Saturday, July 31, 2010
Next Friday night I'm gonna be a guest on Strictly Hip Hop on WEAA 88.9 FM as part of some kind of panel discussion. If I get more info about exactly what time between midnight and 5 a.m. I'll be on or what other guests I'll be on with, I'll add to that to this post later, but for now that's all I know. Tune in!
Friday, July 30, 2010
D King - "I'm Fly" (mp3)
If you read this site 4 years ago you might remember a Baltimore rapper named DK who had a song called "Part of History" on the Purple City album and had a dope mixtape out called King Me. I hadn't heard anything about dude in a while, but recently a reader e-mailed me asking if I knew what was up with him, and they ended up tipping me off to the fact that he's now going by D King, and recently did a song with Trina, "Just Like That," and the preview for the video on the YouTube above (the video preview's been online for like 6 months, don't know when the actual video is coming). I ended up following D King on Twitter and talking to him a little bit, and he sent me "I'm Fly," the single from his upcoming mixtape Behind The Musc: Seats Taken.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Mania Music Group - Welcome To The Audience (Mania Music Group)
I was thinking when I reviewed Mania's show at the Windup Space recently that I haven't really listened to this album much since the release date, when I finished writing my piece on it for Splice Today. So I had to really come back to it a few weeks later and see how it's aging for me. I'd say it's definitely missing some of the elements I loved on Mania's earlier mixtapes and EPs, all the weird genre exercises and more humorous moments may not have necessarily made for their best music, but it contributed to an overall loose, spontaneous feel that this album is missing a little bit. Plus the really good material makes the lesser songs pale in comparison; for instance Midas's "U Might Think" is such a revelation that it makes his more upbeat solo tracks feel kinda lightweight and less interesting. So at this point, I'm kinda more interested to see how these guys do with their solo albums, and wish there were more collabs on this. But this still has some pretty dope songs, easily one of the best Baltimore releases I've heard this year, guest appearances by Eze from Soul Cannon and Greenspan, and you can check it out on Band Camp.
Rapman Ron G - "Rock n Roll" (mp3)
This track is just crazy, Ron tends to come off kinda mellow and in control and do pretty chill midtempo songs, so it's great to hear him just rip into probably the hardest beat that Headphones and BeaLack have ever made, this is the kind of song that might win over some people that haven't really gotten into Mania yet.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Rickie Jacobs f/ Wordsmith and Artic - "Yes Yes Yall" (mp3)
Rickie Jacobs has been throwing a lot of music out there lately, and he finally just let loose the first single from his upcoming EP, Air Jacobs, and it has a nice lineup of guests.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
This month on the Baltimore City Paper's Noise blog, I wrote live reviews of Soul Cannon/The Get Em Mamis/Mania Music Group @ the Windup Space, the Nels Cline Singers @ the Black Cat, Smashing Pumpkins @ Rams Head Live, and Tortoise/Jason Urick @ Sonar.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Spita - The Fire
Spita is a kinda new cat that I posted a single by last year, and I was really intrigued by his sound at the time. So it was exciting to finally hear his album, which is out now on iTunes. His producer calls himself Different Sound Productions, and to his credit the beats on here really are something a little unique. Kinda reminds of what southern hip hop used to be the pre-crunk era, the kinda funky detailed Organized Noize-type production, and Spita himself has a style that's a throwback in a similar way, a little melodic and sing song but more like Chamillionaire or Nelly than like a AutoTune R&B rapper you hear on the radio these days. It's a short, concise album, I can't say I love every song but it holds together pretty well, looking forward to hearing more from this guy.
Spita - "B.M.F." (mp3)
At first I thought maybe this was gonna be another Rick Ross freestyle, but it's just a whole different original song (the title stands for "bad motherfucker"), and it's really dope, probably my favorite cut on the album.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
“K-Swift Day” 2010 is this Sunday, July 25th at Reedbird Park in Cherry Hill!
To celebrate the life of the late DJ K-Swift, the 92Q Family is inviting the entire Q-munity and all area DJ’s to Reedbird Park, 101 Reedbird Avenue (next to Cherry Hill Splash Park) in Cherry Hill this Sunday from 1pm-5pm! We’ll be honoring the memory of our Club Queen with food, fun and a live All-Star B’more Club Mix-Off featuring your favorite DJ’s from B’more and beyond! Plus, donations will be accepted by Swift’s family for the DJ K-Swift Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Then join us for…
A Memorial Event & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Skateworks, 1716 Whitehead Road in Gwynn Oak
A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the memorial fund for the late Khia “DJ K-Swift” Edgerton.
