Monday, December 31, 2007
Labels: battle, flyer, Turntable Club
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Say Wut - Beats Extraordinaire EP (Unruly Records)
Say Wut has been one of my favorite producers in Baltimore club music for a while now, and earlier this year I interviewed him for my Club Beat column and wrote about his latest mix CD. But this year he also dropped an EP of his latest tracks as a digital download on the Unruly Records website, and I forgot to really talk about it on here until after I already listed it as #4 on the list of my favorite Baltimore albums of 2007. I don't know if the EP is out on vinyl too, but it's a good deal on there, 8 dope songs for 6 bucks, you've probably heard "Get Loose" or "Some Action" in the club or on the radio this year.
Say Wut - "Futuristic" (mp3)
This is really one of my favorite Bmore club tracks of the year, even though all the Lil Jon samples in club music are getting stale this is still a sick song that makes the most of that "okay" loop.
Labels: Baltimore club, mixtape/album review, mp3, NSW (Say What), Unruly Records
Saturday, December 29, 2007
This month on http://noise.citypaper.com, I posted my personal top 50 list of Baltimore albums in 2007, as kind of a companion to the list in the City Paper's Top Ten Issue. The list has Darkroom Productions, Jade Fox, Say Wut, Ogun, Comp, Labtekwon, Blaq Starr, Bossman, D.O.G., K-Swift and a whole shitload of other artists on it. Otherwise on Noise recently I covered the Blammy Awards at Hip Hop 101 at the 5 Seasons, and shows including Monarch, Yukon, and Jason Dove & The Magic Whip at the Ottobar, Lake Trout and Gunwife Gone also at the Ottobar, Ted Leo's two night stand at the 9:30 Club, and Carbon Leaf also at the 9:30. And there's been a whole lot of other local music news on the page recently besides my posts, too.
Labels: 5 Seasons, Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore club, Blaq Starr, Bossman, Comp, D.O.G., Darkroom Productions, Hip Hop 101, Jade Fox, K-Swift, Labtekwon, lists, Noise, NSW (Say What), Ogun
Labels: Baltimore club, flyer, Scottie B.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Labels: Baltimore club, D.O.G., flyer, K-Swift, Unruly Records
Darkroom lands 50/50 joint venture deal with Koch Records
This week has been a very eventful one for Darkroom Productions. Hamsterdam Vol. 2 topped both my list of Baltimore albums of 2007 on Noise and Sam Sessa's list on Midnight Sun. And a couple days ago, Juan Donovan sent out an announcement that they'd signed a deal with Koch Records for a nationally distributed album in 2008. Here's an excerpt of that e-mail:
I would also like to announce that my company Darkroom Productions and our label Darkroom Enterprises has just signed a joint venture with the #1 urban label in music right now, Koch Entertainment. For the past 2 years, our company has made strides as producers doing songs for Grammy winners such as R Kelly and Chamillionaire, also securing major deals with HBO, MTV, and 20th Century Fox, while still creating a worldwide buzz with our projects "Hamsterdam - The Best of Baltimore" and "Hamsterdam 2 - Stash to the Strip". And all of the hard work has paid off as we have been meeting with major labels since November of '06 for a home for our label Darkroom Enterprises.
But in the quest of securing the best deal possible, it has taken us over a year, and we now couldn't be happier. Our first project will be an album with the feel and importance of Hamsterdam. Showcasing some of Bmore's hottest talent to the world. We still aren't sure about the title yet (tentatively its "Hamsterdam - The Album"), but we have already secured our street date which is April 1st . (and yes, this is a REAL street date, your boyz are definitely coming out) So in the meantime, stay tuned for some of the hottest new songs and videos from some of Bmore's finest as new singles will begin dropping in January. We are looking to release at least 5 to 6 singles for the album. This project is going to be a serious problem, trust me.
And be sure to pick up next month's VIBE magazine. Darkroom will be featured in it. I believe Keysha Cole is on this month's cover but unfortunately I don't know who will be gracing next month's cover yet, but be on the lookout for it.
