Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Young Dip - You See Me? (IMP Records/BHood Movement)
I've written about Young Dip a few times on here, including that "D.T.T.W.C." song I couldn't shut up about. I finally got his '07 solo mixtape earlier this year, and it has its moments, although I know a few of the tracks already from the IMP Records compilations, including one featuring Mullyman. It's funny how it already seems almost old-fashioned to hear a dude like him on a Joe Budden/Dipset-type sound, but he ain't bad at it.
Young Dip - "Jeezy Freestyle" (mp3)
I like that line that goes "I'm two levels, no, matter fact, scratch that/ I'm two levels and a flight of stairs past that."
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
DJ B-Eazy - The Blue Print EP Vol 1 (Club Kingz Records/Baltimore Breaks Records)
Back in June, I did a Club Beat column on DJ B-Eazy, who'd been showing up on more and more Baltimore club mixes over the past year and getting radio spins with his remixes of "Ayo Technology" and "Party Like A Rock Star." I posted one of my favorite tracks of his, "Clap Your Hands," on here a while back. He's a young guy, very cool and personable, I think he got into club music through DJing and then started producing, and hooked up with Rod Lee's Club Kingz label, which released this EP on vinyl and CD, 6 full unmixed tracks, newer stuff so not really his best known tracks (although there is a remix of "Attention March," which is a pretty big one).
DJ B-Eazy - "The Rumble" (mp3)
This is a cool way to start the EP, big nasty synth riff. You've heard the "let's get ready to rumble" sample a hundred times before, but it sounds pretty ill on here.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Brown F.I.S.H. - Bootleg III: F.I.S.H. & Friends... The Mixtape
Brown F.I.S.H. is a pretty important group in Baltimore hip hop that I feel like I've never really given enough coverage to on here, partly because a lot of their activity predates this site (I remember seeing them open for Black Sheep way back in '02). Plus, they're really deep into a whole different side of the scene (roots reggae and slam poetry and live R&B bands) that I'm not as into, although I totally respect what they do. In 2006, they did a special invite-only show called "F.I.S.H. & Friends" that was basically an unplugged performance with no sound system and a lot of special guests. I remember getting the invite but I wasn't able to go for some reason or another, and kept hearing how great it was afterwards. Now, there's a DVD full of footage of the event, which looks like it was a lot of fun, and this album/mixtape/compilation-type CD, which basically compiles a lot of remixes and collaborations the group recorded from 2004 to 2007, along with some performances from that show. There's just a lot of jams on this, including all-star remixes of "45" and Golden Seal's "Sistahs Pimpin'," and guest appearances by D.O.G., Symantyx, Greenspan, Heavy Gold, B-Fly, C Love, EJ, and Skarr Akbar.
Brown F.I.S.H. f/ Symantyx and Greenspan - "Cry Baby" (mp3)
Symantyx and Greenspan are two of the new Baltimore MCs who I've been the most impressed with in the past year or two, so I feel like Brown F.I.S.H. are really watching the scene and taking notes when they put both of them on a song like this. OOH has a line on here about how Brown F.I.S.H. was pissed when they didn't get a trading card back when City Paper did them, and I didn't really decide who got one or who didn't at the time, but I have to admit, that was definitely an oversight, Brown F.I.S.H. should've gotten one.
This month on the City Paper's Noise blog, I interviewed DJ Frie (pictured above) for my Club Beat column, and reviewed the following shows: McCracken/Scholarman/Soulstice/Wordsmith @ Bedrock, Sonny Brown/UnReal/Kane/Midas/Labtekwon/Skarr Akbar/B.O.M.B. (and many others) @ The Baltimore Crown awards, the "Music & The Brain Salon (with Shodekeh) @ the American Visionary Art Museum, The Oranges Band/Gary B. & The Notions/Deleted Scenes @ The Ottobar, the Cameron Blake Band @ the 13th Floor and Mike Pursley/Neil Cotterill @ Frazier's.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Me'Aze Millioni - Music Without Voice - Instrumental Album (Jam Eazey Entertainment)
Me'Aze Millioni is someone I've known in the Baltimore scene for a few years now, since back when she was known as "Bosslady," as a promoter and label owner and generally just a person doing a lot of different things related to music without being an artist herself. But in the past year or two, she's shown some ambition as a producer, and I think she's collaborated with some MCs here and there and gotten some beats out there, but I hadn't really heard her work much until I got this new all-instrumental album she just released, which is available on CDBaby.com. It's kind of along the same lines as Ron Rico's instrumental CDs, but a little less developed, aesthetically or technically, since she's a less experienced producer. I don't know if she's got an eye on selling these beats to artists or if she completely intends them to be heard as they are here, as instrumentals, but it's an interesting record, 24 tracks covering a pretty wide variety of sounds, mostly mellow synthy beats.
