Wednesday, August 31, 2005

An article I wrote about Skarr Akbar appears in this week's issue of the Baltimore City Paper. I've been listening to his music a lot but had been kind of holding back from doing a post about him on Gov't Names, aside from a few passing mentions, because I'd been working on this article and didn't want to spoil it. So read the article, and if you're interested, check out some mp3's from his mixtapes below. He's also on a ton of Streetsweepers mixtapes, if you google his name they're real easy to find. You can e-mail him at

"The Hood Legend" from The Hood Legend: The Best of Skarr Akbar Part 3
This is one of my favorite tracks, I think it plays over the opening credits of his first DVD.

"Pick Ya Poison" from The General Part 1
A short clip of one of his more popular songs, also set to appear on his next album Da Beautiful Mind.

"N.E.W.Z." from The General Pt. 2: Show Me Your Soul
That's K-Swift on the drop at the beginning of the track. Skarr also does the intro song for K-Swift's show on 92Q, you can usually hear it around 6pm.

Live @ 105.7 from The Hood Legend: The Best of Skarr Akbar Part 3
Circa '02, when WXYV was still a rap station. Sounding vicious as hell, tons of great lines.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Labtekwon - The Ghetto Dai Lai Llama: African Rhythm American Blues

Afrocentric eccentric from Baltimore, which you can tell just by the cover, wearing Orioles gear in the middle of a museum exhibit of Egyptian art (which reminds me of a couple convos I've had lately about how some people think that the O's logo is some racist sambo imagery shit). Never really checked for him even though he's always got a lot of local press, artsy true school dude who's been rapping since the 80's and doesn't fuck with much of the current era Baltimore stuff I listen to, biggest release was an album on Mush Records a few years ago. So it was surprising when he turned up on BET Uncut with a camcorders'n'strippers video for "Uhnnn Huhnnn", turns out he does nasty sex rhymes pretty well. I was trying to figure out who his voice reminds me of, at first I thought Redman but then I realized really it's the Madd Rapper, which is kind of hilarious. Also a song w/ Bmore's own international dance music superstar Ultra Nate', some other songs I can't get into with twitchy Outkast type fake drum'n'bass beats, some low key track I'm kinda feeling, like "Windows": "harm city, we strictly guns and drugs/homey we got plenty slums and thugs/it ain't booty shake, we call our music club/me, I hold my balls like a grudge/cause shorty ain’t nobody really fit to judge".

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

According to Mullyman's site, Mullymania is out today and available at Baltimore area Best Buys, FYEs and Downtown Locker Rooms. Also, here's a Mully interview on

Mullyman f/ the Clipse and Fam-Lay - "Got It" (produced by Rod Lee)
Mully's first single, which I wrote about last summer when it first came out. Note that Pusha T did the "married to the game/throw rice" line a year before Juelz (I don't know if someone else did it before either of them or what, though).

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Monday, August 22, 2005

DJ Chris J. - Club Mix Volume #16

K-Swift's recently redesigned website has a bunch of stuff on it, a clip of her appearance on Rap City, finally some of her newer mixes on sale (including Vol. 6), and DJ Chris J.'s CDs, although not his newest ones. The most recent one there is #11, pictured above, but I'm talking about #16, which has the address of the store I got it at (Dimensions In Music on Park Ave.) printed on the front cover, burned on the same kind of blue and silver Hewlett-Packard blank that Plum Drank sent me mixes on with "#16" written on it in black marker. Chris J. ain't the greatest club DJ, mumbles on the intro/outro when you're expecting some shouting to match the volume and excitement of the music, and his beatmatching skills are a little shaky, sometimes the transitions get messy, but a couple times the rhythms pile up in a kinda cool unique way. Chris J.'s own club versions of "Slow Down" and "Hollaback Girl" shuffled in with some staples of everyone else's recent mixes, plus a few serious joints that I hadn't heard anywhere else.

Blaq Starr - "Get My Gun Pt. 2"
I already posted the original months ago, but I got a request for it, so here's the slightly different sequel, mixed into Chris J.'s "That's My Shit".