Labels: Baltimore Sun, Darkroom Productions, magazines/newspapers, The Wire
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The Foundation - "Live A Lie" (mp3)
The Foundation is one of the only hip hop groups in Baltimore that's an MC and a producer/DJ that I know of, I've seen them live once or twice and they really impressed me. I've been in touch with them lately and they've played me some songs from their upcoming album, and this is one of my favorites, really kinda tells a story in a cinematic way instead of just being straight-up rhymes and a hook. Check them out on MySpace, YouTube and the Overkast Records site.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Labels: flyer, Ogun, Skarr Akbar, Sonar
Monday, December 24, 2007
TONIGHT AT THE 5 SEASONS!!! HIPHOP 101
COME BRING IN YOUR CHRISTMAS WITH
2ND ANNIVERSITY BASH AND THE ART OF WAR / STILL HERE ALBUM RELEASE PARTY..... YEAH THATS RIGHT.. VISION IS RELEASING TWO ALBUMS IN 1 DAY... DECEMBER 24TH TONIGHT
VISION and introducing DIRTY EARL
1ST FAMILY OWN BLOCK HUGGA
WE ALSO WILL BE HAVING A BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR
MZ. MISHA'S 31ST BIRTHDAY
TRUE RELIGION JEAN GIVEAWAYS TO RANDOM GUEST AT THE PARTY
DRINK SPECIALS ALL NIGHT LONG
$1 SONNY BROWN SHOTS
HOSTED BY THE 4 TIME NOMINATED DMV AWARDS SHAKA PITTS AND THE 2 TIME NOMINATED DMV AWARDS 92Q'S OWN SQUIRRAL WYDE
BLAMMY AWARD WINNING DJ JABRIL ON THE WHEELS
$5 FOR EVERYBODY UNTIL 10PM
AFTER 10PM $10 FOR FEMALES
$20 FOR THE FELLAS (2 FOR $15)
18 TO ENTER WITH PROPER ID
21 TO DRINK
ID IS A MUST
SECURITY WILL BE THICK IN THE BUILDING
NO WHITE TEES!!!
830 NORTH GUILFORD AVE
THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT ! A DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS!
Labels: 5 Seasons, Comp, flyer, Hip Hop 101, Tim Trees
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Labels: 5 Seasons, B.O.M.B., Backland, Banga Bill, Bossman, Comp, DJ Booman, flyer, Huli Shallone, Jade Fox, Kartel, Los, Mullyman, NOE, Ogun, Skarr Akbar, Team Fifty, Tha Profitt, Tim Trees
Saturday, December 22, 2007
B. Rich presents Hurry Up And Weight: The Wire Soundtrack (The Wire Music Group)
You might remember a few months ago when I posted a B. Rich song called "Block Hussla" that was supposedly from a new album of his called Hurry Up And Weight. Well, when I was puttin together an iTunes playlist of Baltimore hip hop for a recent Noise post, I realized that the album was released, at least on iTunes, in July, and put the song "Somebody Snitched" on the mix. Like the "presents" part of the title implies, it's not so much a new B. Rich album as it is a compilation to introduce new artists. B. Rich appears on about half the tracks, and on the rest of the songs it's mostly a rapper from Baltimore named Profitness and a singer from Atlanta named Challedon Saltor.
It's a pretty good CD, although it's not a proper B. Rich solo album like Born Rich or 80 Dimes and isn't quite as good as those. But I have the same problem with this that I had with the B-Ill mixtape, which is that they're using The Wire's name and logo in a pretty misleading way, since there's no music from the show on this CD or any other official affiliation with HBO or the series. I actually waited until after the announcement of the official The Wire soundtrack albums to post about this CD, just because I want people to be clear that that's not what this B. Rich record is. Even though his label is called the Wire Music Group, clearly he's trying to draw some association to the show, which is kinda shady to me. Don't be fooled, cop the real thing on January 8th, 2008!
B. Rich, Profitness and Bazemore - "Nuttin To Lose" (mp3)
This cat Profitness from Baltimore who's on a lot of the tracks on here has potential, I like his verses.
