Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mullyman f/ Smash - "I'm All About It" (mp3)
Mullyman - "Bmore Go Harder" (remastered mp3)
The seemingly never-ending series of great Mullyman/DJ Booman collaborations continues, and I'd be remiss if I didn't post this one. I know I was a little critical of Smash's big breakthrough hit "Bit Too Much For Me" (and believe me, the song's producer was definitely not happy with me), but it's pretty cool to see Mully reaching out to work with someone who's kinda the new kid on the block like Smash and this song came out really dope. I originally posted "Bmore Go Harder" last month but this is the newly remastered version, which they're shooting a video for in a couple weeks. It really only started to sink in with me recently how dope Mully's 3rd verse on that song is for the way he references a bunch of important Baltimore club tracks (along with "Bit Too Much For Me") and Booman cuts in samples of each of those songs. The tracks are:

Jimmy Jones - "Watch Out For The Big Girl"
DJ Class - "I'm The Ish"
Rod Lee - "Enjoy Yourself"
Cajmere - "Coffee Pot (It's Time for the Perculator)"
Miss Tony - "What's Up What's Up"
Miss Tony - "Pull Ya Guns Out"

Of course, "Perculator" is actually a Chicago house record, but Baltimore club has kind of adopted it as its own at this point.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Jade Fox
For The People Entertainment
opening for Black Sheep
@ the Ottobar
Sunday, March 1st

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ron G - Lunch EP (Mania Music Group)

Back when the Mania Music Group site did their whole "month of Mania" promotion back in October and gave away a bunch of free music, Ron G's was the last of the solo EPs they posted. And I wanted to kinda chill and not post about them all at once, so it took me a while to get around to writing about this one. But they might've saved the best for last, this one is really special, maybe it's just that I'd heard Midas and Kane's music before the label so Ron G's stuff surprises me more, but he's dope. Really young guy and kinda has that young arrogant vibe but really comes outta nowhere with some really thoughtful or funny shit now and then, and I think he got some of Mania's best beats here, real laid back funky tracks with hard drums.

Ron G - "Da Law" (mp3)
You might recognize this as the song I quoted and described a little bit in my City Paper article on the label last year, I had my tape recorder on for the interview when they played the song so I was listening back to the tape like damn, this song is gonna be the shit. You gotta listen hard but that's Kane doing the voices for the police radio stuff in the background, some funny shit.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mr. Vegas f/ Verb - "Oh My Gosh" (mp3)
You may remember all the fanfare back in 2006 about Debonair Samir and Aaron Lacrate signing with Koch Records to release the B-More Club Crack compilation. Well, 3 years later, Koch is now E1 Music and they finally decided to drop the album this year, a couple weeks from now on March 10th. This is one of the two lead singles, and features a new version of the classic "Samir's Theme" beat with Verb and dancehall artist Mr. Vegas. My interview with Samir about the record is here and the press release and tracklist are here. The album also features Mullyman, Tim Trees, B. Rich, Dirty Hartz, Tru Bill and D.O.G.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

My new stuff this month on the Baltimore City Paper's Noise blog: an interview with Debonair Samir on my Club Beat column, and live reviews of Aural States Fest @ Sonar/The Talking Head, The Baltimore String Felons/Spoke Ensemble/Matt Pless @ the Sidebar, Susan Alcorn @ The Carriage House, Tiger Hill/Rejouissance/Manson Family Picnic @ the Charm City Art Space, and Thee Lexington Arrows/The Howlies/The Dustys @ The Sidebar.

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Skarr Akbar
opening for Mos Def
@ Rams Head Live
Wednesday, February 25th

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wordsmith - The Revolution Begins With A Takeover Vol. 2 (DJ Denox/

Wordsmith drops new music online frequently that I can't really keep track of it all or what order it came out in, so I'm not sure if this is his most recent mixtape, but it's the sequel to one I posted about last year, another one offered as a free download on This might be my favorite release I've heard from him so far, pretty laid back production-wise (aside from the constant annoying "REPRESENTING MONTREAL CANADA IT'S DJ DENOX!!!!" drops) and Wordsmith is really flexing his songwriting abilities. "The Golden Years" is a pretty dope song, kind of on the reminiscing tip but in a really vivid, fully realized way that you don't get too often, and "Junkie Man's Jingle" is a strong conceptual song.

Wordsmith f/ Tha Profitt, Reggie Webb, Greenspan, Skarr Akbar, Soulstice, Pro & Reg, Sly Solomon, Steadfast, Tislam the Great & E-Major - "B-More Baritones" (mp3)
It's really dope to hear Wordsmith do a posse cut like this, especially since I haven't heard him do tracks with a lot of Baltimore artists before. Really interesting lineup on this song, too, a diverse set of guys, although there are a couple I'm not familiar with.

