Thursday, May 31, 2007

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

K-Swift The Club Queen - Jump Off Vol. 10: We Fly High Edition (Unruly Records/Next Level)

Let me say this right off the bat: I don't necessarily believe the payola accusations about K-Swift, and my attitude is basically that she should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. I personally hope she can prove her innocence, because she's done a lot of positive things for Baltimore music, and it'd be a shame if she did something unethical that could destroy all of that. I've always been a little uneasy with the way she's unapologetically promoted her label's rappers on her radio show, but she still plays dope club music by most of the best Baltimore club producers, instead of ignoring them and only playing tracks by teenage producers who aren't as talented or something. So I'm gonna keep writing about her club music mixes, and I hope these posts don't get too bogged down in that negativity and controversy down in the comments section or on hoax websites.

This CD's been out since March, but I just copped it recently, in fact she's actually already got the next one dropping in June. The mix is really heavy on Rod Lee tracks, some from his latest album The Producer, but some seem to be newer than that, because I've never heard "Can I Rock" before. It's also got Booman's remix of "We Fly High" by Jim Jones on here, of course. Only one Blaq Starr cut, "In The Air," but a lot of the usual K-Swift staples like NSW and Tigga.

King Tutt - "Trying To See Me" (mp3)
King Tutt's really been one of my favorite club producers lately, I think he's kinda young but he does a lot of stuff with Scottie B. and Unruly. I don't know where the vocal sample on this track is from but I love this track.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

o.k. right, recently i just graduated from Coppin State University and so did my boy Born David McCraw aka wATer who's a really dope poet so this Wed. at The Brass Monkey for Mic Life where having a stright up party to celebrate, so everybody come on out and enjoy the HipHop, the festivites, the good music, the good times, the neo b-boyism and the cheap drinks. Plus live performences by...

Slangston Hughes

Em Sea wATer


Mic Scholars

Hosted By

Lyrical Leviathan and Blackwind

Dj Chuck Tha Madd-Ox on the wheels playing dat good shit...

also appearing Slick Vic Low...

plus the open mic and the infamous pass to the right cypher.

ohh yea, and did i mention that its free, thats right, the event costs free dollars and 90 no cents... ummm, come on now...FREE

Brown Monkey Music and Torchlight Ent. Presents Mic Life Each and every Wed. night at The Brass Monkey 1601 Eastern Ave.
Doors open at 7:30 Show from 8pm to 12 $3 $2 shots $3 domestic bottles

Mic Life
Because HipHop is Life, so don't waste it!!!

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Finally! The Rock Da Mic Championships are going down this Wednesday at Taste International! I have $10 tickets for sale (as do my partners RAW DOC, Team FIFty, and all the winners involved). The price if $15 at the door with no ticket, ladies are free before 11pm. Doors open at 9pm, show starts at 10pm. 410.507.3855 for tickets or more info.

For the past 7 weeks, hundreds of independent artists throughout Maryland have been coming out every Wednesday competeing for a winning spot to get to the championships! Each week about 15 artists/groups would compete and only 2 winners chose from a different panel of judges. There is also a seperate freestyle battle in which the crowd decides the 1 winner who would advance to the championships each week. I couldn't believe how much incredible talent came through each week and glad I didn't have to be a judge because the desicion would be too hard! I saw some artists come in and win on the first week they tried. I saw some artists who came in multiple weeks in a row, getting better each time who finally won and some artists who definetetly did their thing that I hope to see back next week to compete for a spot in the championships next month!

So, the winners competeting for the title are, Kaliko, Maniak Dre, Camoflauge, Stryfe of The Kartel, -Train of U.A. MoBB, MTM, Keyaira CHannel, Zero Tolerence, Flex Squad, LoRal, Drillz, Dynamic Compositions, and LS.

The freestyle battlers are Jay Brown, Dan Green, Maniak Dre, Gutta of F1rst Fam,, Killa Bamboo of Killa Connek.

