Friday, July 31, 2009
Here's "Trapped," the new video from Dave Da Barber of 1st Family Entertainment, and it's another great piece of work from Sleepin Giant Media.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Los - Welcome To Swaggsville
It's been a couple years since I wrote my City Paper article about Los, and I know he's been putting out mixtapes but I hadn't really heard any of them. I didn't realize until recently that Los has been off Bad Boy for about a year after reading it in a Baltimore Sun story about a murder case that had some kind of connection to Da Bloc Inc. Anyway, I never really forgot what a tremendously talented rapper Los can be, but it was nice to get a reminder from this new mixtape. It's full of soft beats from radio R&B songs and has some AutoTune and the word "swag" (ugh) in the title, and in spite of all that trend-chasing, he's still just rapping his ass off and dropping crazy quotable punchlines left and right. I need to check out his older mixtapes and see how they compare but really I'm sure they're all worth listening to. I don't know why he's talking about being compared to Drake or doing a "Los vs Drake" mixtape, talk about riding some lame coattails, here's hoping he doesn't go through with that idea. You can download it here.
Los - "Let's Get It" (mp3)
I don't know if this beat's original or jacked from somewhere, but this bangs, last track on the mixtape.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
So...am I correct in noting that there doesn't appear to be a venue or location listed anywhere on this flyer? Because that's what we in the business would call a "key detail."
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Greenspan - The Recap (Federal Reserve Music Group)
Greenspan just announced that he's dropping a new mixtape, When The Sky Turns Green, in a couple weeks, and that reminded me to sit down and listen to this previous one I've had for a minute. This one's pretty short, and heavy on freestyles, so hopefully the next tape is more substantial, but I've always been a fan of Greenspan and he really never drops the ball or lays down a wack verse, just a consistent dude. You can download this mixtape on DatPiff.com, and keep an eye out for the new one at Greenspan Music.
Greenspan - "IceCold Best BullShit" (mp3)
One of the things I find refreshing about Greenspan is that he checks for other Baltimore artists and incorporates their music into his releases even if he's not affiliated with or collaborating directly with them. On Got Green? he sampled Ogun's voice for a track and rapped on a Blaq Starr beat, and here he raps over the beat from Smash's local radio hit "Bit Too Much For Me." I kinda dissed that song before for having the same drums as an old Lil Jon hit, and the producer of the Smash track, Speilberg, was pissed at me about that. Really I like what he did with it, the hi-hats and the keyboards are dope, I just wish when local people got on the radio it was something more original, something you can't easily compare a mainstream song. But it's a nice beat and Greenspan sounds good on it too.
Method Man, Redman and Ghostface Killah w/Duo Live, Q.G. and Only
@ Rams Head Live 7/29
Monday, July 27, 2009
Some stuff I posted on the City Paper's Noise blog in the past month or so: a Club Beat column about DJ Jonny Blaze, and live reviews of the Paused In Time release party (featuring G.E.M., E Major, Sonny Brown, etc.) @ Sonar, Kane and Midas of Mania Music Group @ the Go-Green Hip Hop Tour, Melodic Mondays @ 5 Seasons, the Baltimore All-Rap Round Robin (featuring Height With Friends, AK Slaughter, etc. @ Load Of Fun, Sonic Youth/The Entrance Band @ the 9:30 Club (big thanks to Robbie for tickets), and Ted Leo/State Radio @ Rams Head Live.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Competing MCs:Kane Mayfield, Trace Blam, Ms Stress, Unknown Alchemist, Troy Brown (God Flow), Apex, A6, J Law, Goon, Deuce, Masacre, Finesse, Barcardy, Si Notes, Deuce Dro, Sharn Cook, A- Heat, The Author and more * a couple slots left. Call 443 248 2596 to get last slots. It's open to MCs from All Areas!!
ALSO TRACK MEET $700 PRODUCER BEAT Battle coming up.. Call same number to sign up for that also.
