Friday, June 04, 2010

Tough Breaks Update: Words. Beats. Life, WYPR, Kickstarter and more

It’s been about a week since I announced Tough Breaks: The Story of Baltimore Club Music and launched the official website, and I just wanted to put together a quick update of some things going on related to the project:

- The new issue of Words.Beats.Life: The Global Journal of Hip Hop Culture has just been published, and features an article I wrote about Baltimore club music. The Washington, D.C.-based peer-reviewed academic periodical asked me a while back to contribute to its Sex Issue, and the piece I wrote is titled “Sex In This Club: Gender And Sexuality in Baltimore Club Music.” It touches on the sexually explicit nature of Baltimore club lyrics, gender dynamics in the club community, and the role that female and gay musicians have played in the scene over the years, focusing on the late Khia “Club Queen K-Swift” Edgerton and the late Anthony “Miss Tony” Boston. The piece also features previously unpublished quotes from my personal interview archive from people like Ron “Dukeyman” Hall, 2 Hyped Brothers & A Dog producer Al “T” McLaran, and Club Queen Entertainment staffers Buck Jones, Lady Pitbull and Crystal Tennessee. Although the article, like my other freelance works, won’t appear in Tough Breaks, it can be considered something of a preview of one of the topics that will be explored further in the book. More information on Words. Beats. Life and how to pick up a copy of the new issue is available at

- Baltimore club veteran DJ Booman and I recently taped a segment as guests of Baltimore public radio station WYPR 88.1FM, which will air next Monday, June 7th on Maryland Morning. In the 10-15 minute segment, WYPR’s Tom Hall interviews Booman and I about the early days of Baltimore club music and we get a bit into the history and the culture of the scene and the music, and Booman produced a special track for the occasion that should be fun for everyone to hear. The piece will air between 9:30 and 10am on Monday morning, but should also be available to stream on the WYPR site,

- The page for Tough Breaks on fundraising website has gotten off to a great start since its launch last week. In its first 7 days, the project has raised over $1,400 towards its $5,000 goal. There's almost a month between now and the July 1st deadline, but there's a lot still left to raise, and I hope anyone who hasn't already is considering even a small pledge, because if we don't reach the goal by then, none of the donations go through.

- The Tough Breaks announcement has been posted on a number of sites and blogs, including Unruly Records,, My Baltimore Diary and D.C. Mumbo Sauce, in addition to countless Twitter and Facebook postings. Thank you to everyone, please keep spreading the word!

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Al - I'm glad it's you writing the book on Baltimore club... find the real stories and don't let people rewrite themselves into history. There's a lot of ego out there, lol. You've already sold me a copy!
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