Judges consist of major media figures Kelly Connelly of Music Monthly Magazine, Rogue of Bmore Vibe Magazine and 2 suprise judges!

Feature performers are U.A. MoBB, KG ft. Ray Lugar, and Mack Houston of Raw DOC South

Prize for the winner of competeting and battle, trophy, write up in Bmore Vibe Magazine, interview and music on Deep Flow Radio and Deep Flow TV, web promotion and a feature in next months Championships.

This Championships will be televised on Deep FLow TV every month! The new competetion starts over next Wednesday, June 6th so come compete for your spot in the next championships!

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Height - Winterize The Game (Grand Man Records)

I remember about 5 years ago, I was just starting to take a serious interest in the Baltimore hip hop scene and learn about artists like Tim Trees, Brown F.I.S.H., Labtekwon and B. Rich. I also was, and still am, interested in a lot of the music that comes out of Baltimore that isn't rap or club music, all the indie rock and noise and techno and other weird uncategorizable types of music, a scene that I've kinda been getting back into lately covering shows for Noise. And one of my favorite artists out of that whole other scene was Cex, this white kid about the same age as me, who had started out making techno records, and kinda talking over his beats at shows, usually opening for rock bands. Eventually, though, he started rapping, and collaborating with some of his friends who rapped, too, and made what I thought was a pretty good hip hop record called Tall, Dark, And Handcuffed in 2002. I'm usually not real into that kind of nerdy indie hip hop, either, but I identified with what they were rhyming about and how they represented Baltimore. Cex kinda stopped rapping and made different kinds of music after that, but some of the guys that guested on that album, Height and Bow N' Arrow, kept rapping and making their own records, and my friend Tom Breihan wrote a City Paper feature about them once.

After I started Government Names I got more involved with the more traditional hip hop that most Baltimore rappers make, and learned about more of the kinds of local artists that don't played on the radio. And while guys like Height are in a whole different scene, they are working in pretty much the same DIY spirit of putting out your records independently and doing your own thing as most of the mixtapes I write about here. And one of the things I'm always trying to show on this site, without making too big a deal out of it, is that Baltimore hip hop contains multitudes and can't be summed up with one style. So even thought I've never really written about artists like Cex on Government Names, I do write about a lot of more eccentric rappers like Labtekwon, as well as white rappers like Third Kind and E Major and Tate The Arsenal. So even though I think of Height and Bow N' Arrow as being more part of Baltimore's indie weirdo noise scene, they really are Baltimore hip hop, and I realized that there's no reason I shouldn't write about Height's new album on here.

Height isn't a real slick rapper, but he's got kind of an interesting, understated sense of humor. Winterize The Game is supposed to be a full-length album, and it's got 12 tracks, but it's only 25 minutes long, and some of the songs are pretty weird. But a lot of it's just talking about regular everyday shit, kinda like early Beastie Boys. I went to the release party for the album at the Ottobar a while back, and it was a cool show, a lot of other weird underground rap dudes that he's tight with like Grand Buffet were on the bill too.

Height f/ Bow N' Arrow - "Smash Your Eyes" (mp3)
This is probably my favorite track on here, and is also one of the two songs produced by Bow N' Arrow.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hip Hop 101/Old School Mondays
"Best Weekly Event" - Baltimore City Paper
May 28th, 2007 - Five Seasons
830 Guilford Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201 - ladies $5, guys $10





2 FOR $15







-Sonny Brown

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Just saw this, but last week Noz from Cocaine Blunts put up a post about obscure Mannie Fresh productions, and included Huli Shallone's "Makin' Moves." Good track, maybe now that Huli's signed to Universal Records he can afford some more Mannie beats.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ogun - Bmore Hero: The Mixtape Of The Year (Real On Purpose Ent./Architects Recording Studio)

If you read the site, you should already know who Ogun is. He supports Baltimore hip hop more than almost anybody else, so if you care about it you should support him. Matter of fact, you should probably own this mixtape already, since he's been selling it since March. But you can get it off his MySpace page or at a number of local stores, or you can wait until the official release party at Sonar on July 19th, which he just announced this week. This CD has a lot of tracks that I've posted on here before, including the posse cuts "Just Us" (with Bossman, Backland, Skarr, Clayway and Comp) and "Bmore Shit" (with Tim Trees, Clayway, Mully and ShellBe R.A.W.), and a lot of other guest appearances. Check out my Noise interview with Ogun for more info on this release.