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Some news and links:

- The cover story in last week's issue of the Baltimore CIty Paper, The Elements of Style by Bret McCabe, is a big piece about Baltimore hip hop and club music's first generation, particularly Labtekwon, DJ Booman and Scottie B., looking back on the scene in the '80s and '90s, and the CP site also has bonus interviews with MC Chinchilla and graffiti artists Alco and Boodamonk. It's really great, interesting stuff, although, as I was telling Bret when he first showed me the article, I wish there was more emphasis on stories and the music back then, and less, I don't know, criticism of the new generation. Of course there's a lot more rappers in Baltimore now, and a lot more wack opportunists, but to hear them tell it, that's all there is now, when I know for a fact there are a lot of young cats around that are doing it for the love of the art, and aren't all about trying to get on TV and have a major label deal. More of them should give respect to Labtekwon and his generation, absolutely, but I don't feel like anyone gets a better sense of how special that era is just by talking about how much worse the current era is. But hopefully this will open up more of a dialogue and get people wanting to learn more about that history now, I certainly wish I knew more than I do. I've been wanting to do like a month of all '90s Baltimore hip hop on this site for a long time, maybe this'll motivate me to start putting that together and getting music from everyone's vaults from back then.

- I've been meaning to link to this for the longest time, but producer Ms. Tris has a blog and it's pretty great.

- World Star Hip Hop has a video interview with Billo.

- Michael Byrne reviewed K-Swift's Greatest Hits on the City Paper website recently.

- URB Magazine currently has a 'Next 1000' feature on their website about up-and-coming artists, and Greenspan and Midas are on there, along with probably some other Baltimore artists I haven't found on there yet.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

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Friday, February 20, 2009

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

DJ Class f/ Pitbull and Lil Jon - "I'm The Ish (Remix Pt. 2)" (mp3)
This week I have a story in the City Paper about Baltimore club producer DJ Class, who just got signed to Universal Republic off the strength of his single "I'm The Ish," which I named one of the top club tracks of 2008. There's already been a couple big remixes of the track, but Pitbull just added a verse to the one with Lil Jon recently. It should be interesting to see if the song keeps growing, and which version of the song will become the most popular, but either way, pretty cool to see Class getting his due right now. Thanks also to Sean Caesar from Unruly Records for some quotes for the article.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Uncanny Click - Revenge Retaliation (DJ Rsonist)

The Uncanny Click are a trio from Northeast Baltimore comprised of the rappers Gator Tha King, Cartlime and G-Kid, and Gator also produces a lot of their tracks. They e-mailed me this 'street album' a couple weeks ago, which is also available on, and it's hosted by Rsonist from the Heatmakerz, which is pretty cool (EDIT: apparently this is som. The Dipset connection is appropriate, since they're making this kind of grimy modern East coast street rap that I feel like a hundred crews were making in Baltimore a few years ago and now there's only, like, half as many. I don't know if that's just me hearing less of it or what, though, it's hard to say, but it's kinda refreshing to hear stuff like this when I'm less overloaded with it. I don't really know who's who in the group, although one of them really just cannot flow for shit, but it's the kinda music where that doesn't quite matter as much. But this is still a good listen, big loud beats and ignorant lyrics, can't complain about that, and they do some cool shit with sampled vocal loops on a lot of the beats.

The Uncanny Click f/ Brainwash - "The Set Up" (mp3)
This is the one track on the CD produced by Rsonist, some real classic Heatmakerz type shit.

Edit: Apparently this is some other DJ Rsonist, my mistake for assuming otherwise.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

JSoul - Love Soldier (Blackout Studios)

J.S.O.U.L. is an R&B singer from Baltimore who I first heard on The J Rock Project, his collaborative mixtape with rapper Ab Rock. I always saw him at a beat battle last year where he was competing with the productions he does under the name Black Sinatra, and he had some good shit, so I picked up his last album, Love Soldier, which was reviewed by Bret McCabe in the City Paper about a year ago. There's a couple local hip hop producers on here, Sean Toure and Top Secret, but it's really just a straight up soul album, real mellow and moody, with an emphasis on his voice. I've been real heavy into R&B the last couple years so it's nice to hear some pretty professional grade stuff coming out of Baltimore, I know there's a lot of good singers around here but very few of them have gotten together an album that sounds this polished and accomplished. J.S.O.U.L. performing with The J Rock Project at the J Dilla tribute at Club Reality this Friday.