***Flowers and cards will be accepted at the event***
Enjoy music by DJ Porkchop, DJ Big Rel, DJ The Kid and guest DJ’s.
And the party doesn’t end there. Join 92Q’s Konan at the…
6 pm-2 am
Bourbon Street, 316 Guilford Avenue
All of the proceeds from this event will benefit the memorial fund for the late Khia “DJ K-Swift” Edgerton.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Green Street f/ The Black Sunn and 810 - "Up To You" (mp3)
Green Street are a hip hop group from Boston by way of New York, but they recently released an EP that features a couple of my favorite underground Baltimore rappers, I dig this track. When I interviewed The Black Sunn recently he said he's working on a duo project with 810, looking forward to that.
On this day in 2008, Khia "K-Swift" Edgerton, the Baltimore club queen, passed away. One of the biggest challenges I'm facing as I write Tough Breaks: The Story of Baltimore Club Music is to tell her part of the story, and of the era of club music which she dominated and in many ways defined, without her being around to give her own perspective. Hopefully I'll get a lot of help. In the meantime, if you'd like to read about her life and career, you can read the obituary I wrote the week of her death, and the group interview with Club Queen Entertainment that I conducted a couple weeks later, both for the Baltimore City Paper.
(photo by Josh Sisk)
This week in the Baltimore City Paper I have a feature on Mullyman about his new album Harder Than Baltimore and why he leaked the album himself, his production team on the album, his collaborations with Bossman and his ventures into Baltimore club music. It was kinda cool to come full circle and do this story almost exactly 5 years after I met Mully and wrote my first City Paper article about him in 2005.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Here's OEM's video for "Baltimore Swagg," directed by Gearie "The Grench" Bowman for Sleepin Giant Media.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Tony Austin - Gangsta Grillz: The Influence (DJ Drama/Austin Entertainment/The Aphilliates)
I wrote a City Paper feature a few weeks back about Tony Austin, but I hadn't really posted about his mixtape or put up any songs from it. I definitely think Tony's story is interesting and thought it was worth talking to him and covering him, but even he'd tell you he's not the greatest rapper in the world, so you definitely have to bear that in mind going into this CD. It ain't bad, he has a few verses and hooks that come off pretty fly, but like I just listened to it back to back with the new Gucci Mane mixtape, and it's clear that while a lot of people may disagree, it does take some talent to do this kind of music really well. Gucci guests on here, as do OJ Da Juiceman, Yo Gotti and Beanie Sigel, but Tony used all Baltimore producers for this like D. Banks and Nummy, and in addition to Baltimore guests like 100 Grandman, Caddy Da Don and Jay Luv. You can download this on DatPiff or any number of other sites.
Tony Austin f/ 100 Grandman and Caddy Da Don - "Play" (mp3)
The Baltimore posse cut on here is pretty dope, great beat. Tony's been talking about starting a group with himself, 100 Grand, Comp and another artist, will be interesting to see what happens with that. Caddy's got probably my favorite verse on this one.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
PenDragon - "BMF Freestyle (Baltimore MuFucka)" (mp3)
Right now everyone's rapping over the beat from the new Rick Ross single, Baltimore included, and so far I've heard Mullyman and Rickie Jacobs on this track too. But my favorite is from Drag, who flipped the Big Meech line to reference legendary Baltimore hustlers like Peanut King and Melvin Williams (shout out to D. Billz from the Nah Right comments section, who was I think the first person with that idea). Drag's new mixtape Style For Free is out now, but I haven't had the time to sit down and listen to it yet.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Here's Labtekwon's video for "Black Skatepunk," from the new album Baltimore Basquiat and the Future Shock out on August 3rd.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
E Major f/ J Hill and King Mez - "Where You Came From?" (mp3)
Here's the lead single from E Major is… Better Than Yours, a new EP dropping soon. E Major did the beat himself (with cuts by DJ Face) and I'm impressed, I didn't know he could produce like that.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This week the Baltimore City Paper rolled out its annual Big Music Issue, and it's got a lot of interesting stuff in there, can't wait to read all the articles. The one I wrote is called Might Don't Make It: Baltimore hip-hop may never go mainstream--is it up to its iconoclasts to carry the torch if it doesn't? I hope it'll start some conversations and some arguments; it might seem like I'm trying to shut down all the talk about if/when Baltimore might blow up, but really I just wanted to debunk some of the more naive and dated theories and strategies and get people past them, so they can set more realistic goals and maybe make more meaningful accomplishments. Most of the article is kinda me ranting, but I also used it as an opportunity to talk to some of my favorite unheralded underground hip hop artists and get their perspectives on the subject: The Black Sunn, Sean Toure', ScholarMan, Kneel Knaris, Born King, and Singodsuperior.
