Sunday, August 31, 2008
Got a bunch of random links and music I've been meaning to post for a minute:
- Blaq Starr has a new single called "Bang Hard" that you can hear all over the place, including YouTube, it's one of his slower hip hop type tracks.
- Greenspan was recently featured in the Sun's free daily, B.
- In a post on my other blog, Narrowcast, about the St. Louis production team the TrackBoyz I posted an old song they did with Comp that was on one of his early mixtapes.
- DJ Booman has a great two part "diggin' in the basement" video on YouTube where he shows off his crazy vinyl collection. The basement looks familiar to me, I believe that's actually Ray Lugar's house but I guess he lets Booman keep his vinyl there.
- This blog has a track with PenDragon rapping over a video game sample.
- This guy Smash a.k.a. T-Mac has a song on his page called "Too Much 4 Me" that 92Q's been playing on the daily, thought I'd link that real quick since I'm kinda diggin' it and it's been forever since I can remember the station playing a song by a local artist that was new to me. The beat is pretty much a jack of Lil Jon's "Get Crunk" with some keyboards added, but that song is one of my all-time favorites from the past few years, so that's cool with me.
(photo of Blaq Starr at Artscape by Al Shipley)
Labels: Baltimore club, Blaq Starr, Comp, DJ Booman, Greenspan, magazines/newspapers, PenDragon, Smash
EJ - The Westside Hustle (Carnigie Records/DJ Radio)
EJ is a guy that I've always been impressed by, from the first time I saw him perform at an Ogun event a few years ago to when he won Super Style Warz, which is why I put him high on my most anticipated of 2008 list of Bmore MCs I hadn't heard solo projects from but wanted to. So I was happy when EJ called me up earlier this summer hyping up his new mixtape, and he was really giving me the hard sell and acting like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and he should be on the cover of the City Paper and this and that. And it ain't really like that, but it's still pretty good, one of the better mixtapes I've heard this year, so I gave it a review in the paper this past week. It also features guest appearances by Skarr Akbar, Heavy Gold, XO, and others.
EJ - "Same Ole Thing" (mp3)
This is a song that I quoted and talked about a bit in the review, and it's still one of my favorites, really shows another side of EJ.
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, DJ Radio, EJ, Heavy Gold, magazines/newspapers, mixtape/album review, mp3, Skarr Akbar, XO
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Labels: flyer, Internet radio
TO PRE REGISTER FOR MAJOR LABEL AUDITIONS
IF YOU HAVE NOT YET PRE REGISTERED THE SPOTS ARE RUNNING OUT QUICK
TO PRE-REGISTER FOR THE EVENT YOU MUST GO TO ONE OF OUR MYSPACE PAGES AND CLICK ON THE PAYPAL BUTTON TO MAKE PAYMENT- IN TURN ONLY YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION WILL BE EMAILED TO US ALONG WITH YOUR PAYMENT AND WE WILL NOTIFY YOU YOUR PAYMENT WAS RECEIVED. PLEASE FOLLOW DIRECTIONS BELOW.
SOLO ARTIST NEED TO GO TO CALLOWAY MANAGEMENT MYSPACE TO PRE-PAY
www. myspace. com/callowaymanagement
GROUPS NEED TO GO TO 1UP ENTERTAINMENT MYSPACE TO PRE PAY
www. myspace. com/oneupstreetteam
****REMEMBER PRE REGISTERING GUARANTEES YOUR SPOT AS WE WILL ONLY BE DOING 200 AUDITIONS. IT ALSO ALLOWS YOU TO NOT HAVE TO WAIT IN LINE WITH THOSE THAT WILL BE PAYING AT THE DOOR. ***********
Labels: Bossman, flyer, One Up Entertainment
Friday, August 29, 2008
Labels: Baltimore club, Club Mate, flyer
Labels: Internet radio, Wordsmith
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Labels: E Major, flyer, For The People Entertainment, Ottobar, Steez Promo, Tha Profitt
various artists - The Mania Music Group Sampler (Mania Music Group)
Mania Music Group is a new label that's come together in the past year or so featuring three rappers, Midas, Kane and Ron G., and two producers, Headphones and BeaLack. I was just hanging out with these guys the other night, working on a little something on them, and I realized that their sampler album was available for free on their official website and I should let people know about that so they can get familiar before my article about them comes out. Anyway I won't say too much right now other than that there's some dope music on this CD and it's definitely worth the free download, it's some real different, diverse shit but all 3 MCs can spit and have distinct personalities.
