitters in the music game, only those who quit before it’s their time. This game is about hustle, branding, having a good product to brand, personality and networking. It’s also important to have a good attitude. I’d like to see today’s young DJs start doing a better job of being actual DJs when it comes to playing music. You’ve got too many DJs that want to be artists—and there is nothing wrong with that—but you got a lot of DJs who don’t play a variety of music because they have artists, and they’re too focused on being CEOs than taking on the responsibilities of being a good DJ. The internet should not be the only source to expose people to get new music. DJs have got to step up and continue to do the work of a DJ and being the best at what it is we do.”