J.S.O.U.L. - "Control" (mp3)
This is one of 2 tracks produced by Sean Toure and I really like the whole weird sound and vibe of it, still waiting for him to drop a solo album.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

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Friday, February 13, 2009

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

DJ Excel - Singles & Remixes (Bmore Original Records)

Since last year's Friday Night Bounce LP, which I was a big fan of, DJ Excel has put up a couple kind of smaller stopgap releases up on the Bmore Original site in the past few months. This one, Singles & Remixes, is just a compilation of some of his recent singles and remixes, so obviously the title is self-explanatory. I wasn't really sure what to expect from it, since the only song I was previously familiar with was "Pop That Kitty," which, I'll be honest, I really hated and thought sounded like a bad knockoff of all the "crank that" songs that came out in the wake of Soulja Boy. But fortunately the rest of this album covers a pretty wide gamut of all the different stuff Excel does, including straight up Baltimore club and some kind of retro house and a lot of other little bits of other genres that pop up in the samples. I dig the remix of "Love Lockdown," and I don't even like that song generally. Michael Byrne also reviewed the album in the City Paper last month.

DJ Excel - "Bmore A.D.D." (mp3)
This one's a real doozy, 11 minutes long and kind of runs through several different sections. One of the early parts in the song has some samples of Bossman's voice.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Born King as...Killa Fifth - The Blacklight Mixtape

After I reviewed Born King's last album, The Secret Order, in the City Paper a couple months ago, I got a chance to sit down with him and his brother singodsuperior and chop it up a little bit. And it was pretty interesting to get a better idea of where Born King's music was coming from, because I was never sure if he was coming from the arty side of hip hop or just taking the grimy Wu Tang thing to a kind of new extreme. But it turns out he really is into stuff like Def Jux and Jay Electronica, which makes total sense, and he's been making music for a long long time and has a whole team of interesting people arund him. One thing that he mentioned kinda offhandedly was that he put out a mixtape a year or two back, and I was like damn, why didn't you mention that before? So singodsuperior sent it to me and kind of explained it to me as "the foundation for The Secret Order," and like that album it's also credited to Born King's alter ego, Killa Fifth. He even says something like "Born King no longer exists" on one song, although I dunno, it could get pretty confusing if he doesn't just commit to one name or the other at some point. Anyway I wasn't expecting a real traditional mixtape or anything, but as far as I can tell the format of this is the same as all of his albums, same producers, same types of songs, no freestyles or industry beats, same length (only about a half hour long), only difference is that there's a host, Jimmy Beamz. I'm not complaining, though, the more I hear this guy's weird-ass music the more I appreciate it. And I believe he has another album already finished, I think he said it's coming out in June.

Born King as Killa Fifth - "Tonz" (mp3)
This one's my favorite, real crazy beat.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Get Em Mamis - "So Crazy" (mp3)
G.E.M.. and Darkroom Productions just leaked their latest collaboration, and considering how many year-end lists their last one "Cold Summer" have appeared on in the last couple months, it seems like people are really loving their sound right now and are hungry for more, so this tracks should go over well. Sam Sessa at the Baltimore Sun recently ran a new article on Darkroom.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ogun - Checkmate (Architects Recording Studio/Real On Purpose Ent.)

This week in the City Paper I reviewed Ogun's new mixtape, although really it's been out for a few weeks already so you should already have it. Last year we named him the best male MC in our Best Of Baltimore issue and I really feel like his work ethic and the quality of his music has been crazy for the past couple years. I wish this was a full-on album with totally new songs and all original beats, but there's a lot of good stuff I've never heard on here before, along with things I've posted on the site previously like "Repetition" with Blaq Starr and Hots and "Go Long" and stuff he's performed live a lot like "It's Alright" and "Bmore Hero." The last song "Remember Me" is dedicated to K-Swift and Mr. Wilson, and the mixtape also features XO, Skarr Akbar, EJ, and production from Ms. Tris Beats and Bernie Dozier. Also, check out Mr. Shadeed's interview with Ogun here.

Ogun f/ Mykeey and Chyna Doll - "Hustle" (mp3)
This track was produced by Kick & Snares and is probably my favorite beat on the album, it just bangs hard. The two guests on here both sing on the hook, but Ogun sounds so different on the first verse that at first I almost thought it was someone else rapping, it's like he's doing some totally new voice, but on the second verse he kinda goes back to his usual flow.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Nathan Blaze - Demo EP

A while back at a show I ran into BeaLack, one of the producers behind Mania Music Group, and he gave me a copy of a project he had worked on outside the label, a 4-song EP he produced for an artist named Nathan Blaze. The guy is a little marble-mouthed and sometimes he really just can't seem to get in the pocket of the beat, but he's got his own message and sometimes he finds a good way to express it, and BeaLack is in my opinion a really solid, versatile producer. As a short little sampler it's not much but you do get a good sense of who the artist is, which is harder to do in 4 songs than you might think.

Nathan Blaze - "Middle Class Ballin'" (mp3)
This song really kinda hits on an old point in a fresh way and really wraps it up in a song well. I know a lot of people that would really identify with this song, hell I identify with it.

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Monday, February 02, 2009


- Booman

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

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