Monday, May 14, 2007
DJ Blaqstarr - Supastarr EP (Mad Decent Records)
This EP has been out for a couple months, but I thought it was just gonna be on vinyl and just recently saw that it was on iTunes and copped it. I've been singing Blaq Starr's praises for years and getting him as much coverage as I could in the City Paper (Best of Baltimore award in '05, #2 local album of '06 and interview in the Big Music Issue), to me he's really the next generation of Baltimore club music, applying original vocals and melodies to the same energy instead of just sampling records. So I'm real happy to see him getting a national release and some serious exposure, even if it's on Diplo's label and is gonna mostly get shine in corny Hollertronix-type 'eclectic DJ' circles. The EPK video is even kinda goofy, wtf is up with the words "HOOD BORN" flashing in lights at the beginning? My friend Tom Breihan wrote it up in Pitchfork last week and gave me a little shout-out in there for something I said in a comment on his Village Voice blog.
I'm not totally crazy about the EP itself, which seems like an odd selection of tracks: even if they couldn't use the tracks he remixed for rappers like "Ryda Gyrl" and "Hands Up, Thumbs Down," I think songs like "Get My Gun" and "In The Air" are too essential to be left off of any introduction to Blaq Starr. And the version of "Tote It" on here is kinda different and has barely any vocals. Also, I'm not really sure why the one track they seem to be hyping up is "Shake It To The Ground" featuring some girl named Rye Rye rapping on it, it's probably my least favorite track on here. No disrespect to her, it just seems like out-of-town folks really wanna hear young girls rapping on club music and make it some "Chicken Noodle Soup" shit, which is strange to me, because there's a lot of talented, grown female MCs in Baltimore. When I burned this to CD I put a bunch of other club tracks and hip hop productions for D.O.G. and Young Leek and N.E.K. and Cooli Hi and the I'm Banging mixtape on it too, to kind of make the ultimate Blaq Starr disc. His MySpace page says he has a new release in Downtown Locker Room stores called 'The King Of Roq,' anyone heard that one yet?
DJ Blaqstarr - "Check Me Out Like" (mp3)
This is one of my favorite Blaq Starr songs that I never knew the name of until this EP, since the only mix CD I had it on was I'm Banging, which has no tracklist.