Labels: B. Rich, mixtape/album review, mp3
Friday, December 21, 2007
Labels: Deep Flow, flyer, Huli Shallone
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I'd never heard of the Baltimore-based publication Gutter Magazine before, but recently Sam gave me a heads up that in their current issue they give a really nice shoutout to Gov't Names (haha, "sweet bloggy"). And I gotta give them props, too, they've definitely got a voice and a viewpoint, and aren't afraid to point out the good and the bad in Baltimore media. And there's a good Diablo interview in that issue, too, about working with Darkroom Productions and doing music for "The Wire" and everything.
Labels: Darkroom Productions, Diablo, magazines/newspapers, The Wire
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I've written about the Baltimore label For The People Entertainment on Gov't Names many times before, and this week in the City Paper I wrote a feature about the whole crew and all the artists on the label. They're a really cool, interesting bunch of dudes who are doing something completely different from anyone else in the city. Every MC talks about hitting it big and putting money back into their community, but these cats are actually running after school programs and teaching yoga to kids and trying to keep them out of gangs right now, and putting money from music back into these things (and yes, if you're wondering, the headline "Yoga Flame" is an homage to Tynan Delong). I got a release for Yuk & Cut recently that I should post about soon, but I've got 5-6 hours of music from the label's whole roster on my computer that I've been listening to the past couple weeks while working on the article and everything, and they got some jams, so here's some of my favorites:
Squadre Committee - "Seen So Many Come, Seen So Many Go" (mp3)
Bear - "Hip Hop" (mp3)
Lil Shank - "Who Dat Iz" (mp3)
Ace - "Juice" (mp3)
Cutthroat - "All New All Fresh" (mp3)
Billo - "Livin' Ur Life" (mp3)
(photo by Rarah)
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, Bear, Billo, Cutthroat, For The People Entertainment, magazines/newspapers, mp3
Labtekwon's page on Imeem.com has the video for "Real Fresh," the first single from the album by 410 Pharoahs (his Baltimore club project with Jimmy Jones and DJ Booman), due out on Strictly Rhythm in 2008.
Labels: Baltimore club, DJ Booman, Labtekwon
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Props to Nah Right for posting about The Wire soundtrack, feels good to see people up on it, especially pretty much the biggest rap blog in the game. There's a lot of chatter about Baltimore rap in the comments, some good and some bad, from the usual Nah Right fruitflies (shout out to D. Billz, though, I've exchanged some e-mails with him and he's a good dude). The post also has an mp3 of Diablo's "Jail Flick" in the post, but you might already have that from when I posted it, oh, two years and four months ago.
Labels: Darkroom Productions, Diablo, The Wire
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
D.O.G. - The Feeling - Bring It Back (Clinton Sparks/Invisible Set Entertainment)
It's been over a year since D.O.G. signed with Universal Records, and for a while there was that depressing lull that tends to happen after cats sign with a major, where you don't really hear anything out of their camp for a while and you wonder if anything's really gonna happen. But slowly he's been making noise again with a new official website and this new mixtape in the last few months. And his MySpace page says he's got a new project dropping December 21st called G-Pack Music, I think that's a group with his brother, Jon Boe, so he's definitely still grinding. There's a lot of dope guest appearances on this tape, including UnReal, J-Funk, Nik Stylz, Roxi from G.E.M. and ShellBe R.A.W. Plus there's a couple old bonus cuts, the "Ryda Gyrl" remix with Yung Joc and Blaq Starr, and Skarr Akbar's "I'm So Fly" remix with Bossman and Barnes and Heavy Gold.
D.O.G. f/ Huli Shallone and Los - "Get Money" (mp3)
This is really one of the dopest Baltimore posse cuts I've heard all year that wasn't a remix of someone's solo song, 3 dudes who are each individually well known in the city but represent their own seperate movements, dope beat and hook sampled from "Throw Some D's." They all sound good on this beat but Los's verse really kills it. Supposedly Los just dropped a new mixtape of his own over Thanksgiving, I still need to get a copy of that somehow.