Kane, Ron G. and Midas - "Heavy Metal Mania" (mp3)
Love that Ron G. line "you don't even sound live with the reverb."
Labels: Kane, Mania Music Group, Midas, mixtape/album review, mp3, Ron G.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Labels: Baltimore club, flyer
I've got a mess of local music stuff in the Baltimore City Paper this week: a feature on the Dream Nation Marching Unit (which was something that never would've occurred to me if one of my editors, Bret McCabe, hadn't latched onto something I wrote about them in my review of the Charm City Community Block Fest and realized it would make a great story), and reviews of CDs by EJ and Ron Rico (more on those releases on Gov't Names in the next few days).
(photo by Rarah)
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, EJ, magazines/newspapers, Ron Rico
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Bossman and Raheem DeVaughn - "Missin' U" (mp3)
Mic Life Magazine asked me to help put together a list of K-Swift tribute tracks and I realized that there were some good ones I hadn't posted on this site at all yet. I've posted ones by Skarr Akbar and Diamond K, now here's a pretty great one by Bossman and Raheem DeVaughn. There's also a really heartfelt track by Pork Chop called "Never Be Another," but I don't wanna post that because I think he's selling copies of that song and giving the money to K-Swift's family, but you can stream it on his MySpace page.
Labels: Bossman, K-Swift, mp3, Pork Chop
Labels: Baltimore club, DJ Pierre, flyer
Monday, August 25, 2008
Labels: Dirt Platoon, flyer, Sonar, Sonny Brown
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The Club Queen K-Swift - Jumpoff Vol. 14: The Queens Edition (Unruly Records)
About a week before K-Swift passed away, I posted about one of her last mixes, Jumpoff Vol. 13, and noted that the next one was already out and I needed to catch up on that. So after her death, one of the many things that went through my head was, man, I need to get that last mix that came out in April, complete my collection. Because I always copped pretty much everything I ever saw by her, well over a dozen CDs, and getting the latest K-Swift mix was always the best way to keep up on what was new in Baltimore club (well, second best, after listening to her radio show). There are still a lot of people dropping club CDs, and I'll keep picking up those, but I'll really miss knowing there's a new K-Swift release coming around the corner every 3 months or so. And it really felt like she was looking to the future with this last one.
The only really well known producers on here are younger guys, Say Wut and Blaq Starr, and everyone else is really young and up and coming: DJ Pierre, DJ B-Eazy, Lil Jay, guys like that. I've interviewed a lot of those producers over the years, and all of them always talked about how much of an impact K-Swift had on their careers, how her putting one of their tracks on a CD or on the radio made a huge impact on their lives. The Club Queen online store appears to be still up since her death, so I guess someone is still running that site and processing orders, although I don't know that for certain. But this CD is still readily available in the Club Kingz music store and at the Sound Garden and probably at some DTLR locations, too, all those places have a ton of her CDs still on shelves right now, so you might want to stock up on your K-Swift collection while you still can.
J-Roc - "Crown The King" (mp3)
Last year, I got kind of excited about the fact that DJ Tigga sampled the beat from a song by Comp, because that to me was an extremely rare example of a Baltimore club track that sampled a local hip hop artist's track, as opposed to a national mainstream rapper. And the same thing is going on here with this track, which sampled "So Fresh" by Bossman, a single he put out last year that I posted on this site a couple times. I always loved that beat and what J-Roc does with it here is pretty cool. I showed this track to the original song's producer, Nieze from One Up, the other day, and he seemed to get a kick out of it.