(cover by Sam Holden)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Baltimore hip hop/club music at Artscape and Whartscape 2010
Artscape is coming this weekend and Whartscape is next week, and even though My Crew Be Unruly III has been postponed and won't also be happening this week, there'll be some other club music and local hip hop happening at both of the big festivals, so I thought I'd do a quick summary (if I miss anything or there's other rap/club artists performing at/near the fests, please let me know):
Friday, July 16 @ Metro Gallery
Sunday, July 17 @ Wachovia Stage
Sunday, July 17 @ Charm City Stage
Friday, July 23 @ Current Space
Scottie B, The Get Em Mamis, Height, Rapdragons, Plural MC
Friday, July 23 @ H&H Building
Monday, July 12, 2010
Backland - "Dennis Rodman" (mp3)
I've already posted some songs from Backland's upcoming Block Work mixtape, but finally here's the first official single.
EDIT: shortly after putting up this post, I learned that MCBU has been postponed and will not be happening on Friday but at a later date -Al
Unruly & Senari Present
MY CREW BE UNRULY III
*In loving memory of Club Queen K-Swift*
$15 tickets for MY CREW BE UNRULY III are available now! The first 50 to buy get the MCBU goodie bag with mixtapes, free breakfast coupon, and other fun!
Tickets available here!
It's that time of year again and we are thrilled to be back with our third year of Baltimore pride and the sweaty, summer dance mayhem that is MY CREW BE UNRULY. We've recruited the best of the best club producers and selectors from the Northeast for three rooms and seven hours of music at the legendary Paradox warehouse club in Baltimore City. Those who know, know that being here makes you feel like you're a part of history in the making - where club kids battle next to house divas and your flanneled Natty Boh-toting neighbors. In summary:
- 18+ for entry at all three rooms of the Dox, including the outdoor yard.
- FREE BEER and BYOB for those that are 21+.
- FREE BREAKFAST at 5am
- First 50 to buy tickets get free goodie bags / mixtapes / tshirts
- Kitchen serves fried chicken / pizza / mixers all night
- Baltimore club, hip-hop, and house jams all night long
(MORE LINEUP ADDITIONS TO COME)
SCOTTIE B / KING TUTT / SHAWN CAESAR
Chavy Boys :: Unruly Records
DJ QUIKSILVA :: 93.9 WKYS :: Unruly
JAY CLAXTON :: 92Q :: Unruly
SUPA DJ BIG L :: Club Kingz Records
ULTRA NATE :: Deep Sugar
ROD LEE :: Club Kingz Records
DJ BOOMAN :: Doo Dew Kidz :: BmoreOriginal :: Bumsquad DJs
KW GRIFF :: Doo Dew Kidz
NADASTROM :: Bullitt
DJ TAMEIL :: Brick Bandits
TIM DOLLA :: Brick Bandits
SAY WUT :: Unruly
NOUVEAU RICHE DJs :: Gavin Holland, Steve Starks, Nacey
UNCLE JESSE :: Unruly :: Crossfaded Bacon
DEEP IN THE GAME :: Mark Brown, Cex, Schwarz
SMASH GORDON :: SubHuman / Steez
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Today's Washington Post has a big spread on the city's neighbor to the north, Baltimore, in today's Arts & Living section, including an article by Chris Richards about 92Q and Baltimore club music (you may need to grab a password from bugmenot.com to view it on the Post site). The piece features quotes from K.W. Griff (pictured), Say Wut, Porkchop, Cullen Stalin, and Wye Oak, and also mentions K-Swift, Blaqstarr, Rye Rye, DJ Class, Rod Lee, Mullyman, Booman and the Get Em Mamis (Chris also spoke to me for the article, but I'm not quoted in it, which is a situation I've been on the other end of enough times that I totally understand -- limited space, lack of a perfect quote, etc.).