Doesn't it warm your heart when the son of two prison inmates makes good? Raised by Grandma while the folks were doing hard time, former Bay Area resident Baby Bash broke into the scene after moving to Houston and working with South Park Mexican's Dope House label. Bash, also called Beesh by loyal fans, is currently on Billboard's charts with the new disc Tha Smokin' Nephew, which is getting a sizzling response from old and new audiences alike. Taking cues from such widespread influences as Con Funk Shun, Too Short and Tom Petty, Bash has delivered an album that deftly mixes crunk and funk with some sweetly sensual vocals. Always a hit with the ladies, Bash can charm the pants off any lover of beats with his savvy, soulful style. But the Latino breakout insists he's not a rapper, arguing "I'm more of a spitter." Maybe you won't want to stand too close to the stage when you see him at Avalon's grand opening this Saturday, November 15.