Labels: Baltimore club, Blaq Starr, Bossman, DJ Pierre, K-Swift, mixtape/album review, mp3, NSW (Say What), One Up Entertainment
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Labels: flyer, Ms. Stress, PX, Sean Toure, Shaka Pitts, Turntable Club
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Articulate - "Capital Punishment (Homage To Big Pun)" (mp3)
Artic is performing at a car show this weekend, check the flyer above, and he also just did this cool little tribute to one of my all-time favorite MCs, Big Punisher, flowing over a bunch of his beats. Big respect for that.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Labels: Baltimore club, flyer, Scottie B.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
When I was out at I think 5 Seasons recently I saw someone from Milestone Media, who are putting on the Making The Right Moves conference later this week, and they gave me a copy of this mixtape that the company's distributing along with Young And Fly Records. The main artist on the Young And Fly label, who appears on about half the songs here, is Shank Rock, and MC who's been making moves in Baltimore since the late '90s, and had a song back in the day that he was known for called "Baby Momma Hitta." I hadn't heard much from him the last few years, since an appearance on one of Ogun's The Movement mixtapes, and I always thought it was strange that a group with some Baltimore roots, the terrible hipster rap crew Spank Rock, came out with a very similiar name in the past few years, but I dunno, maybe it's a weird coincidence. Anyway, it's cool to hear a bunch of new stuff from Shank Rock now.
The other artists that make multiple appearances on the mixtape that I guess are also on the label are Phreestyle, Big Chief, Pluck, The F.A.Culty, and D Vigor. And there are some guest appearances from folks I'm more familiar with: Little Clayway, Nik Stylz, and Ray Victory. The mixtape is hosted by some radio DJ named Tab D'Blassi, who gets way too into the whole hosting thing; over half the tracks on the CD are these obnoxious skits where he's narrating some goofy story about sheisty record execs trying to keep Young And Fly Records down while Star Wars and James Bond theme music plays in the background. It would be corny if he did it once, but he does it literally 20 times, between every damn song, and it's not really even funny or entertaining, it's just tedious. Dude needs some Ritalin.
Pluck, Ray Victory, Shank Rock and Phreestyle - "My Block" (mp3)
Good posse cut, haven't heard anything from Ray Vic in a minute.
Labels: Little Clayway, mixtape/album review, mp3, Shank Rock
HELP US CELEBRATE 1 FULL YEAR ON THE AIR
Tuesday :: AUGUST 19th @ 9:00PM -
SPECIAL GUEST BALTIMORE'S OWN NOE!
Fresh off of his classic appearance on B.E.T's Rap City and XXL interview Byrd Gang Member "NOE " will be the featured guest of our anniversary special. Also we will open up the phone lines 646-716-9030 for the grand daddy of all cyphers starting at 10pm. Listen live and chat live from your computer by going to www.thespittersclub.net . We go live at 9pm est. keep in mind that if you are not near a computer at that time you can also listen to the show through your phone by calling 646-716-9030. Thank you for all of your support through out the last year.
The Voice of Baltimore Hip Hop
Tuesday :: AUGUST 18th @ 9:00PM - !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NOE Interview on "Real Talk With Spitts McCMan"
Labels: Internet radio, NOE
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Diamond K - Baltimore Club Music Unleashed (High Rolla Records)
I've interviewed Diamond K a couple times in the past couple years, first for my Club Beat column and then more recently for my City Paper feature about Baltimore internet radio, to discuss his BlogTalkRadio.com show. After the last time I talked to him he mailed me a copy of this album. I like Diamond K's Baltimore club DJ sets, like the one he did on the bonus disc for the Club Music Is The Future DVD. So I was kinda disappointed that it's more of a hodge podge of club tracks, rapping, and singing, more like the High Rolla Records Compilation, which was a little weird considering the title of this release. I'm not sure what it is that bothers me about some of these tracks, I think it's that the vocals are kind of badly recorded, I don't know if it's the engineering or the quality of the microphone they're using (or a lack of mastering), but the vocals all tend to sound kind of tinny and flat and stick out of the track in an unpleasant way. There's still some good, fun dance tracks on here, though. This album's available on both iTunes and CD Baby, and there's lots more straight up club music releases on DJDiamondK.com.
Diamond K f/ Miss Tony - "EA EA (2008 Remix)" (mp3)
R.I.P. Miss Tony, Diamond K was one of the producers that used to work with him back in the day and it's cool to hear him update one of those classic old tracks.