Me'Aze Millioni - "Instrumental 18" (mp3)
This is the one I can probably most easily hear an MC on, it even kinda has separate sections that feel like a verse and a chorus.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Ogun - "Go Long" (mp3)
Been waiting for a minute and just got the word from Ogun that Checkmate is on the way very soon. All I'm gonna say is get ready.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Jade Fox's Upcoming Shows
Nov 22 2008 8:00P
Bedrock - opening for Keith Murray Baltimore, Maryland
Nov 28 2008 9:00P
Thimian Thai Bethesda, Maryland
Nov 29 2008 5:00P
D.C. Armory - D.C. Rollergirls Halftime Show SE, Washington DC
Dec 24 2008 9:00P
The Red and BlackNE, Washington DC
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ms. Stress - Flipside (Arsonists Camp)
You may know Ms. Stress as the Madame of Murdaland and just generally one of the best, most aggressive female MCs in Baltimore, and her new album, her first since she joined up with Arsonists Camp, is a definite improvement over her first album. I still think that in some ways she's better as a raw live performer than as a recording artist, and sometimes her voice sounds strained on these songs, but there are a few tracks where I think she really realizes her potential. The beats are by The Banga Donz, G-Major, D.Fos and 1st In Time Productions, and there are guest appearances by Midas, UnReal, and Tufflon Donna, among others.
Ms. Stress - "P's & Q's" (mp3)
This track is a lot of fun, dope hook and sample, good flow.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
410 Pharaohs - 410 Funk (Strictly Rhythm/Ill Friction)
This has been out for a couple months now, and I hope people aren't sleeping on one of the most essential events in Baltimore music this year: a legendary MC teaming with two originators of the Baltimore club sound for a club/hip hop fusion album released nationally on a historic dance music label. Labtekwon rhymes, DJ Booman beats, Jimmy Jones hooks. It's got the singles "Hammerdance" and "Fresh," the original version of the track they did a remix of with David Banner, and "Big Girls," an update of the Jimmy Jones club music classic "Watch Out For The Big Girl." Michael Byrne reviewed the record in the City Paper recently and I interviewed Jimmy Jones for my club column on the CP website. I don't have to tell you it's worth checking out, but it's on iTunes, it's on Amazon, it's in record stores, go find it.
410 Pharaohs - "No More Sorrow" (mp3)
In a weird way, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album because it kind of sounds more like something you'd hear on a Labtekwon album, with the more introspective lyrics and the melodic beat, but it's still got an uptempo Baltimore club vibe, so it's really one of the best marriages of those 2 styles on here.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Midas, Kane Mayfield and Ron G. - "Lunatic Fringe" (mp3)
The Month Of Mania is over, and I haven't posted about the Midas or Ron G. EPs yet, but Mania Music Group had one last little surprise they let loose at the end of the month, a posse cut named after my City Paper feature on the label, which also includes some quotes from the article within the song. Also, check out another recent article on Mania that appeared in B.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
DJ Class - "I'm The Ish" (mp3)
I haven't heard anything new from DJ Class in a long time, at least as far as I know, but then recently he came out with this great new track with an AutoTuned hook that's been on 92Q every night, and it turns out it's the lead single from a new album, Alameda & Coldspring, that's coming out on Unruly Records soon, so I'm real hyped about that now.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Above is the video for "S.U.S. (Save Ur Soul)," Blaq Starr's new collaboration with M.I.A. Also, Blaq Starr will be performing at Sonar on November 13th.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Tha Profitt - Concept Art (Profitt Productions)
Concept Art is an apt title for this album, because Tha Profitt understands better than most MCs that one of the keys to making dope rap music is to have strong concepts and themes for songs, a topic to stick to for three verses and a clever title to tie it all together. He can spit a song strand of unrelated punchlines if he wants to, and sometimes he does, but for the most part Tha Profitt has actual themes and ideas, and I can look at the tracklist of a CD like this, and see song titles like "Dollar Meal Anthem" and "One Take Heartbreak" and "Piece Of Shit Whip" and kinda see where he's going with it and want to hear those tracks. And this kid has a crazy work ethic, I still have a couple other CDs by him here that I haven't written about yet. I can see why he'd get the kind of respect that Skarr Akbar would wanna host this CD and co-sign him, or why he's get guest appearances by Bossman, Huli Shallone, B.O.M.B., Ogun, McCracken, TestMe and Hots, among others. Most of the beats are from outside producers like DJ Durti, Adam Shaikh and Drez, I think Profitt self-produced more of his previous mixtapes.