Blaq Starr - "Stop"
More BS because I haven't heard K-Swift or any other DJs spin this one yet and it's so fucking sick! Blaq Starr is taking club music on some creepy gothic shit (mixed into Rod Lee's "Get Right" rmx).

DJ Technics - "We Party"
Totally unjustly buried at the end of the CD. Decent hiccupy sample of 50 hook and dinky cowbell from Young Buck's "Let Me In", but what does it for me is the spangly old school house music synth that comes in halfway through.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Huli Shallone - "Give It Up"
Huli's album's got some serious legs, been out 6 months now and still spinning off hits, even after the non-LP "Makin' Moves", this is about the 4th or 5th song from the album that I've heard on local radio regularly. I didn't mention this track when I originally wrote about the album because it was in the 2nd half and didn't really stick out at the time. One of those creeping club tracks that there's a bunch of on that record, but now that I'm hearing it a lot it's growing on me, that beepy keyboard riff and Huli going "oh-oh-oh-ohhhh" along with it on the intro. No liner notes crediting producers, but K-Swift mentioned one night after playing it that it's produced by the same people who did that Trey Songz/Twista "Just Gotta Make It" (Troy Taylor & Kookie?).

Tyree Colion, Ms. Kitty, Comp, Little Clayway, Pork Chop and Q - Rap Attack freestyle
2 Sundays ago on 92Q's Rap Attack, Rod Madd Flava announced that it would be his last week as co-host of the show, putting on a suit and moving on to an upper management position. On Rap Attack and once or twice when I was at concerts he hosted he always came across real cool and genuinely invested in the local scene, giving cats real advice on how to get radio people to listen to their music and consider giving it airtime, so I'm glad he got promoted. Celebrities calling in and wishing him well, Bossman, Chris from Young Gunz, Skinny Suge (who said Stop Fucking Snitching Vol. 2 is dropping this month, so get ready for another round of controversy). Then, rounding up a hell of a lot of local MCs in the studio for a big finale freestyle for like 20 minutes straight, mostly over this clunky, slow beat I don't recognize that sounds like it could've been on the last De La Soul album or something or actually maybe a Rick Rock beat, but somehow perfect for the styles of everyone on it. Tyree coming first, sounding more like Fat Joe than I'd ever realized, but with a more greasy, laid back flow. Comp busting a written that I recognize from a track on his new mixtape, and then a funny squeezed up doubletime flow. Q coming alright and then fumbling and starting to say the same rhyme again on his 2nd time around. Little Clayway impressing me way more than he ever has before, sounding tougher and older, talking about dropping independent albums to feed his family. Then them all convincing Pork Chop to jump on that mic with that big, raspy voice he's only used for talking on the radio the last couple years, kind of faltering on the freestyle but then they throw on the beat from one of his old songs and he rips it, throwing in funny slurping sounds in place of the curse words, then comes back later and rips an old Premo beat. I finally heard those old World Premier songs he did with Rod Lee back in the day recently and really appreciated what he can do, showing where that radio personality charisma came from.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

After I posted that CP article about Ammo, I got a comment from Wink, (co-CEO of Real On Purpose Ent. who works w/ Ogun, Ammo and Profound), who told me about the website for their new group, the Gritty Gang and a show they were doing the following Tuesday at Club 429 at Franklin and Eutaw. So I went and checked it out, one of those disarmingly clean, well lit clubs where the stage is just a tiled rectangle in the middle of the carpeted floor, kinda laid back vibe (the flyer said "dress code: DO YOU"), people just there to perform or see their friends perform or support other artists. Tyree Colion was the first and last performer, and that was about the 4th time he's popped up at a show that I didn't even know he was gonna be at in the past year, I still need to get some of his music. The Gritty Gang did their thing, Ogun did his new single although oddly nothing from his album that just dropped like 4 months ago. Ammo did "Gully Musick", and man, that song is fucking sick, I like it more every time I hear it. I saw Wink and talked to him for a couple minutes although unfortunately I didn't find him later to get some CDs or something from him (also, Wink, who did the "Gully Musick" beat?).