Labels: Baltimore club, mixtape/album review, mp3
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Here's D.O.G.'s new video for "Gettin' Gone." He's also now offering a free download of his mixtape The Feeling - Bring It Back, which I wrote about a few months ago.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Labels: battle, flyer, Sonar, Sonny Brown
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Gambit a.k.a. Remy LeBeau - The Next Hand (Enygma)
I saw Gambit perform at the Charm City Community Block Fest a few weeks ago, and I wasn't real impressed by his live show, but I came across one of his CDs there and decided to give it a shot. It's not very good either, though. I don't think he has a thick accent or anything, but he just doesn't enunciate words very much so his lyrics all come out kinda mumbly and he doesn't really ride beats well. And I mean, I like MCs like Lloyd Banks or Fabolous who may not have the most exciting delivery but still have mad punchlines, I just feel like it's more work to listen to what he's saying and I'm not getting a lot out of those lyrics. OK, he had one that really made me laugh: "haters turn to child molesters, cause they all wanna fuck with the kid." I probably wouldn't bitch about that so much if he didn't have a long rant on his MySpace blog about how other MCs need to step their game up, though. I hate that the first words he says on the CD are "I'm still the best that the city has." It annoys me even when people who might actually be right say that kinda thing, but when someone as far from the best as him says it it's just ludicrous. All y'all, stop saying that boastful bullshit in ways that implicitly insult everyone else in Baltimore. I'm gonna start calling people out on this more often because I'm sick of it. This guy seems to care about his craft and have respect for the game, though, so I'm not hating, he has potential. Also I think it's kinda weird that he's named after one of the X-Men, but he also calls himself "Rap's Captain America." He should probably just pick one comic book character and stick with it. They're both Marvel characters, at least, I guess that's something.
Gambit a.k.a. Remy LeBeau - "Thou Shall Not" (mp3)
The stuff on here with original production is pretty solid, nice beat here by Kajmir Royale.
Labels: mixtape/album review, mp3
Labels: Black Hole Rock Club, flyer
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Milestone Media's 2nd annual Making The Right Moves Entertainment Conference will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center next Saturday, August 23rd, and admission is free. I was at the event as a panelist last year and wrote about my experiences there, and I'll be there again this year, to cover the event and to host a panel about independent artists at 2p.m. Here's the full itinerary for the event (UPDATED 8/14/08), including the concert the night before:
Download the original attachment
Making The Right Moves Entertainment Conference
Friday August 22, 2008
Black Hole Club
216 German Hill Rd
Baltimore, Maryland 21222
This is a professional event be on time which means well before your perform
8:00 – 8:30 DJ Harvey Dent / DJ Franchise & Staff Arrive
8:30 – 9:00 Doors Open
9: 45- 10-00 Q 45
10:05- 10: 20 Slim Mil
10: 25- 10 :35 Brother
10-40- 10:55 Beveready
11:00- 11-15 Battle Music Group
11: 20- 11: 35 Gramz
11:40- 11: 55 EJ
12: 00- 12:15 Greenspan
12:15- 12:30 Skarr
12:45 2 Pistols
Club ends 1 :55
VIP After Hours
Making The Right Moves Entertainment Conference
Saturday August 23, 2008
Baltimore Convention Center
1 W. Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Fu Yah Martial Fusion Challenge
Presented by The Bamms
8:00 AM- 1 PM
9:00 AM- 11 AM Load In and Sound Check
10:00 AM Vendor Set Up
11:00 AM Interactive Booths Begin
12:00 PM Main Stage Event Begin
ACT 1: J Butts ACT 2: SURPRISE GUEST ACT 3: OPEN FOR NOW
Authors/ Publishers and Spoken Word Panel - The Urban Written Word
(Deshawn Taylor, Lamonica Bratcher, Rafphael Gordon, Feleica Pride, Willie BAM )
ACT 1: Kim Poole ACT 2: DEVANTE
PANEL SESSION: Marketing and Promotions - I have my space and you tube now what ?
Hosted By: Rita Lewis - Marketing of BET J
Featuring: ( Mottz, Swen, Mathew Brown, Miesha Rice )
INDUSTRY THE REALITY SHOW FILMING BEGINS
ACT 1: Kyonte ACT 2: DG2 ACT 3: Battle Music Group
I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T - "DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS"
Hosted By: Al Shipley - Baltimore City Paper & Governmentnames.blogspot.com
Featuring:(Mike Flight, Jim Fetzer, DOMINATION, Shaka Pitts, Mike Sky)
INDUSTRY THE REALITY SHOW FILMING Cont'd
ACT 1 L –Jay ACT 2: JONI DEGA
ACT 3: Ikea Turner
PANEL SESSION: Matthew Lesko - "How To Get Free Money"
INTERACTIVE SESSION: !! MASTERS OF THE BEATS !!