Love a good Hip Hop Show?? SEE YOU THIS SUNDAY 7pm
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Rye Rye - Blaqout Mixtape (JB Starr Productions)
It's been weird to watch the last couple years, as Rye Rye has become kind of a big deal, because I wish everyone here success and don't want to come off like a hater, but I've been kind of mystified by how fast it's happened. I always thought Blaq Starr had huge potential to blow up somehow, but ever since she appeared on his "Shake It To The Ground" (a song I've never been shy about disliking), she's been getting all this media coverage and signing with and doing a video with M.I.A. and is kind of Baltimore's new ambassador to the whole hipster scene. I don't think anyone really thinks she's a great rapper, although a couple times she's kicked verses that I thought showed some potential, but it'll be interesting to see what her album's like when it drops. Technically, this is a Rye Rye mixtape mixed and produced by Blaq Starr, but really, it's more or less a Blaq Starr record featuring Rye Rye here and there. A lot of his club tracks are on here, and though she of course did the hook for "Hands Up, Thumbs Down," there's a lot of other tracks Rye Rye isn't even on, like "Feel It In The Air" and "Crazy Leg Wit It," and it's only 33 minutes, so it feels kinda padded, like they're saving all her unreleased stuff for the LP. But again, Blaq Starr's a genius so I'm cool with that, lotta great beats on here. Blaqout Mixtape is available for download on ALLBMOREHIPHOP.com.
Rye Rye - "I Run This" (mp3)
Man, this track is killer, I hope DJs pick up on it.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
K-Mack - Night Ryda (Knokville Entertainment/Banga Bill Enterprise)
This week in the City Paper I have a feature on K-Mack, going back through his whole history with the Annexx Clique in the '90s up to his new solo album. And I gotta be honest, this is the first article I've ever done about an artist where they straight up told me they hated it, hated the story and the light it put them in and the quotes I chose, hated the headline and the photo. I feel bad, just because as far as I know I've always had a pretty good track record and don't think there are a lot of people who can say they regret sitting down with me for an interview, although who knows really. I mean I can't control how people feel when I review their stuff but when I'm using someone's own words to profile them, I dunno, it's a shame they weren't happy with the final product, although he was cool about it, didn't get too over the top, just told me how he felt. Anyway, I don't wanna dwell on all that too much, I stand by the article and I thought it was important to tell his story, I'm just saying take it with a grain of salt since K-Mack wasn't happy with it and I understand his reservations. The album is pretty great, and is available for free on ALLBMOREHIPHOP.com, where it ranked in the top 5 downloads in the site's first week, and it features production by Banga Bill, cover art by Skarr Akbar, and is dedicated to Mr. Wilson.
K-Mack - "What They Hate" (mp3)
There are so many good tracks on here I thought about posting, "B City" and "Never Change" and "Big Dawg" especially, but this one really knocks the most, in my opinion, great song.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Man, all this week I've been seeing people remember and celebrate K-Swift, and then I see the Maryland Daily Record's record that her parents are suing Unruly. This is probably only going to get uglier and messier from here.
CLUB QUEEN ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS... K-SWIFT DAY!
with special guests BOSSMAN and PRINSE : SUPA DJ BIG L : DJ ROD LEE : MS JAISYNCERE : DJ KALI /// hosted by WIPE ME DOWN
Sat, Jul 25
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Mike Malachi - Malachi's Way II: Malachi's Revenge (Music In Me Production Inc.)
I leaked a great track with Skarr Akbar a few months ago, but Mike Malachi's new album is now officially here, and it's really his most accomplished work to date. That probably doesn't mean anything to you if you didn't hear his previous records, which were all pretty solid and featured crazy laid back soul beats by Baltimore club producer Ron Rico, but this is definitely a step forward from someone who was good to begin with. I don't know if his voice is recorded better on this one or if he's just getting more at home in the booth, but the sound on this one and the voice and flow all came together a lot more than on the previous records. Still a little mellow for my tastes, but that ain't always a problem depending on your mood. Check out Mike Malachi on MySpace.
Mike Malachi f/ Billo - "Deadly Alliance" (mp3)
I remember when I first met Mike about 3 years ago and it came up in conversation that he's cousins with Billo and I was like damn, y'all should be doing some songs together, so it's cool to finally hear them both on a track. One of Billo's labelmates from For The People Entertainment, Yuk, actually makes a guest spot on another track on this album.
