Friday, May 21, 2004
in Baltimore you can die over five dollar issues
COMP: THE BOY FROM BALTIMORE
(part 1 in a continuing series in which I rep my fucking city)
Comp is an 18-year-old MC who was signed to Def Jam last year. There was a profile of him in this week's issue of the Baltimore City Paper, so you can read that here and I won't bother regurgitating a bunch of details from that article, except that Comp's father, Pockets, is not a rapper but has a cooler nickname than Comp. You can get a few Comp mp3's here. I haven't really heard enough of him to really be sold on him as an MC, but he's not bad and definitely has more potential than anyone from Baltimore to blow up right now. His album's supposed to drop this summer, but knowing how the industry is these days, I wouldn't be surprised if Def Jam kept pushing it back another year to build buzz and get him on more guest spots, which would probably be for the best anyway, as far as giving him a real shot at putting Baltimore on the map.
The first Comp song I heard was "Do Sumptin'" from the Cradle 2 The Grave soundtrack, which was ok but not particularly promising. Then there was "So Much Fire" featuring Cam'ron, which was good, but pretty much a generic Diplomats track where Comp got outshined by Cam. Around that time Ghostface's "Run" featuring Jadakiss and Comp also started making the rounds. Of course, on all the mixtapes and radio stations outside Baltimore, people would always cut off the song after Jada's verse, so noone knew Comp was on it. But he was on the official 12" and he was in the video. Unfortunately, the version on The Pretty Toney Album doesn't have him on it. But his verse brings some over the top energy that suits the song well. He's also had some good grimey freestyles on the Harm City mixtape (hosted by Ghostface), and on the NBA Live mixtape, where he spits over the wonderful Transformers-sampling instrumental from Three 6 Mafia's "Who Gives A Fuck Where U From".
But what's really sold me on Comp is his current solo single, "Harder", which is big on local radio. It's got one of those soulful beats with a vocal sample of the phrase "makin' it harder" that he rhymes with, and it's a lot more subdued and introspective than most of the other stuff I've heard from him so far. The City Paper article seems to be positioning him as the more-than-guns-and-sex-rhymes type rapper, and this is the the only song so far that really bears that out in any definitive way. I hope he keeps his grimey style as well as doing more tracks like this. I don't know if either approach will take him to the big time, but I'm rooting for him along with everyone else in Bmore.
I noticed you have a nice blog, read all of your links kept me interested for a good time! well done :)
Thanks for a good read instead of some of the other stuff people post here!