Featuring: ( Jay Funk, Say Whut and More...)
ACT 1: 11’s EDGE
ACT 2: Kanika
ACT 4: Main Girl
IICE INC Modeling and Promotion Company FASHION PREVIEW
MY TIME TO SHINE- SHORT FILMS AND DOCUMENTRIES " WHAT IS A HAK " by Bernard Threatt
PANEL SESSION : INDUSTRY POWER MOVES P1
Mrs. Sterling " INDUSTRY POWER MOVES "
I GOT THAT FIRE (tentively w/ SLIP N SLIDE DJ's)
ACT 1: BEAT BOX ACT 2: M QUEST
ACT 3: COMIC BOOK HEROES
PANEL SESSION: INDUSTRY POWER MOVES II
Hosted by: Terrance J of BET 106 & PARK
Featuring ( Rashod Ollsen, Paul Gardener, Mary Nicols, Shadeed Elezer )
INTERACTIVE DJ SESSION:
( DJ JONNY BLAZE, DJ SPONTANEOUS, and more)
ACT 1: MS STRESS
ACT 2: KARRON JOHNSON
HIP HOP SAVED MY LIFE w/ RAPHAEL GORDON
PANEL SESSION: Producer VS. Beat makers: What is the difference ?
Hosted By: Kelly Connelly
Featuring: ( Diamond D, Dame Grease, BOOMAN, Shaka Pitts, Ademyi Omisore )
ACT 1: BREE & Friends
ACT 2: The FA.Culty ft. Lil Clayway, Nik Stylz & Phreestyle, P. Lucky
With Young and Fly Records
ACT 3: T. LYLES - SHOWCASE
8:00 ROUNDTABLE MUSIC GROUP SHOWCASE
F/ TAINTED INK MODELING GROUP
10:00 PM Event Wrap Up
Labels: Black Hole Rock Club, EJ, flyer, Greenspan, Jay Funk, Little Clayway, Ms. Stress, NSW (Say What), Skarr Akbar
Ogun was featured in the Sun's free daily B this week. I'm looking forward to that new mixtape Checkmate. Thanks for PenDragon for the link.
(photo by Jefferson Jackson Steele)
Labels: Baltimore Sun, magazines/newspapers, Ogun
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Soul Cannon - Kaboom (Soul Cannon/Morphius Records)
Every now and then, there's an act that I kind of have to think for a second whether to post about on Gov't Names, because they might technically be a hip hop act in the Baltimore area, but they may kind of have a foot more in the local rock scene, so I almost don't place them in the rap scene in my head, and I realize that this site should be as diverse as possible and that they totally fit into that. Height is one example of that kind of act, Soul Cannon is another. In fact, I might've thought Soul Cannon was a rock band until I caught their show at the Ottobar a few months ago, and it turned they're basically a rapper, Ezekiel "Eze" Jackson, backed by a 4-piece band. The City Paper's given them a good amount of coverage otherwise in the past year or so, including a feature and a review, and since I enjoyed their live show I thought I'd pick up the album. It's a pretty interesting sound, a little bit of a funk/jazz thing going on but the band stirs a lot of other elements into the pot and doesn't always stick to the standard template of what a 'hip hop band' usually sounds like, without getting too corny or abstract with it. Eze gets a little too preachy for my taste sometimes, but it's clear he's got a brain and some shit to say, and he lands some pretty nice lines here and there. With so many local MCs getting into performing with live musicians lately, these guys would be a real good example to follow on a good way to do that. Check out SoulCannon.com (that's right, a dot com! Remember when musicians had their own websites and not just some MySpace ish?).
Soul Cannon - "Pampers Low" (mp3)
Weird title but this one's one of my favorites.