Monday, July 20, 2009
We lost K-Swift the Club Queen a year ago today. Rest in peace.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Mullyman - wiRemix Volume 2 (DJ Booman/Major League Unlimited)
I posted about the first mixtape in this series a few weeks ago, and the third is actually out already, but I wanted to get to the second before that. It's on Mullyman.com and DatPiff.com, and much like the first, it's kind of a short run through new freestyles and old songs, with 'wiRemixes' of recent hits like "Say Yeah" and "Conlomerate" and "Drop," as well as "Rich Kids" by Tabi Bonney, who directed Mully's last video. There's also some old classic Mully cuts like "Oh Baltimore" and Booman's "Move Over," with some stuff I haven't heard before sprinkled in.
Mullyman f/ DJ Booman - "Conglomerate wiRemix" (mp3)
Man, Booman is a better rapper than a lot of people who just rap, always good to hear a new verse from him, 41yo (R.I.P.) posted this a while back too.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
100 Grandman - Gangsta Grillz: Welcome To Baltimore (DJ Drama)
When Architects Recording Studio first put the word out that ALLBMOREHIPHOP.COM had the new 100 Grandman mixtape (which is already the #1 most downloaded release on the site the past week), I knew I had to check it out, and when they said that it was with DJ Drama, the first Gangsta Grillz with a Baltimore artist, I really knew I had to check it out, and I admit it was partly because I didn't really believe it at first. I mean, 100 Grandman's been doing pretty well for himself lately, with the great video for "Take It 2 The Top" last year, and some local radio rotation for "Wet Wet" (which, by the way, I absolutely hate now because it's the song that starts streaming every time I open ALLBMOREHIPHOP.COM, and that shit gets annoying fast). But I didn't think he was doing well enough to do something with DJ Drama, plus I couldn't find anything online about this being an installment in the Gangsta Grillz series, and on the cover they misspell the name of Drama's company, The Aphilliates (which has two L's, cause they're from Philly). But I went and listened to it, and as it turns out it's apparently legit, since Drama is all over the tape shouting out the names of tons of Baltimore rappers and DJs, and throwing in "R.I.P. K-Swift" (which he also said last year on a Lil Wayne tape). So I dunno how they hooked that up, but that's a good look. I feel like there's some unspoken cheeseball '80s theme on here because there are samples of Michael Sembello's "Maniac" AND the Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died In Your Arms." There are guest appearances by Bossman, NOE, Smash, TestMe, and even a verse from Freeway.
100 Grandman f/ Tay Guns - "The Face Of Baltimore" (mp3)
This cat's name is spelled as Tay Guns on the tracklist, but I thought I've seen his name as Tay Gunz before, not sure which is right. Anyway he totally murders his verse, probably my favorite verse on the whole mixtape, so many lines I had to rewind: "I got my cake up/ I left my own shadow behind, he like 'wait up'!/ I lift my face up to see my city, homie/ I'm Home Alone 2/ a bunch of pigeons on me/ I'm so effin' fly/ I disrespect the sky/ I'm so fresh to death I get dressed and die."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The Baltimore City Paper's annual Big Music Issue is out today, and my article in it this year, Behind The Fence, is about Ogun, his music, and his work with Maryland prisons. The issue's other features include Brandon Soderberg on out-of-town variants of Baltimore club, Geoffrey Himes on Wye Oak, and Michael Byrne on Karl Ekdahl.
(photo by Rarah)
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Wordsmith & I.N.C. The Poet - A Baltimore Martini
Last month, I posted about Wordsmith's album with Chubb Rock, Bridging The Gap and mentioned it had just come out. But I realized more recently that I jumped the gun and it was pushed back a few weeks, so it's actually officially coming out today, July 14th. And since I wanted to mention that and make sure people know it's available now, I thought I'd post about Wordsmith's other duo album that recently came out. This one's with I.N.C. The Poet, who I wasn't familiar with before, turns out he's from the UK, which I didn't realize during the whole first half of the album, then I started to hear a slight accent on track 6 and looked up where he was from. Apparently he's from a town called Martini, hence the title. Strada, who does the beats on a lot of Wordsmith's projects, is on the first few tracks here, and overall it has the same kinda sound and vibe as his other records, although it kinda feels like there's more dark, introspective topics than usual. Wordsmith also seems to kinda whisper more, but he's always had a pretty whispery flow. Anyway, good short record, nice collaborative vibe where they really seemed to write songs together and get on the same page.