Labels: Barnes, Blaq Starr, Bossman, D.O.G., G.E.M./Tha Plague, Heavy Gold, Huli Shallone, Los, mixtape/album review, mp3, ShellBe RAW, Skarr Akbar, UnReal
Saturday, December 15, 2007
This past Wednesday the Baltimore City Paper published its annual Top Ten Issue, for which I contributed to the two music lists. In The Year In Local Music, I wrote the blurb for Blaq Starr, and also voted for Monarch and Dan Deacon. In The Year In Music, I wrote the blurbs for UGK and Kanye West, and also voted for Parts & Labor. I actually turned in the UGK blurb the day before Pimp C died, and then asked to rewrite it afterward, if only to acknowledge his passing in some small way, and I'm pretty happy that the album made it to #3 on CP's list even before all that happened. My full ballot is also on the CP site, although I'm sure my 'final' top 10 will be pretty different by the time I post it on Narrowcast and vote in a couple more critic's polls later this month.
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore club, Blaq Starr, lists, magazines/newspapers
Yeah you got it right "The Wire" soundtrack release date is jan. 8th, 08.
So make sure you don't forget to cop that. It's official, Bmore is bout to blow.
To celebrate Mullyman and Mr. Wilson, have collaborated on an all out event,
"The Wire" Sountrack celebration.
location: 5 Seasons
DJ Celo (Funkregulator)
DJ Gemeni 93.9 fm
advance tickets 8 bucks
at the door is 10 bucks
Special performance by Mullyman, Nik Stylz, Verb, Hollywood Black, Ogun, Lady D, Real Life, IMP
Mullymaniettes in full effect.
Break it down contest,and Hustleman Shuffle contest
Congradjulations Bmore, Your time is finally here.
for advanced tickets call 4435421571
Labels: 5 Seasons, Dirty Hartz, flyer, Hip Hop 101, Mullyman, Ogun, The Wire
Friday, December 14, 2007
Labels: flyer, Jade Fox, Ogun, Turntable Club
Thursday, December 13, 2007
WERQ-FM (92Q)/Baltimore PD Victor Starr Exits
Urban WERQ-FM (92Q)/Baltimore Program Director Victor Starr exits; MD/midday personality Neke Howse will handle PD duties until a replacement is named. Prior to joining 92Q in July, 2003, Starr programmed WZMX-FM/Hartford for two years. Before that, he served as PD/MD and afternoon talent at KPRR-FM/El Paso for several years. (12-11-07)
PD Gone From 92Q - 12/11 - DCRTV gets confirmation that Victor Starr is out of his program director gig at urban outlet WERQ, 92Q, in Baltimore. We're hearing rumblings that his leaving may be related to a music playlist controversy that has plagued the Radio One station for the past year or so
I guess they mean this playlist controversy?
Labels: 5 Seasons, Dirty Hartz, flyer, Ray Lugar, Team Fifty, Tim Trees, Unruly Records
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Mario - Go! (J Records)
I remember the summer five years ago that Mario's first single "Just A Friend (2002)" popped off, and it was a pretty exciting time to listen to the radio in Baltimore, him and B. Rich and Davon and Tim Trees and Nature's Problem and all these local people had songs that everybody was jammin'. I wasn't even sure who was just local until Mario and B. Rich turned up with videos all on BET and everywhere. And even though B. Rich kinda faded out and noone else got any real national attention, Mario kept at it and pushed 3 singles off that album ("C'mon" is still my shit) and then came back a couple years later with "Let Me Love You," which was a huge #1 hit all over the world, and I don't even know how many people out there even knew he was from Baltimore or cared, but it was pretty cool that he got that far.
Mario didn't end up having any other big hits after "Let Me Love You," and his 3rd album was delayed for over a year while they kept releasing different singles and trying to get one to stick, and it was finally released this week. So it's kinda bittersweet that probably the most successful urban artist from Baltimore since Dru Hill is still kinda struggling to stay on top in the R&B game. But I still think he's a pretty talented singer, especially for his age, and copped the album this week, and it's pretty dope, I hope people in his hometown are picking it up and enjoying it, production by Polow Da Don and Timbaland and Akon and Mr. Collipark and others.