Ogun f/ XO - "Cyber Thuggin'" (mp3)
This song is hilarious and something really all of us can reate to these days. XO's probably my favorite local MC who I've never heard a solo project by, just has an ill voice and kills every guest appearance I hear, his verse on this is real on point.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

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A message from DJ Booman:


Tuesday Night @ The Belvedere Hotel!!
Red Tuesdays!! Live Band Open Mic, Super Sexxy Event! Yours Truly DJ BOOMAN on the Wheels!!!!!
$5 admission come through an here the best in Hip Hop, RnB, Old School, Breaks,and Reggae!!!!

Wednesday Night @ Taste Inernational!!!!
Deep Flow Studios, Team Fifty and Raw D.O.C
Present Roc The Mic Wednesdays
Open Mic, MC Battle, Dance Party
Come get it on with the best MC's in Bmore
Yours Truly DJ BOOMAN on the Wheels!!!!!

Friday Night!!!!!
TEam Fifty.Com presents
Ray Lugar and DJ Booman's Birthday Bash!!!!
Live performances!!! All night LONG!!!!!
@ The 5 Seasons!
Come Party with the Birthday Boys!!!!!!!
DJ BOOMAN on the wheels!!!!!!!!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Here's something interesting from's Mixtape Monday this week:

Pharrell's been going back and forth between his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and South Beach, Florida, for a few years now — but if you ask the Neptunes producer, he's actually been drawing most of his inspiration from somewhere in between the two cities. P said he mixed some Baltimore club music into the production for Twista's new single, "Give It Up." "The Baltimore house [music] is incredible," he said. "[For] 20 years, that B-More stuff has been like insane and banging. So I wanted to do it on an artist and sort of bring it into the mainstream."

Along with his production partner, Chad Hugo, Pharrell said the 'Tunes will start to usher in the B-More sound throughout the rest of the year with a few more songs. But in true Pharrell fashion, he said expect the beats to come with his own personal twist. "I wanted to give my own interpretation of it, which is a little bit of Miami, a little bit of Baltimore house," he explained. "The way I'm doing it don't sound like B-More and don't sound like Miami. It just kind of [has] a lot of the remnants of the sounds of the things that I would use ... arranged with the mentality of the B-More stuff but with the low end of Miami. It's cool."

LOL @ them saying that Baltimore is between Virginia and Florida, nice geography lesson, MTV. Anyway I'm not surprised by this, since there was some talk a couple years ago of DJ Technics licensing some Baltimore club tracks to the Neptunes for some kind of deal, although I don't know if anything ever came of that. I think I'll wait and see how this plays out, though, because I've barely liked anything the Neptunes have done the last couple years, and Chad Hugo did a Bmore-style remix of "Can I Have It Like That" that I didn't think sounded right at all. So it's cool that they like Baltimore club and are influenced by it, but if they're just gonna put it through the same wackness filter that most of their recent productions have gone though, I'm probably just gonna cringe about it and hope they get Technics or someone to do real Baltimore remixes for 'em. Twista + Baltimore club is, in theory, the illest shit ever, but "Give It Up" sounds more like "Promiscous" than club music, the BPM isn't even fast enough. Skateboard P needs to do this shit right or not at all.