Wordsmith & I.N.C. The Poet - "A Baltimore Martini" (mp3)
The title track, produced by Art Glasbeek, is probably my favorite track on the album.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This weekend is Artscape, which I'm unfortunately gonna miss this year since I'll be out of town for a wedding. There's not as much Baltimore hip hop and club music as there was last year, but there are some good acts involved. For The People Entertainment won the Sound-Off! contest I posted about a few weeks ago, and will be performing on the festival stage at 2pm on Friday, and again on the main stage on Saturday at 3:30pm. The group Beat Box will be on the festival stage at 12:30pm on Friday. And while there's sadly no DJ culture stage this year, the Windup Space will have DJs spinning, including DJ Booman, Scottie B. and King Tutt, plus a lot more Baltimore club DJs at this year's My Crew Be Unruly event at Paradox during the festival.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Bossman - "Off The Record Part 2" (mp3)
The original "Off The Record" was released in November 2004, a few weeks before the Law & Order album hit the stores, and I remember how hyped up I was the first time I heard it. Bossman had already been all over 92Q with "Oh" and "I Did It," but "Off The Record" was really the song that made me a fan of his, just the fact that he got on the radio with such a personal, lyrical song, especially in Baltimore, back at a time when pretty much every local song that got spins was a club-ready Rod Lee track. I feel like what he was doing on there, the kind of meta commentary on what's going on in hip hop, has become really commonplace in recent years, independent rappers always rushing to weigh in on the latest controversies, but back then him speaking really frankly about celebrities and the industry was kind of refreshing and bold. I even geeked out and transcribed the lyrics for the fuck of it at one point. If you've never heard the original, I posted a DL link as part of the top 10 of my 5th anniversary retrospective a few weeks ago.
Back when Bossman was still signed to Virgin, I remember there being talk of an update or sequel to "Off The Record," and at one point there was a remix with Lil Mo that changed up a few lines in the song to make it more current at the time. So I didn't really expect, almost 5 years after the original, for the One Up camp to hit me with this, a proper follow-up, whole new song with a new beat and hook, dealing with current topics but still with the same blunt observational tone, from what went down with Jermaine Dupri to Michael Jackson to Jay-Z's "D.O.A." and speaking straight up truth about that Drake kid. I ain't mad at him at all for getting success with "Break Me Off" and the AutoTune records (OK, in the spirit of being truthful and not sparing anyone's feelings, he does sound pretty terrible when he sings on those songs), but it's good to hear Bossman going back to what made me really rep for his music in the first place.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Legacy D. Don - Teflon Don Vol. 1: Learn My Name
Legacy D. Don sent me this mixtape a few months ago, never really heard of him before and I still don't really feel like I know anything about him after listening to it a couple times. It's not bad, he's got some hot lines here and there, but he's mostly just rapping generic punchlines over Lil Wayne and Kanye instrumentals and you don't get any sense that he writes original songs or what he'd write songs about if he did from this. I guess I learned his name, if nothing else, though. TestMe guests on a few tracks, and Smash also guests on one.
Legacy D. Don - "Warning Shot" (mp3)
This song is cold as hell, props if it's an original track, I don't recognize the beat anywhere.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Confirmed acts include DJ Class, Chavy Boys (Scottie B, Shawn Caesar, King Tutt), Ultra Nate (live), Rod Lee, Doo Dew Kidz (Booman, KW Griff, Jimmy Jones), Johnny Blaze, Supa DJ Big L, Say Wut, Emynd & Bo Bliz, Cousin Cole, Stereofaith and more to be announced.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Gritty Gang - Street Certified Goods (Real On Purpose)
Three years ago, Ogun pulled together big diverse cast of Baltimore MCs for the first Gritty Gang mixtape, and for a while I didn't hear anything about the Gritty Gang and thought maybe it was just a one-off. But now there's a whole new mixtape out, with the same title as the first one, bringing back the whole concept. A lot of people that were on the first mixtape make appearances (Skarr Akbar, Ammo, Rockwell, Q Gutta, G.E.M.) along with a lot of people that weren't (Sonny Reddz, Kuan, Talal, Barz), everything recorded at Architects Recording Studio. 41yo posted a couple tracks that were leaked in advance, and you can hear more on the Gritty Gang MySpace page.