Mario - "Skippin'" (mp3)
Man, this joint is catchy as hell, I don't know why they don't release one of the uptempo songs as a single. I love those high notes on the verses.
Labels: mixtape/album review, mp3
Labels: Comp, flyer, Sonar, Tha Profitt
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Labels: Brown F.I.S.H., flyer
Labels: B.O.M.B., flyer, M.O.L., Tha Profitt
Monday, December 10, 2007
To all local Baltimore artists:
Due to recent changes at Record & Tape Traders, we need to return ALL local CDs to their respective artists. If you or your band sells CDs at Record & Tape Traders, please contact Deb Christian at the Record & Tape Traders office for more information. We need to have all CDs returned to artists by December 21st. Please call or email Deb ASAP!
410.654.0510 x 112
Please repost this message so we can get the word out to as many local artists as possible! Thanks!
HIP HOP 101.. 5 SEASONS 830 GUILFORD AVE,,,
BRING YA PEEPS..
DRINK SPECIALS.. ALL ACTS NEED TO COME DEEP..
HOT PERFORMANCES BY:
True Balance Entertainment
AND SQUIRREL WYDE
DJ.JABRIL ON THE WHEELS
Labels: 5 Seasons, flyer, Hip Hop 101
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
BMOREHH.com has an event this Wednesday, and I'm pretty impressed with all the features they've added to the website lately, interviews and mixtape reviews and video footage from recent concerts, check them out.
Nik Stylz - Love Me Or Hate Me (Major League Unlimited)
If you're familiar with Nik Stylz, you probably know her as Mullyman's sister, and an artist on his label MLU. She's a dope MC, and actually won the battles on 92Q back in the day around the same time that Mully was a champ on there, and she can sing, too. When I interviewed her over the summer for my Ladies First article, she said she's working on a double album tentatively titled Believe In Me that'll be one disc hip hop, one disc R&B. But one thing I didn't realize before she told me was that she actually dropped her first album Love Me Or Hate Me back in '06, and it's a pretty good album. I don't know how I missed it at the time, but I ended up finding it on the iTunes store. I don't know when her next album is dropping, but she's got a video for the single "Cut My Check" up on YouTube.
Nik Stylz - "My Big Brother" (mp3)
This song came out over a year before Kanye's "Big Brother," but it's really pretty much the same vibe and concept, except it's about Nik's actual big brother, Mullyman. It's a really honest, heartfelt song but it's not really slow and sentimental either, it really bangs and it one of the hottest songs on the album.
Labels: mixtape/album review, mp3, Mullyman
Friday, December 07, 2007
FLIRT FRIDAY'S EACH AND EVERY FRIDAY @ KAMP!!!
LADIES IN FREE BEFORE 11, 2 for 1 DRINKS and free HORS D'OEUVRE'S UNTIL 11.
MUSIC BY DJ 5 STARR THE GENERAL!
THIS WEEK IS THE SAGITTARIUS BDAY BASH FOR
NATION RECORDING ARTIST COMP
GLAMOUR LIFE ENT's OWN SINCERE
CASHLAND APPAREAL's JON CASH
BUILT FOR BUSINESS's TIM TREE's
& a special 21st Birthday for Ms. TIARA
DIRECTIONS from 95 NORTH
5: Merge onto I-95 N via EXIT 13A on the LEFT toward BALTIMORE. 13.9 miles Map
6: Merge onto I-395 N via EXIT 53 toward M L KING BLVD / DOWNTOWN. 1.4 miles Map
7: Take the CONWAY ST exit. 0.1 miles Map
8: Stay STRAIGHT to go onto W CONWAY ST. 0.2 miles Map
9: Turn LEFT onto LIGHT ST / MD-2 N. 0.1 miles Map
10: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto E PRATT ST. 0.4 miles Map
11: Turn RIGHT onto S PRESIDENT ST. 0.1 miles Map
12: Turn LEFT onto EASTERN AVE. 0.8 miles Map
13: Turn RIGHT onto S CASTLE ST. <0.1 miles Map
14: Turn LEFT onto FLEET ST. <0.1 miles Map
15: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto BOSTON ST. 0.2 miles Map
2314 Boston St
MUSIC BY DJ 5 STARR THE GENERAL
2314 BOSTON ST
BALTIMORE, MD 21224
LADIES FREE ADMISSION BEFORE 11!