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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hip Hop 101/Old School Mondays
"Best Weekly Event" - Baltimore City Paper
May 21st, 2007 - Five Seasons
830 Guilford Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201 - ladies $5, guys $10




2 FOR $15




-Sonny Brown

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

NOE - The Brix Tape (Byrd Gang/Bace Enterprise)

A couple issues ago, the City Paper ran a feature by Jason Torres on NOE, the Baltimore rapper signed to Jim Jones' Byrd Gang label. It's a good article, although in it NOE actually seems to have more connections to the local rap scene than he lets on in the interview. He was on Hamsterdam Vol. 2 recently, one of my favorite tracks on there, and I was talking to Labtekwon the other day and he told me that he and NOE actually used to be in a crew together back in the day (I just noticed Lab left a comment to that effect on the CP page for the article). NOE's new single is called "Headlights" and people really seem to like it, although I personally don't like it as much as some of his other songs.

This mixtape is actually over a year old now, but I just finally got it pretty recently after trying to hear it for a while. NOE's MySpace page has it on sale through PayPal now, but before there was just an eBay link and I'm not buying any CDs off there. I remember last year C Love had this mixtape and was trying to get it to me, I think she's cool with NOE, but I kept missing her or seeing her when she didn't have the CD. There's a lot of collabs on here, with AZ and Jim Jones and Juelz Santana, as well as some tracks NOE isn't on by Dipset and D.I.T.C. and Bossman's "Untouchable." Check out another NOE interview up on the Diplomats fansite Harlem Piff

NOE f/ Latiff - "Time Is Money" (mp3)
I like this track, kinda going back and forth in a conversational flow with another Dipset dude.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

"Bmore Hero" LIVE!!!! (Performance slots still available!!!)
Body: ..

*****Show Time: Saturday May 19, 2007 - 8:00 PM
Venue Name: Shahrazad's International Cafe
Address: 771 Washington Blvd
City: Baltimore
Country: US
Zip Code: 21230
Cost: $10
Description: Talent show/Battle with a special feat. a performance by Bmore's Hero... OGUN!!!!

***For more info on how to register to be apart of the talent showcase contact Kane @ 410-978-2659

"Bmore Hero" is still available @ all Baltimore Record and Tape Traders, Sound Garden, Deep Flow Studios (located @ 3725 S. Hanover St.) & myspace..... So what U waitin 4?

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Thursday, May 17, 2007


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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ckrisis - Muscle Up Vol. 1 (Bird City Entertainment/Jouk Sqad)

Ckrisis is a 20-year-old rapper from East Baltimore who sent me a press kit recently with a lot of music in it, a couple mixtapes and a single and a sampler from his upcoming album Seven Days In Bird City. I like the album material I've heard, especially the single "Down For Whatever" that's on his MySpace page, but this mixtape is more on the freestyle tip with industry beats. He was featured at 5 Seasons a few weeks ago and he's performing at Cameo this Saturday.

Ckrisis - "Tore Up" (mp3)
This is the only track on here that has kind of a Baltimore club vibe with the fast tempo and the Lyn Collins break, produced by the Pornstars, so it's not really representative of the rest of his tracks, but that horn sample is ill, this is really one of my favorite songs on the CD.

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Makeshift Deluxe

Sean Toure


S.O.N. of Nun

Mic Life
Each and every Wednesday night at The Brass Monkey 1601 Eastern Ave (Fells Point)
Hosted By Lyrical Leviathan and Black Wind

Dj Chuck The Madd-Ox controlling the mix
Doors open at 7:30
Show from 8pm to 12
Cover free99
$2 shots
$3 domestic bottles

Mic Life, Because HipHop is life, so don’t waste it!

Mic Life
because HipHop is life, so don't waste it!!!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Briefly: a reminder to go check out, where in the past month I've written about Baltimore club music (the latest Club Beat column featuring an interview with Scottie B.), Baltimore rap music (a post about videos on YouTube by Diablo, Mullyman, PenDragon, Comp, Labtekwon, B. Rich, and Bossman), and Baltimore rock music (live reviews of Private Eleanor, Vinny Vegas/Deleted Scenes/Savory James, and
Karmella's Game/Avec/Endless Mike and the Beagle Club/Velociraptor). Trying to keep it locally focused but with a lot of variety.