Lot of other people that I wasn't familiar with came out and performed, some of them had free CD's in the lobby, these guys Dyverse and "Rich" had albums out there, they did alright. Some kids from D.C. performed, and they really worked their asses off to get a good response from the audience, because you know there's always gonna a little bit of an attitude between Baltimore and D.C. people. And there was also this local kid called Diablo who had a real catchy song that I was glad that he had a single for out in the lobby called "Jail Flick". You wouldn't think a song about taking pictures in jail would be all anthemic, but that's a catchy-ass song, had everyone in there going "jail flick, AHHHH, jail flick, AHHHH".

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Friday, August 12, 2005

Major League Unlimited presents: Mullyman - Believe In H.I.M. hosted by DJ Gemini

I copped a different Mullyman mixtape a while back, The Leak Mixtape, that I never wrote about because it was only like 37 minutes and had tracks I already wrote about on it, and he had another one earlier this year, but this is the current one that they're selling at the Believe shows and on his website, to get up the buzz for the Mullymania album, which is dropping on August 23rd. It’s got some old songs like "Oh Baltimore" and "From The Heart" w/ Freeway, new freestyles (over the "Drop It Like It's Hot" remix beat, "The Corner", "Diamonds", "I'm A Hustla", etc.), a couple teasers of "Home Of Da Realest" but not the full song, some music from other Baltimore/MLU people like Mr. Wilson, Black Lo, Sonny Brown, Young Blip, Nik Stylz (Mully’s sister), Bless, C.R.


That song I talked about a few months ago that has the same beat as Lil Mo's "Dem Boyz", some good verses here, Mully just really going at it, and I love playing spot the reference: club tracks (hey down the hill!), Skinny Suge, Squirrel Wyde from 92Q, etc.

"Gangsta Wit Me" f/ Comp, Backland and Sonny Brown

Produced by Jay Funk, who did some other good local joints like Norm Skola's "Nobody Move", MLU collab with 2 of the hottest in Baltimore, the kid on Def Jam and the kid that was on 106 & Park, Backland just doing the hook. Mully and Sonny did their verses from this at the Believe shows, Sonny on the best verse, saying it kind of smooth instead of how he shouts it live.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Stone Soul Picnic this Saturday with Toni Braxton, Keyshia Cole, Lil Mo and Paula Campbell.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Some recent articles about Baltimore club/Rod Lee in the SF Bay Guardian by Julianne Shepherd and in the Washington Post by Todd Inoue, both of which mention Gov't Names. Thanks! I hope people don't forget that I freelance and anyone who needs a Baltimore article can get at me, though. Also thanks to Kris Ex for the mention of Gov't Names in the hip hop blogs sidebar in the current issue of VIBE (Jamie Foxx cover, page 174) (no Gel & Weave, though?).

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bossman - "Untouchable"
"The beat knockin' and keep knockin', nobody's home", new Jimmy H. produced by Clinton Sparks, nice beat and less samey than the beats on the CS album, dropping punchlines like "feel what I say like I spoke braille", obscure Biggie verse chopped up for the hook, "untouchable, uncrushable, gettin' mad blunted gettin' gettin' mad blunted"

D.O.G. - "Higher"
Harder song to follow up "Hello", sampling the same song Kanye did for the Do Or Die track of the same but flipping it differently with the chorus opening up all wide and cinematic, stern New York type flow, talking about snitches and sending them higher, I guess up to heaven is the idea.

Huli Shallone - "NINE"
The song over the "ASAP" beat that I mentioned him doing at the Believe show, shuffled on 92Q between the original song and "Stay Strapped", bragging about how even without a deal he still pushes a Benz, "suckas hatin' on me, I'm gonna tear yo ass up with the N-I-N-E".

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Here are the remaining dates for the Baltimore Believe "Give The People What They Want" tour featuring Huli Shallone and Mullyman:

8/05 - Fayette & Highland
8/19 - Druid Hill
8/20 - Gilmor Homes
9/09 - Baltimore City School Hq, North Ave.
9/16 - Cherry Hill/Spelman Rd

I heard there might be something on August 25/26th too. Last week's show at Cold Spring & Reisterstown was good, much bigger and livelier crowd than the one at Edmonson & Carey, and I chopped it up with Mullyman and his people for a few minutes and made plans to do an interview with him soon for the Baltimore City Paper.

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