Tha Profitt f/ Huli Shallone - "Neva That" (mp3)
I like this song, it's just about doing your own thing and having your own sound.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
So the Baltimore Crown was a lot of fun last night, and one of the highlights for me was that Government Names won the "best blog/website" award, so thank you to The Baltimore Scene and anyone that voted for me. Congrats to all the other winners (Kid Connect, Ogun, Labtekwon, Shaka Pitts, J5, Kane Mayfield, etc.), my full report will follow on Noise after the weekend.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Termanology f/ Paula Campbell - "Please Don't Go" (mp3)
Statik Selektah f/ Reks, Ea$y Money, Royce Da 5'9 and Paula Campbell - "Take It All Back" (mp3)
It's been 6 years since Paula Campbell released her first local hit in Baltimore, 4 years since she released her independent album, 3 years since she signed a major label deal, 2 years since she made a record with Three 6 Mafia, and 1 year since Ne-Yo signed her to his production company and started writing songs with her. And even though she keeps making progress, it doesn't seem like she's any closer now to releasing an album or getting real mainstream exposure. But does sing on two fairly high profile independent albums that have dropped in the last two months, Termanology's Politics As Usual and Statik Selektah's Stick 2 The Script, both of which are pretty good. And as a side note, "Hard Out Here For A Pimp" was recently included at #80 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs, and it was the version with Paula that was listed.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
This week in the City Paper, I wrote a feature about Gearie "The Grench" Bowman of Sleepin Giant Media, a Baltimore music video director who's been making some really impressive videos over the past year. I've posted some of his work on Gov't Names in the past, including Heavy Gold's "Drug Dealer," 100 Grandman's "Take It 2 The Top," and Bossman's tribute to K-Swift, "I Wonder." You can see them all on Sleepin Giant's YouTube channel, along with other videos for Tim Trees, DG2 and WildOutCamp, and above is the video for D.O.G.'s "Emergency" that literally landed in my inbox just this morning. I feel that this guy's work really speaks for itself, his videos just look great, especially for the budgets and types of artists he's working with. I get a lot of inquiries from people that make videos and DVDs who want press, and I usually brush them off because that's not really my area of expertise, I'm really only interested in music usually, but these Sleepin Giant videos are so good that I sought them out to write about them, so I hope people see how much they need to step their game up visually to compete around here.
Also in this week's paper, I review Changeling, which had its moments but was pretty much a wash.
A message from The Baltimore Scene regarding this Friday's Baltimore Crown awards:
233 (or so ) Bmore people/places and things you should know
Congratulations to ALL Baltimore Crown Nominees!
After personally sending out thousands of private messages, email blasts, comments, etc. We now have our Baltimore Crown Nominee List. Thank you all for your support.
Thank you all that Voted!
This is one of the rare awards where it's great to win but it's also great just to be nominated. Out of all the choices of artists, venues, etc in Baltimore, the public chose you as their very best choice and wanted to see you honored and appreciated. So we will be promoting EVERYONE who was nominated with articles, posters, and Baltimore Scene Campaigns highlighting the top nominees in every category. The winners of each category will be announced at the Baltimore Crown 2008.
Please Support Our Mission In Honoring The Scene..
1. If you are on this list, please send all of your contact info for our Baltimore Scene Directory (even if you think we already have it)
Contact Info: (phone , myspace address, and email address)
2-3 line description of what you description of what you do (optional..but ideal)
2. If you know someone who is on this list or if you have been to a venue on this list and have something nice to say about what they do in the scene or how great their spot is and why, please send testimonials/quotes with the name of the artist, promoter, photographer, venue etc.