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Rock Da Mic Wednesdays
freestyle battle & open mic competition
@ Club Taste
May 16th, 2007

this week's features:
U.A. Mobb
Snapz (of E.C.O. Records)

battle judges:
Rouge of Bmore Vibe Magazine
MixMaster J-Lee
Jason Torres

last week's winner's:
Zero Tolerance and Big L (open mic)
Gutta of 1st Fam (freestyle battle)

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Monday, May 14, 2007


DJ Blaqstarr - Supastarr EP (Mad Decent Records)

This EP has been out for a couple months, but I thought it was just gonna be on vinyl and just recently saw that it was on iTunes and copped it. I've been singing Blaq Starr's praises for years and getting him as much coverage as I could in the City Paper (Best of Baltimore award in '05, #2 local album of '06 and interview in the Big Music Issue), to me he's really the next generation of Baltimore club music, applying original vocals and melodies to the same energy instead of just sampling records. So I'm real happy to see him getting a national release and some serious exposure, even if it's on Diplo's label and is gonna mostly get shine in corny Hollertronix-type 'eclectic DJ' circles. The EPK video is even kinda goofy, wtf is up with the words "HOOD BORN" flashing in lights at the beginning? My friend Tom Breihan wrote it up in Pitchfork last week and gave me a little shout-out in there for something I said in a comment on his Village Voice blog.

I'm not totally crazy about the EP itself, which seems like an odd selection of tracks: even if they couldn't use the tracks he remixed for rappers like "Ryda Gyrl" and "Hands Up, Thumbs Down," I think songs like "Get My Gun" and "In The Air" are too essential to be left off of any introduction to Blaq Starr. And the version of "Tote It" on here is kinda different and has barely any vocals. Also, I'm not really sure why the one track they seem to be hyping up is "Shake It To The Ground" featuring some girl named Rye Rye rapping on it, it's probably my least favorite track on here. No disrespect to her, it just seems like out-of-town folks really wanna hear young girls rapping on club music and make it some "Chicken Noodle Soup" shit, which is strange to me, because there's a lot of talented, grown female MCs in Baltimore. When I burned this to CD I put a bunch of other club tracks and hip hop productions for D.O.G. and Young Leek and N.E.K. and Cooli Hi and the I'm Banging mixtape on it too, to kind of make the ultimate Blaq Starr disc. His MySpace page says he has a new release in Downtown Locker Room stores called 'The King Of Roq,' anyone heard that one yet?

DJ Blaqstarr - "Check Me Out Like" (mp3)
This is one of my favorite Blaq Starr songs that I never knew the name of until this EP, since the only mix CD I had it on was I'm Banging, which has no tracklist.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hip Hop 101/Old School Mondays
"Best Weekly Event" - Baltimore City Paper
May 14th, 2007 - Five Seasons
830 Guilford Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201 - ladies $5, guys $10


Hip Hop 101 brings to you some of the rawest talent in the Baltimore City area.. We have some peoples from DC that come down to rock out from time to time as well. RNB artist are never excluded as a matter of fact, RNB artist get alot of love at hip hop 101. My goal is to continue to be the jumpoff spot for artist to come thru, show there skill, promote, practice upon there stage shows, and meet people that can help them out as much as they can.

Tomorrow night we have

Ty- Gutta
Black Talon Entertainment
410 Click
Tydale Clayton - RNB
Rated R
AC Click
Killa Konnect
Zone 18
Bishop- Da african gangsta
Digga Saratoga

If we have enough people in by 9:15pm, I may have a open mic until the time of the performance. to get in the open mic it will be a additional $10 to sign up.

$10 for the fellas
$5 for females
2 for $15 for the performers

Special guest performer who rocked the Fresh Fest... REEL LIFE and one of Baltimores hardest emcees that straight does his thing whenever i see him Young Sac!

Doors open at 9pm so remember to get there early!

open mic starts immediatly
show time starts at 10:30pm

Hosted by Sonny Brown aka The Gingerbreadman aka Swagga Brown
92Q's own Squarril WYDE aka The SMUT KING
and my NEW co- host SHAKA PITTS aka Spitz McMahon

DJ Jabril on the 1's and two's

Drink specials and Food provided by Solomon!