DRESS CODE SEXY SEXY SEXY!! FELLA's NO SOLID COLOR T's or ATHLETIC WEAR, FASHIONABLE SNEAKERS and JEANS OK!!
DOORS OPEN @ 9
SEE YOU THERE
and if you want to celebrate you bday please let us know!
For More Party info call Mark Spain @ 202-491-3278 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Labels: Comp, flyer, Tim Trees
Thursday, December 06, 2007
The Wire Soundtracks (And Yes, There's More Than One)
The Wire: " … and all the pieces matter"
“This America, man.” 0:24
WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE – The Blind Boys of Alabama 2:54
“Why would anyone ever wanna leave Baltimore?” 0:21
OH MY GOD – Michael Franti & Spearhead 5:05
DANCE MY PAIN AWAY – Rod Lee 2:07
MY LIFE EXTRA - DJ Technics 1:17
“The king stay the king.” 0:48
WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE – The Neville Brothers 1:36
“We used to make shit in this country.” 0:15
SIXTEEN TONS – The Nighthawks 3:36
ASSUME THE POSITION – Lafayette Gilchrist 2:42
“What the fuck did I do?” 0:12
STEP BY STEP – Jesse Winchester 2:56
I WALK ON GILDED SPLINTERS – Paul Weller 4:58
FAST TRAIN – Solomon Burke 5:37
THE BODY OF AN AMERICAN – The Pogues 4:45
“All the pieces matter.” 0:08
EFUGE EFUGE – Stelios Kazantzidis 3:32
“Omar comin’!” 0:40
WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE - Domaje 1:43
“If it’s a lie, then we fight on that lie” 0:22
PROJECTS – Tyree Colion 3:26
“Later for that gangsta bullshit.” 0:38
AYO - Bossman (3:20
ANALYZE - Sharpshooters 2:44
“Wars end.” 0:20
UNFRIENDLY GAME – Masta Ace Feat. Stricklin 3:52
WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT BALTIMORE – Ogun Feat. Phathead 3:16
JAIL FLICK - Diablo 3:38
THE LIFE, THE HOOD, THE STREETZ - Mullyman 3:47
“An act of daily journalism.” 0:07
I FEEL ALRIGHT – Steve Earle 2:58
WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE – Tom Waits 1:45
“You remember that one day summer past?” 0:41
THE FALL – Blake Leyh 1:24
Beyond Hamsterdam: Baltimore Tracks from The Wire
WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE – DoMaJe 1:46
PROJECTS - Tyree Colion 4:33
DANCE MY PAIN AWAY - Rod Lee 2:52
MY LIFE EXTRA - DJ Technics 2:39
WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT BALTIMORE - Ogun feat. Phathead 3:59
JAIL FLICK – Diablo 4:07
WHEN YOU SEE US - The Get ‘em Mamis feat. L. Cash 4:06
THAT’S DA SOUND - Dirty Hartz feat. Verb 3:56
AYO – Bossman 3:52
THE LIFE, THE HOOD, THE STREETZ – Mullyman 4:44
ASSUME THE POSITION - Lafayette Gilchrist 6:32
Labels: Baltimore club, Bossman, Darkroom Productions, Debonair Samir, Diablo, Dirty Hartz, DJ Technics, G.E.M./Tha Plague, Mullyman, Ogun, Rod Lee, The Wire, Tyree Colion
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Blaq Starr's protege Rye Rye has been getting a lot of press and blog coverage lately since the "Shake It To The Ground" video dropped. I'm still really not feelin' that song, but the "Reasons" track on her MySpace page is pretty good. But anyway, this week Michael Byrne wrote about her performance at Sonar in the City Paper, and there's a video feature about her on Current.com. She was also featured on Perez Hilton's site, but that's not really anything to be proud of.