3. If you know someone on this list, try to message them/myspace them and let them know that you saw them and congratulate them
4. Come to the Baltimore Crown 2008, November 7th, 2008 and show your support for the entire underground movement.
Please send information (1 and 2) to com/baltimorescene or baltimorecrown @gmail. com Also there's a few tiebreakers. Please Check Blog
Note: This list is totally from the public vote. If you are not on this list and would like to be added to our Baltimore Scene Underground Directory online, please send message with info: for future networking, promotions, and to stay updated with voting and future events etc.
Baltimore Nominees from A-Z
Ahk of 88.9, Abrock, A-Class, Al Shipley, Amotion of Deep Flow Studios, Anomoly, A & O film, Aquil Mizan, Architect Studious, Arsonists Camp, The Art Of Conversation, The Artist Cafe, Ashley Hailey, Axiom, Azya,
Baltimore Music Conference, The Baltimore Scene, B-Amazing, B Fam, Bedrock, B-EZ, B-Fly, Be Free Fridays, Big Status, Black Hole, Black Root, Bomb, Boss Man, B.I.G. Status, Black Root, Brake Fast Records, BROWN F.I.S.H,
Cash Land, C-Love, Carolyn Malachi, Chin-Yer, Chuck The Mad Ox, COMP, Crutball
Dark Room Productions, Darian Robbins, Dave the Barber, Da Truth, Darao Johnson, D Banks, D Chase, Deep Space, DJ Jabril, DJ Newport, Doc Dollaz, Diamond Digital, DOG, Dot Spot, Drag
Eden's Lounge, www.Elementsparty. com, E Major, Emanuel Johnson, E the Poet MC, 8x10,
Farajii Muhammad (NLLC), Fertile Ground, F-Gutta, 5th L, 15 minutes of fame @ The Turntable Club, 1st Fam, F.L.E.X., The 5 Seasons, Fletchers, Frank Lewis (E.C.
), Fred Locks,
Get Em Mamis, Golden Infamous, Graphic Girl (Karen), G Major, Government Names, Grass Hopper, Green Span, G Wizdom,
Handler Brand, Haven, Headphone Music, Helina Metaferia, Hilton Carter, Hip Hop 101, a 100 Gram Man, Huli Shallone
Indellible, Industry Thursdays at the Suite,
Jade Fox, J5, Jah Hipster, J Who, Jamma Wun, J.A.M.E.S., Jesse Winston, J Funk, Joel Mills, J Law, J Pope, J S.O.U.L., JS AKA the Best,
K. Barnes, Kalada Productions, Kane Mayfield, Kariz, Kelly Connelly, KG, Kia Collaway, Kid Connect, Komplex, K Swift
Labtekwon, Lamar Hill, Latte Da's, Lisa A.K.A. Liezel, Live Beats, Lois Life Blog Spot, Longevity, Love Peace Project, LOVE the Poet,
Major Graffix, Mania Music Group, Mark Henry, Masterminds Photography, Maurice (of Raw Tech Studios), Maurice (Sticky Face), Maysa, McCracken, Midas, Money in the Bank Entertainment, Ms. Stress, www. myspace. com/baltimorepoetryspots, www. myspace. com/baltimorescene
Native Son, Natural Remedy, Nick Da Wonder, No Guts No Glory, Notre Mason, Numb3rs, Nu-Soul Unit,
Olu Butterfly Woods, Ogun Ooh of Brown F.I.S.H., Only, Organic Soul Tuesdays, The Organic Soul House Band, Ottobar
Peace and a Cup of Joe, Pen Dragon, Penguins, Petula Ceasar, Pixel, P-Funk, Ponytail, Postive Entertainment News Blog, Poverty's Thread, Pro & Reg
Rah Tech Studios, Rams Head Live, Ra Ra-photographer, Ravolution Multimedia, Red House Tavern, Reina Williams, Rem Star, Rimarjo Clothing, Rob Styles and Emotions, Ron G, Rougue Graphics,
Sabrina Gilbert, Sah-lence, Salim and the Music Lovers, Samos, Sancha McGee, Sean O'Grady of One Viison, Savage, Sean Toure,Selah Chick, The Session, Shaka Pitts, Shy of M.I.B, Skarr Akbar, SideFX Studios (Ryan and Zalinsky), Silence, Simba, Si Notes, 6 Wisdom, Slamicide, Slick Vic, Soul Cannon, Sovereign soul feat. Chanali Jones, Sparrow, Speak Ur Peace @ Pejus, Symantyx, Smash, Sonar, Solo D, Sonar, Sonny Brown, So Mani Stylz Clothing, Sonja Imaging, Sonny Redz, thespittersclub. net, Stylz,Sugar Bear, Symantyx, Street Heat,
Taalam Acey, Taste International, Tay Tay Promotions,Test Me, 3 Empy Cans, 347, The Artist Café, The 5 Seasons, The Session, Thomas (of Raw Tech Studios), Timothy Cooper (The B), Tim Christmas, Tim Hogan (T.H. Lawrence), Tim Trees, Tislam The Great, Tonio from the Top, Torchlight Entertainment, Trace Blam, Tre Subira, Truth Be Told, Tya Anthony of Eyeni Photos, The Turntable Club, Ty Scripts,
