By Jasmine Palmer
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
For some college students, doing an extracurricular activity is something to fill spare time. But for Joshua Baker, his spare time activity turned into his present career in radio.
As a student at Towson University, Baker said he was the average communications major.
He imagined himself using what he learned in the field to aid in a future career in business marketing. Baker attended classes and spent a lot of time partying on the weekends. It was not until he decided that he wanted to do a little more with his life that his path took a turn.
“I made a decision that I wanted to do more than what I was doing so I proceeded in figuring out what steps that I needed to take in order to start a radio show for the college’s radio station, XTSR,” Baker said. “I proposed the idea of a hip-hop focused radio station run by me and another student and before I knew it the LesBake Radio Show came to pass.”
The radio show would air once a week and feature the latest trending hip-hop music, interviews with local hip-hop artist, and eventually interviews with more mainstream artist.
“My first major on-screen interview was one that I did with hip-hop artist B.O.B when I did coverage of the Under the Influence Tour at Jiffy Lube Live in Virginia,” Baker said.
As December of 2014 approached, Baker knew that the time for him to graduate and move on to a new chapter in his life was growing nearer each day. By this point his passion for radio and hip-hop music in general had grown so much that he knew his career in radio was not something that he wanted to leave simply as a college memory.
“While I still had my college radio show, I would reach out to different media outlets to see what opportunities may lay ahead of me,” Baker said. “I would email and call people who worked for outlets that caught my interest, like HotNewHipHop.com, to see if they were looking for anyone in the DC, Maryland or Virginia area to conduct interviews for them. Eventually I got the response I was looking for and that’s pretty much how I got in the position that I am in today.”
Just one year after walking across the stage of Towson to get his degree in communications, Baker is a media correspondent for HotNewHipHop.com, which is a major website in the hip-hop community that showcases different artist and new music.
While working for HotNewHipHop.com, Baker has had opportunities to interview artist like Wiz Khalifa, Lil Boosie, Machine Gun Kelly, Dej Loaf, and A$AP Rocky. He has also had the opportunity of doing coverage of the green carpet for the 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta and the red carpet for the 2015 BET Awards in Los Angeles’
“I never thought it would get to this point,” Baker said. “It’s cool to know how one little radio station movement could turn into what I actually do for a living.”
Although Baker may still be in disbelief about how far his career has come, many of the people who work closest with him say that they are not shocked at all.
“I started working with Baker about two years ago as his camera man when he did his first on screen interview,” Marcel Dutch said. “I knew that his career would grow just because of his patience, his work ethic and his persistence. Now we are at a point where we do interviews with artist that I never even thought I’d meet in real life like Wiz Khalifa. I was always a fan of his.”
“I met Baker though mutual friends about four or five years ago,” said Durell Adams, a longtime acquaintance of Baker. “He has definitely evolved over time. I can see the change in the quality of his interviews since he first started and they have definitely gotten better. Even with all of his growth I don’t look at him any different though. He’s still a very humble person.”
Baker said that although he receives so many congratulations from so many of his peers he still feels like he has so much more growing to do in his career.
“I imagine myself someday having my own major radio show maybe for like iHeartRadio and eventually transitioning to a major network,” Baker said. “I admire people’s careers like Terrance J. and Big Tigga. It’s nice to look at their careers and see their progression. I know that I have already come so far myself though because I never imagined being at the point where I am now where even other media outlets like MTV, XXL, The Source and Vibe Magazine recognize my work. Those moments have been like the highlights of my career thus far.”