Labels: mixtape/album review, mp3, Soul Cannon
Labels: Baltimore club, Bedrock, flyer, Scottie B.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Last week I ran a special edition of The Club Beat, my Baltimore club column on the City Paper music blog Noise: a roundtable discussion with members of Club Queen Entertainment (including DJ Say Wut, Buck Jones, Pork Chop and Darvin, pictured above) about the death of DJ K-Swift, and I'm really proud of how that came out. My other recent posts on http://noise.citypaper.com: live reviews of my weekend at the Virgin Mobile Festival with Nine Inch Nails/Shudder To Think/Paramore/Lil Wayne/Foo Fighters/Stone Temple Pilots/Jack Johnson/Wilco/etc. (I didn't write about what I saw of Kanye's set but his show is overrated as fuck), the Charm City Community Block Fest, the first night of the new Hip Hop 101 @ 5 Seasons (with Vision, Little Clayway, 1st Family and others), Son Of Avery/The Same Damn Thing/La For Another @ the Ottobar, and Smarts/Fiasco/Hawks/Chopper @ the Talking Head.
(photo by Al Shipley)
Labels: 1st Family, 5 Seasons, Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore club, Hip Hop 101, K-Swift, Little Clayway, Noise, NSW (Say What), Vision
Labels: Baltimore club, Blaq Starr, DJ Booman, DJ Technics, flyer, KW Griff, Rod Lee
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Labels: flyer, Minlus McCracken, Ottobar, Pro and Reg, Steez Promo
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Love this track, posted it for the first time about three years ago, gotta post it again today for a sad reason. R.I.P. Bernie Mac.
Labels: Baltimore club, mp3, Rod Lee
TAYLAND PROMOTIONS PRESENTS...
LIL ONE W/ M.O.E. : BIG OX W/ CO-OP : RUFF CUT : CLEVER 1 : REMSTARR : TRUELY PLEXT : DIRT ROAD : MOOKED OUT : LORDZ OF PASSION : BLOCKBRIDGE
8 PM DOORS - ALL AGES
Thu Aug 14
Friday, August 08, 2008
The Unstoppable Nuklehidz - The Mysterious Messy Revolution (Punk-Hop-N-B-Difrint)
This week I wrote a review of this album in the City Paper. I've seen Taz and Stevie around town a lot in the past year, reviewing their shows at the Turntable Club and at the Local Highrise and judging their 295 Heat battle at Sonar, and they're just really funny, likable dudes that happen to make pretty strange, out there music. Last year on World AIDS Day, I posted their song about HIV, "Pass It On," and there's some socially conscious stuff like that on here and a lot of pretty goofy stuff, too. The album features guest appearances by Midas and Ms. Stress. Check out their blog and their MySpace page.
The Unstoppable Nuklehidz f/ Ms. Stress - "The Venom" (mp3)
This is probably my favorite track that I didn't hear on a single or at one of their shows well before the album dropped, good beat and good guest. Stress has a new album coming real soon, too, looking forward to that.
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, magazines/newspapers, Midas, mixtape/album review, mp3, Ms. Stress, The Unstoppable Nuklehidz
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Labels: 5 Seasons, Architects, C Love, flyer, Unruly Records
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Greenspan - Got Green? (Federal Reserve Music Group)
This week I reviewed a couple local discs in the City Paper, including this one by Greenspan. I wrote about him in Noise a couple times last year and noted that he has "one of the tightest live shows in the city," and earlier this year I included him in my Gov't Names 20 Most Anticipated of 2008 list of artists that I hadn't heard a full length release from but really wanted to. So I was definitely primed for this album/mixtape, and I was not disappointed at all. I pretty much explain why in the review, so you can read that, or just listen to it on DatPiff.com. This dude can really just flow his ass off, he needs to get his props from people here who care about that sort of things. I could make my usual stock complaint that I wish there was more original beats and fewer freestyles, but it's whatever, this is dope and I'm sure Greenspan's capable of making a real album. The CD features a guest appearance by Paula Campbell, production by DJ Booman, samples of Blaq Starr and Ogun, and drops from Darkroom Production (Greenspan had a dope song on Hamsterdam 2), Ahk from Strictly Hip Hop and Vicious V.
