Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Davon - Bottom Floor (Steele Lock Entertainment, 2003)

I have fond memories of Summer '02 being a real exciting time to be driving around Baltimore listening to the radio. That was during the short period that there were 2 rap stations in town, before WXYV flipped formats, and Lil Mo was their drivetime DJ, and they'd play club music for literally hours every day. B Rich and Mario were starting to hit the mainstream, and the first wave of Tim Trees/Rod Lee hits was really popping off locally, especially "Be Ya Friend" by Davon featuring Tim Trees, a weird funny R&B track with "Grindin'" drums, whistling, and a Trees verse that sounds like it was recorded in a tin can where he sounds real excited about a girl with no teeth. That song was everywhere for a while. But Davon didn't release an album until Summer '03, a full year after the song came and went, and "Be Ya Friend" is all the way at the end of the album. I wish the album had the remix too, which had a lot of Rod Lee vocals and chopped up the whistling bits in a cool way. The rest of the album is alright, pretty competent quiet storm stuff, maybe a little more slicker and professional sounding that Paula Campbell's album, although Davon seems to sing the same melody in every other song. My other favorite song on the album is "Need To Know" over the beat from "I Got A Story To Tell" (I don't know who the guest rapper on the song is, the liner notes don't say).

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Friday, July 22, 2005


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Baltimore City Paper article about Ammo, who I've mentioned on here a couple times before. Hearing him rap or seeing him in person, it really is kinda hard to believe he's only 15, 16 years old. The CP site has some good mp3s up by Ammo and Ogun.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Scott Seward -- of Why Baltimore House Music Is The New Dylan fame -- on DJ Lil Jay and Rod Lee in Seattle Weekly.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The BELIEVE campaign is something that's been going on in Baltimore for I don't know how long, combatting the city's destructive and violent drug trade with, like, a big vague one word message in all-caps white-on-black on banners hung in front of buildings and printed on trashcans and benches. And they do some things that I guess are just supposed to be good for the morale of the people, like teaming up with the local rap station to put on free outdoor concerts in the summer, whatever local rappers and R&B singers have a hit on 92Q at the moment plus some no-names, the "Give The People What They Want Tour", going from neighborhood to neighborhood every couple weeks.

Last Friday they went to the west side of Baltimore, Edmonson & Carey, the big BELIEVEMOBILE flatbed stage plopped down in the middle of the intersection, vendors and stuff up and down the street. The people from the 92Q morning show, Mark Clark and Troy Johnson and that new girl Sonjay from New York who's kinda fine, hosting and filling time between acts, with Richard Burton (Shamrock from The Wire). Lotta boring talent show type stuff, and weird little contests where they tried to pick a winner but ended up giving everyone involved 92Q gift bags. Dancing contests for different age groups, getting grandparents up onstage to step to "Before I Let Go" and "Let's Stay Together", and young folks bopping to club music, people going crazy and singing along to "Dance My Pain Away".

For a few minutes Richard Burton kept mentioning that a special guest had just pulled up around back, and finally it turned out it was Bossman, who came to perform unannounced. He went onstage with Tony Manson from NEK and said a few words and did a couple songs, "Oh" and "Face Down", real quick, in and out. Bossman didn't take off his sunglasses the whole time he was there, and was over on the side of the stage talking on a cell phone after he performed.

Tyree Colion was another surprise performer, and he just got up and did one song, the "Bass Drop" one w/ the Baltimore club type beat with the Cee-Lo sample. For some reason he made a point to mention that it wasn't produced by Rod Lee, which was odd since he has another song out with Rod on it. There were flyers all over the place for his album -- "Tyree Colion - The Problem And The Solution - In Stores Summer 2005 - Approach Records".

Mullyman came out with the whole Major League Unlimited crew wearing shirts with on the front and the MLU logo on the back (modified NBA logo, the white silhouette with blue on the left and red on the right, except holding a mic instead of a basketball). Sonny Brown was there and spit a couple verses, has a really strong stage presence, more than Mully. They did "Home Of Da Realest" and made a big deal about it being the #1 most requested song on 92Q the day of the show. And he did "Buck On Em" (video here) and a couple other songs I ddidn't know, and he didn't do "Got It" but talked over the beat for a minute. Then they closed with a big singalong of "Oh Baltimore".

I guess things were running behind schedule because Huli Shallone didn't get onstage until a little before 10, and didn't perform for very long, maybe they had to be done by 10 or something. Him and the whole Hit Em Hard Records crew started out with a couple songs over the "ASAP" and "Dem Boyz" beats, reinforcing Huli's whole quasi-southern sound, then did the "This Is My Hood" remix, and closed with "Makin' Moves" and then things got shut down shortly after he left the stage.

next BELIEVE concert:
Lil Mo and many more
July 29th
@ Cold Spring Lane & Reisterstown Road

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Happy birthday to Rod Lee


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Thursday, July 07, 2005

another free concert in Baltimore, this Friday, July 8th
Huli Shallone and Mullyman
@ the intersection of Edmonson Ave. & Carey St.
starting at 6:30pm
co-hosted by Mark Clark from 92Q and Shamrock from The Wire

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Tim Trees - "I'll Make You Feel Good"
New single! Wayne Jones is back! Cue the sirens! Premiered and then promptely replayed every other hour on 92Q over 4th of July weekend. Less than a week after I found out that B Rich is coming back out, another Baltimore hitmaker who hasn't made an album in 3 years drops a single. If you didn't see it before check my Tim Trees post from a few months ago, it's one of my favorite GN posts that I've ever done. Anyway, this song. Kinda generic expensive-sounding soul sample beat with a voice shouting "I'll make you feel good!" (is that the title? I'm not even sure). Tim sounds better on those cheap club drums but still it's good to know he's back.

D.O.G. - "Hello"
Sweet pretty love rap from some local dude I never heard of before, the hook is a sample of that Isley Bros./R. Kelly tune "What Would You Do" from a couple years back, Ronald's voice sped up into an even higher register singing "hello are y'all doing tonight...can I keep it real...and say what's on my mind?"

Chrome - "Sting"
Baltimore does dancehall too, apparently. Well I guess the guy lives around here but sounds like he's orginally from somewhere Caribbean. It's got that TKO type vocoded sliding effect on his voice, kinda catchy track.

Q - "Make Her Feel Good" Remix
The guy who had a little hit called "No" last year and then got a weirdly disproportionate amount of coverage in that Baltimore article in Fader, tacking a couple verses onto that crappy Teairra Mari song, but keeping it real Bmore with references to chicken boxes and half-and-half (half lemonade, half fruit punch (or iced tea)).

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