Come on in and have some fun and watch some of Baltimore City's livest talent

-Sonny Brown

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

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Friday, May 11, 2007

You might remember a couple months back, when Fox 45 did a story on local hip hop with Bossman and Deep Flow Studios. Well, once again on tonght's 10 o'clock news, there's going to be a story featuring local artists, this time U.A. Mobb and Tislam The Great speaking on hip hop censorship.


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Thursday, May 10, 2007

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bossman - "So Fresh" (mp3)
Boss's latest single has been out for a minute, but it's been really growing on me lately and I thought I'd post it up. Yet another hot beat from One Up.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

tommorow night Brown Monkey Music Revue featuring

Stephine Lightfoot (sure fire vocalist and poet)

LPF (Liberated Peoples Foundation)


Jeda (another dope vocalist)

Mic Life
Each and every Wednesday night at The Brass Monkey 1601 Eastern Ave (Fells Point)
Hosted By Lyrical Leviathan and Black Wind

Dj Chuck The Madd-Ox controlling the mix
Doors open at 7:30
Show from 8pm to 12
Cover free99
$2 shots
$3 domestic bottles

Mic Life, Because HipHop is life, so don’t waste it!

Mic Life
because HipHop is life, so don't waste it!!!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

U.A. Mobb/Kumiti - Staxx On Deck (DNA)

U.A. Mobb is a Baltimore rap crew that's been making a lot of noise lately, mainly with TestMe becoming pretty well known as a solo artist. You might also remember their awesome track "U Bad" that I posted last year. Amotion from Deep Flow sent me a bunch of mixtapes a while back, including this one, which is kind of a showcase for another U.A. Mobb member, Zon $taxx, hosted by DNA. His voice isn't as unique as TestMe, so it's harder to pick him out on the posse cuts, but from what I can tell dude can flow, I was impressed by this mixtape.

U.A. Mobb - "Gangstaz 4 Real" (mp3)
All the original beats on here are by a cat who calls himself Steven Spielberg, and some of his tracks are incredible, especially this one, which has both Staxx and TestMe on it and I'm not sure who else.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

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I don't know who wrote this or how much of it is true, but this is a pretty interesting e-mail that's been making the rounds for the past couple days:

Hi. I have decided to take down the original contents of this post, which reprinted an anonymous letter distributed in May 2007 alleging misdeeds on the part of several Baltimore radio staffers, including DJ K-Swift. I never felt completely right about posting the letter at the time, not knowing who wrote it or whether they were telling the truth, without asking any of the involved parties themselves, and had come to regret helping to stir up the ensuing controversy. And in light of K-Swift's unfortunate recent passing, some irresponsible 'news' websites have taken to linking this post and dredging up a long dormant scandal, and speculating about "foul play" in the circumstances of her death, even after Baltimore police ruled her death accidental and told the media that there was no suspicion of foul play. I do not wish to be a part of HipHopDX or anyone else's destructive rumor-mongering, at a time when an entire city is still mourning a local hero. If anyone wishes to engage in any legitimate investigative journalism about the claims being put forward, they can and should, but I have no desire further assist anyone in spreading unconfirmed hearsay.

-Al, 7/25/08

Friday, May 04, 2007

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Weak - Painful EP

The Weak are a pair of rappers from Upper Marlboro, MD that I saw open for For The People Entertainment at a show at Sonar a few weeks ago, and they really stuck out from all the other acts on the bill and impressed me. They just came off as really low-key cats on the Native Tongues tip, not wearing anything flashy or acting out with a lot of bravado, but the music and especially the beats are dope. This is a 4-song CD that there were copies of sitting around at the show so I had to snap one up. The last track was kind of surprising to me because they rock a sample of Nirvana's "Rape Me," although it's not really one of my favorite songs.

The Weak - "Ugly" (mp3)
This is my favorite beat on here, I really wanna know who does their production, like if it's a member of the group or just assorted other producers.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

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