Greenspan - "Playing Dead" (mp3)
I referenced this track in the review, which is a freestyle over "The Turn" a song by M.I.A. that was produced by Blaq Starr. It's funny how things have come full circle lately; three or four years ago, I was so sick of this girl M.I.A. that a bunch of other rock critics worshipped and thought was gonna be this big crossover star on urban radio, and to me her music sounded like bad videogame techno with awkward vocals and terrible lyrics and had none of the appeal of the American genres she was influenced by, including hip hop and Baltimore club. But suddenly, this summer, her song "Paper Planes" is in a big movie trailer, climbing up the charts, and getting remixed by a different mainstream rapper every week or so. And even here in Baltimore, where I thought the only people feelin' her were the same kind of hipsters feelin' her in most other places, suddenly it feels like she's crossed over; you've got Greenspan doing this version of one of her songs (there's also a clip of her song "World Town," which jacks the hook from Blaq Starr's "Hands Up, Thumbs Down," on Got Green?. And before DJ K-Swift passed away, I'd heard her spin the M.I.A. song "Boyz" both at Artscape and on 92Q, right in the middle of a Baltimore club set, and it actually sounded alright to me.
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, Blaq Starr, Darkroom Productions, DJ Booman, Greenspan, magazines/newspapers, mixtape/album review, mp3, Ogun, Paula Campbell
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Jade Fox featured in the Monday edition of the Sun's free daily publication B. Also check this awesome video of girls breakdancing to her performance of "Get Up" at the Ottobar.
Labels: Jade Fox, magazines/newspapers, video
Monday, August 04, 2008
DJ Excel - The Friday Nite Bounce LP (Bmore Original Records)
I've written a couple things about DJ Excel this year, first a Club Beat column about him a few months ago, and then featuring him in my Big Music Issue piece in the City Paper about Baltimore-based internet radio. And I've had this album since around the time he put it up for sale on the Bmore Original mp3 store back in like February and kept meaning to post about it here, but just never got around to it for the longest time, I think because I was waiting to hear from him about whether it was coming out on vinyl too. Right now the album is being sold on the site chopped up into 4 parts and is kind of priced more toward DJs, but maybe that's a good way for people to test out bits of it before copping the whole thing. I'd reccomend part 1 or part 3 first, but the whole thing is solid, really a different approach to Baltimore club than what most producers are doing right now, just focusing on the classic breaks and getting some more offbeat sample ideas in there, unmixed so it all just hangs together pretty well as an album. There's also a version of that "Push Ya Top Back" track with Bossman on here with Blaq Starr added to it.
DJ Excel f/ Emmy - "ALLNITELONG" (mp3)
I really like this, it's rare that I hear a Baltimore club track that I can really feel mellow and zone out to, but this and the Booman track I posted recently both have that elusive vibe that I really love. It really reminds me of early early Baltimore club with the Euro house influence in the synths plus the breakbeats and those rough vocal samples popping in and out, like Excel really seriously studied that era and came up with his own flip on it. There are 2 versions of this on the album, too, this one and an instrumental, and they're in a row so you can just chill to this track for 7 minutes straight.
Labels: Baltimore club, Blaq Starr, Bmore Original Records, Bossman, DJ Excel, mixtape/album review, mp3
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Verb in a studio in L.A., spitting a crazy freestyle over a Baltimore club beat for the AOL hip hop blog Boombox.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Labels: Black Hole Rock Club, flyer
Friday, August 01, 2008
Al Great - The Alevan Collection presents Great Expectations (Dedication to Will)
Al Great is a rapper from the group Alevan, in the past I've written about an Alevan album and another one of his solo mixtapes. A few weeks ago I saw him perform at the Teop release party at Sonar and picked up a copy of this mixtape, which is dedicated to a friend of his named Will who passed away in May. He's got a lot of songs on here in that whole theme, tributes to his friend and songs on the whole topic of death and loss, including a freestyle over "T.R.O.Y." and a song called "Screamin'" that I think is really kind of harrowing and thought-provoking. Still, I think I'm more interested in listening to an Alevan release with original beats by E. Dott than an Al Great releases full of flows over industry, even though he's got a good ear for picking beats, just because he already kinda sounds like Jay-Z and hearing him over familiar beats just make it all sound really generic. You can download the whole thing on Datpiff.com.
Al Great - "Make It" (mp3)
He raps over a couple beats on this by Alchemist on here (another Al!), and this is one of my favorites, Jadakiss's "We Gonna Make It."
Labels: mixtape/album review, mp3