Sonny Reddz - "War Pop Off" (mp3)
I've only heard Reddz on a handful of guest spots in the past so this is really the first solo track I've heard and he really murders it, this is just a great violent banger.
Monday, July 06, 2009
One Up Entertainment has produced hits for Keyshia Cole, Jaheim, Raheem Devaughn, J-L0, Ice Cube, Mya, Ameerie, LL Cool J, and many more. One Up has put together a tour that will be judged by major labels such as Def Jam, EMI, Sony, MySpace Music and more.
The tour's purpose is to promote Myspace Records recording artist Bossman and to launch these unsigned artist into stardom with the chance to land a record deal. Currently, the tour is schedule for events in Baltimore, DC, Virgina, NC, DE, PA. The tour is looking artists in the following areas: A Capella, Acoustic, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Christian, Country, Gospel, Hip-Hop/Rap, Holy Hip Hop, Pop, Reggae, Soul and Urban/R&B.
Rich Shelton, CEO and Co owner of One Up, states "our goal is to help two artist per year land a record deal, while at the same time grow the fanbase of each artist". Visit the tour website for more information at MySpace.com/OneUpTour.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Rod Lee - Vol. 4 - The Pressure (Club Kingz Records/Morphius Urban)
The Pressure is the last of Rod Lee's first four albums that were part of Morphius's reissue program, originally released independently in 2004 (or maybe 2003? not sure) and then pressed up by Morphius last summer. I wrote about the other three already, and I'm still not totally sure which one is my favorite, but they're all good and this is no different. It's got over 30 tracks and is crammed full of club classics, half of which are Rod Lee's own tracks and half of which are by producers like K.W. Griff, DJ Class, Dukeyman, Scottie B. and others.
Debonair Samir - "Lil Egypt" (mp3)
This is one of my all-time favorites that I always forget the name of or who produced it, so I was happy to be reminded when I went back to listen to this mix again. If you were listening to club DJs 5 years ago, you definitely would recognize this track. The sample is The Coasters, who also did the song "Charlie Brown" that was remixed as a Baltimore club staple by Samir, so it's kind of like a companion to that track.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Over on Idolator that Rye Rye's video is now out for "Bang," which was produced by Blaq Starr and features M.I.A. Also, 41yo posted a making of and a remix by DJ Booman. A little more surprisingly, Atlanta rapper Stat Quo also did a remix of "Bang."
Friday, July 03, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
The Boy Blesst - Charmicidle (Reign Music Inc.)
The Boy Blesst is really one rapper that I've always felt like doesn't get the props he should in Baltimore, just a really solid MC with his own twist on things and always makes good music. But his new album, which I reviewed in the City Paper this week, really exceeded my expectations. Sick verses, memorable hooks, good variety of beats (by Banga Bill, Street Heat, Imahj, J Stax, B.Lansky, among others), not much filler or bullshit, I really hope people don't sleep on him this time. You can buy the album here.
The Boy Blesst - "U Lucky" (mp3)
It was tough to pick a favorite song here, the whole stretch from tracks 4-8 is golden, but right now this is the one I'm feeling the most.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
This week WWW.ALLBMOREHIPHOP.COM, a site put together by the folks at Architects Recording Studio, launched and they've got a whole bunch of free downloads of full-length albums and mixtapes by artists including Ogun, Skarr Akbar, Bossman, TestMe, Barnes, Huli Shallone, UnReal, D.O.G., ShellBe R.A.W., EJ, Rye Rye and many others. I think it's great that there's gonna be a site like this from now on, and from Ogun's told me they've got a lot more stuff planned.