Denver native Moses Baca, better known by his rap moniker FBP Moe, started out as a different kind of baller. But after injuring his knee a few too many times on the basketball court, he decided to ditch the sport for a whole new game: the rap game.
Luckily for him, he had music in his blood.
"My family, my uncles, they been doing music. They been in the music industry out here in Denver for a minute, and they're really good," he says. "So I just always had it in my heart, you know what I'm saying? So I figured I'd run with it, and I ran with it, and it is what it is now. They put that music in me at a young age."
Only eighteen years old, Baca was born at Denver Health and raised in the metro area. Even when he and his mother were living in Westminster and Lakewood, they would regularly take the bus to Denver to visit his uncles and other family members.
Baca counts his uncles as his biggest influences when it comes to making music, as well as contemporary rappers like NBA YoungBoy. He draws inspiration from his own life and hardships growing up.
"You go through a lot of shit when you grow up, and you see a lot of shit," he says. "To be able to put that in words and to music, that inspires me. My music is real. You can feel the pain in it; it's all authentic."
Successfully channeling pain and trauma into music is arguably what made Baca start earning fans in the first place. On June 2 of this year, his cousin, King Daniel, was shot and killed in Lakewood.
"Me and him had a lot planned," says Baca. "He was my cousin, he was a barber, he was planning on going to school with me, planning on rapping with me, and unfortunately, we lost him."
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To honor Daniel's memory, Baca dedicated his next release, a music video for a song titled "No Pressure," to his late cousin. "I put him in the video, because I had to show love," says Baca.
That video went viral. Released in late July, "No Pressure" has already racked up more than 160,00 views, and continues to get roughly 2,000 additional views every day.
How did the video become so popular?
"I really don't know, honestly. I just posted it, and I didn't pay for no promotion; I didn't do anything," he says. "It's all natural, raw views. It's all love. I get more love than hate in the comments, but you know, we don't worry about the hate. I was surprised. I was really just seeing how it would go, and it really ran up. It's a blessing, for real."
Like a lot of rappers, Baca rolls with a large posse. The difference is, they're all his family members — including his mom.
Keeping family around him reminds Baca of his primary motivation: "I do this for my fam. For my mom. I do this for my cousin who passed. I do it for all of them, my brothers."
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Even his rap name showcases this bond. "FBP" stands for Few But Plenty, the unofficial Baca family motto.
"My family — there really ain't no family like this," he says. "I got a one-of-a-kind family, definitely, so we're few, but we're plenty. We're all we need."
Hear FBP Moe and more favorites from Westword writers on our Westword Staff Picks Playlist.