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, Blaq Starr
various artists - Wow That's What I Call Gutter Music (Milkcrate Records)
I've been critical of Aaron Lacrate on this blog a few times in the past couple years, basically because he put his own twist on Baltimore club that he called "gutter music," and I didn't particularly like the tracks or the name, or the Philadelphia artists he collaborated with, like Spank Rock and Amanda Blank, or the artwork he used on his records (especially the record with the crack vials on the cover). And it kinda bummed me out that his version of Bmore club was the version that a lot of people out of town, in New York and other countries, got exposed to first, and identified primarily with the scene. But it didn't go any deeper than that, and I respected the fact that he worked with people like Debonair Samir and Scottie B. and got their co-sign, so it was nothing really personal, and had as much to do with my personal taste as any idea of what 'authentic' Baltimore club is, or whether I have any more right to define what that is than anyone else.
Earlier this year, a bunch of the people who Lacrate had worked with in the past, including Scottie, but mostly the Philly people Lacrate had been cool with, kind of started a smear campaign against him for reasons that I still don't totally understand, and didn't seem to have too much to do with the reasons why I had criticized him. I attempted to write a City Paper article about him and the controversy, and get both sides of the story and set things straight or at least bring things into the light a little and clarify all the rumors and hearsay. I spoke with Aaron and Scottie and Samir and DJ Equalizer and others, but Aaron was understandably skeptical of my motives or intentions, based on what I'd written in the past about him. It ended up being a pretty hostile situation, partly because I made some mistakes and partly because Aaron was being very defensive and controlling about the content of the story, so I ended up scrapping the article and not publishing anything, and trying to remove myself from that whole conflict. It wasn't an entirely negative experience, since Aaron put me in touch with the legendary DJ Equalizer and I ended up with a great interview with him (which Aaron recently reprinted on his Milkcrate blog, although I wish he had properly linked and attributed it).
A few months later, I've kinda gotten over my disappointment about how all the effort I put into that article ended up being for nothing, and have exchanged a few emails with Aaron and recently sent him some Baltimore hip hop tracks I've posted on Gov't Names when he was looking for stuff to DJ or play on radio shows. I also recently picked up this CD he released over the Summer, mainly because I was impressed that he featured Verb and Dirty Hartz on 4 of the 10 tracks on it. Verb's an amazing MC (congrats on that Blammy award to him), and any situation that gets him more shine is cool with me. Still, there's shit like this review, which kinda backhandedly dismisses Verb by saying "he ain't no Spank Rock," which is one of the most offensively stupid things I've read all year, and kinda affirms to me that for some reason most out-of-towners who know Baltimore mainly for club music have wax in their ears when it comes to hearing real rappers from around here. I just fail to see how this dude is somehow not as good as Spank Rock. But there's some good tracks on here, old joints like "Samir's Theme" and some new ones I've never heard before.
Aaron Lacrate & Debonair Samir f/ Verb - "Pssy Mind" (mp3)
Like most of the tracks on this CD, this is kind of a fusion of Baltimore club and rap, and it sounds like Verb's verse was probably recorded to a slower beat, and then edited to fit this tempo. "That's Da Sound" by Dirty Hartz and Mullyman is also on here, along with a club track called "That's The Doo Doo" that kind of chops up vocals from it into a club track.
Labels: Baltimore club, Debonair Samir, Dirty Hartz, mixtape/album review, mp3, Mullyman
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
THE HIPHOP 101 BLAMMY AWARD WINNERS
BEST EMCEE MALE - BACKLAND
BEST EMCEE FEMALE - MS STRESS
BEST GROUP - 1ST FAMILY
BEST RNB MALE - MYKEE
BEST RNB FEMALE - TYREIKA
BEST MIXTAPE - OGUN-BMORE HERO
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - CADDY THE DON
BEST MIXTAPE DJ - DJ JABRIL
BEST LIVE SHOW - COMP
BEST BEATMAN - JFUNK
SPIT FIRE AWARD - VERB
NEXT 2 BLOW AWARD - SKARR AKBAR
BEST MEDIA AWARD - STRICTLY HIPHOP 88.9
HIPHOP 101 AWARD - SQUIRRAL WYDE
Labels: Backland, Comp, Dirty Hartz, Hip Hop 101, Ms. Stress, Ogun, Skarr Akbar
Monday, December 03, 2007
DECEMBER 3, 2007
HIPHOP 101 AND STARSTATUS ENTERTAINMENT
THE FIRST ANNUAL BLAMMY AWARDS....