Walter Maxfield, Warm Wednesdays, Wax Chemistry, Web, Word Slave,
Yabba Pot, Yo! Tracks, Young Wood
And we HEAR you …
Those of you who entered in the category suggestion section as well.
Your categories will be added in next year's crown.
By public vote:
Album of the year
Best Soul Singer
Most talented (Hip hop, poetry artist) and band
Best Artist to work with
Most Professional Artist
Best Package Award (lyrics, grind, presentation etc)
Best Record Label
Female/Male Artist of the Year
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Bossman - Obama Or Else (DNA/Jay Claxton/NEK/One Up Entertainment)
It's crunch time, today is the day, I'm voting for Obama, you're probably voting for Obama, too, and even if you're in Maryland and you know he's got our state locked down you still wanna go out and give him the popular vote majority and a landslide victory. Maybe by the time you read this post the election will already be all over and you'll know whether I'm right or wrong, but I'm feeling good about the odds right now. And Bossman put up a mixtape last week, like many many hip hop artists have over the past few months, to show his support for Obama. A lot of the Obama songs and stuff, I can't knock it because everyone's excited and I think their hearts are in the right place, but I don't think there's really been any interesting music to come out of this campaign or anything that's destined to have the same urgency a year from now, regardless of the outcome. But Bossman still put his foot in the concept, actually shows a decent understanding of the policies and issues at stake in his lyrics, and really for the most part it's yet another N.E.K. mixtape, a lot of guest appearances from Dollars and Tony Manson, a lot of industry beats (three tracks from Tha Carter III), and some good ignorant apolitical music like "Ho's I Fucked" thrown in for good measure. You can download the whole thing here. The K-Swift tribute, "I Wonder," is also on here as a bonus.
Bossman - "Obama Or Else" (mp3)
This is over the beat from Sheek Louch's "Keep Pushin'," which is a track I love, I wrote about it on my other blog Narrowcast earlier this year.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Rod Lee - Volume 7: Club Armageddon (Club Kingz Records)
It's an event in Baltimore club music anytime Rod Lee releases an album, especially a new album amidst all the reissues of his early albums this year, and this one has been getting hyped up since way back before the new Club Kingz Music Store on Park Avenue opened in August. And like his last album of new material, 2007's The Producer, nearly every song is a Rod Lee production, which is something very few Baltimore club producers can do, especially with just recent tracks, although there are a couple tracks produced by Booman and Jimmy Jones, and vocal performances by D.O.G. and B Gibbs. It's not all new stuff, a few of the same songs ("Let The Freaks Loose," "Enjoy Yourself," "MySpace Chick," the "Dance My Pain Away" remix) also appeared on The Producer, but those are mostly hot songs that still get play from other DJs so I can't knock it.
Rod Lee - "Count Down" (mp3)
I've been loving this track lately, kind of a different sound for a Rod Lee track, some funky little textures going on in the beat.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
My friends at Mobtown Studios got a nice writeup in the new issue of The Urbanite Magazine. Their official site has some updates on who they've had in the studio lately, including Baltimore hip hop artists like Top and Savage Da Beast, and I know they've been talking to other folks like Mullyman and the Unstoppable Nuklehidz about doing some recording there.