HOSTED BY SONNY BROWN AND
X9 RECORDS.COM'S RECORDING ARTIST ENFENETEE...
CO HOSTED BY
92Q'S HOOLIGAN EXPRESS CONDUCTOR SQUIRRELWYDE
AND THE SPITTERS CLUB OWN SHAKA PITTS..
WITH PERFORMANCES BY
THE 100 GRANDMAN MEEMO
AT THE 5 SEASONS 830 N GUILFORD AVE BALTIMORE MD 21202
DOORS OPEN AT 9PM
DOORS CLOSE AT 2AM
LADIES FREE BEFORE 10PM
DRINK SPECIALS ALL NIGHT LONG
GENERAL ADMISSION $20
NOMINEES ENTOURAGE $10 (UP TO 5 IN THE ENTOURAGE GET IN FOR THE $10 COST.. AFTER THE 5TH PERSON..IT GOES BACK TO $20)
BRING YOUR ID
SECURITY WILL MOS DEF BE IN THE BUILDING ALONG WITH SPECIAL INVITED GUEST.
COME SUPPORT YOUR OWN CHECK THE EGO'S AT THE DOOR
Labels: 5 Seasons, D.O.G., flyer, Hip Hop 101, Sonny Brown
Sunday, December 02, 2007
City Paper contributor Brandon Soderberg had a Baltimore club-themed week on his blog No Trivia recemtly, with posts featuring music by and discussion of Blaq Starr (check out all the magazines homeboy's been in lately!), Rod Lee, DJ Technics, and a little detour into local hip hop with Mullyman. In other blog news, I featured Bossman's "You're Wrong" on my, uh, other blog, Narrowcast in an entry about the song's producer, No I.D.
Labels: Baltimore club, Blaq Starr, Bossman, DJ Technics, magazines/newspapers, Mullyman, Rod Lee
Saturday, December 01, 2007
On June 30, 2005; Maryland had a total of 29,818 people living with HIV and AIDS (Cases reported through June 30, 2006).
While Maryland ranks 19th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in total population, in 2005 Maryland was 9th in cumulative number of AIDS cases (29,116 through 2005) and 3rd in AIDS incidence rate (28.5 cases per 100,000 population during 2005).
Baltimore-Towson had the second highest incident AIDS case report rate of any major metropolitan area, 40.4 cases per 100,000 population during 2005.
Until she started grad school a few months ago, my fiancee was working in an HIV research lab at Johns Hopkins, so I learned a lot from her about the history of the virus and how it works in the last couple years, and it makes me feel good that important work is being done to better understand HIV and AIDS right in one of the cities most effected by it. But there's not gonna be some miracle cure tomorrow or the day after that, or possibly ever, and right now the problem is that people aren't talking about the threat of AIDS like they did in the 90's, so a lot of people just aren't aware of the threat, or are taking stupid risks when they should know better.
I'm not gonna lecture you about it, you know how to be safe and if you want to learn more you can educate yourself. But this is the day to address it. And first and foremost this is a music blog, and a lot of Baltimore hip hop arists have addressed HIV and other STD's in their songs, so I just wanted to spotlight a few of those:
The Unstoppable Nuklehidz - "Pass It On" (mp3)
Barnes - "H.I.V." (mp3)
Ray Lugar - "Sex Games" (mp3)
Bossman - "What Y'all Smokin'" (mp3)
Comp - "Penis And Pussy" (mp3)
These songs aren't all politically correct or polite about the subject, but to me that's a good thing. Baltimore has a lot of serious issues, and it makes me happy that MC's around here often write about this issues whether or not they're categorically the kind of "conscious" artists that you expect to rap about these things. I hope you appreciate this food for thought. Be safe, and get tested.
Labels: Barnes, Bossman, Comp, mp3, Ray Lugar