Tuesday, June 30, 2009
various artists - The Best of Deep Flow Radio presents... Fed Up (Deep Flow Studios)
This 16-track CD was based on the simple concept of taking songs that had gotten 4 of 5 star ratings on DeepFlowRadio.com and compiling them on one CD. The little tweak on the concept that Amotion decided on, however, was to cram 60 songs into the hourlong compilation, with several songs on each track, organized by artist, with folks including TestMe, Young Hustlers and Dynamic Compositions. And I can see why that seemed like a good ambitious idea, but personally for me, it's the reason I found Fed Up to be a really unpleasant listening experience. I hate listening to snippets of songs, hearing 30 seconds or a minute of a song and then it cutting off just as I'm getting into it -- if it was a DJ mix and it was all blended together in some graceful way maybe it would work, but here it's just abrupt every time and there's no groove. A lot of times it's just oddly selected portions of freestyles, too, so you just get a few seconds of someone ad-libbing over a radio song, which is not exactly a great showcase for the artists. I feel bad saying this, because I think Amotion really thought this was a good idea and was eager to get feedback when she sent it out, but I think this was a big mistake and it's just not lister-friendly at all. The title is kind of wrapped up into a theme with a lot of the artists talking about what they're fed up about at the beginning of each track, but usually the music has nothing to do with that.
LP f/ Mooda (mp3)
LP is a female rapper who I saw perform at Melodic Mondays last week and I was really impressed by her set. Haven't been able to find a MySpace page or any more info about her online, though. As with the other tracks, this is just excerpts of several different songs, so it doesn't have a title.
Labels: Deep Flow, Internet radio, mixtape/album review, mp3, TestMe
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
ScholarMan & Jonesy - Distant Voices EP (Soganic Music)
The ridiculously prolific MC/producer ScholarMan released one album and three EPs last year, and he's already on pace to top that in 2008, with an album, an EP and this collaborative EP in just the last 6 months. Unlike his previous self-produced efforts, this one is all beats by Jonesy, a producer from London that he worked with over the internet, and ended up with the single "Maryland To UK" (which is included as a bonus track here) and the 5 tracks that make up the EP. Really Jonesy's production style is pretty similar to ScholarMan's, soul samples and all, though, so it's pretty close to his other stuff, other than the references to the transatlantic theme of the record. You can download Distant Voices and several other ScholarMan releases for free on his website, and here's a YouTube of him performing "So Vital" from the EP in New York earlier this month.
ScholarMan & Jonesy - "Well Suited" (mp3)
This right here is my favorite track at the moment.
Labels: mixtape/album review, mp3, ScholarMan
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Here's the latest stuff I've had on the City Paper's Noise blog in the last month or so: a Club Beat column about DJ Manny, and live reviews of Illahpalooza @ Fish Head Cantina, Kadman/Birds And Arrows/Porcelain Doll Club @ Metro Gallery, The Matrimonials/Thee Lexington Arrows/The Sundresses @ the Sidebar, The Deleted Scenes/Math The Band/Weekends @ the Hexagon, the Double Bass Extravaganza @ An die Musik Live, and Mama Digdown's Brass Band @ Bertha's.
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore club, magazines/newspapers, Noise
Friday, June 26, 2009
Labels: B.O.M.B., Comp, flyer, For The People Entertainment, Ogun, Tha Profitt, Tim Trees
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Labels: Brakefast Records, flyer, Sonar, Tayland Promotions
Mullyman - wiRemix Volume 1 (DJ Booman/Major League Unlimited)
Mullyman's been really making things happen for himself the last few months, from getting the "I Go Harder" video aired on MTV Jams (been seeing it a lot lately!) and featured on AllHipHop.com to launching a new Mullyman.com website. But most importantly, he's just been dropping a ton of music and most of it's been real high quality. Along with all his 'wiRemixes' of popular songs, he's got a couple mixtapes put together with DJ Booman in that theme available on his site and on DatPiff.com. This first one seems like it could be a good best-of or reintroduction, for people that might just be hearing him for the first time now because of the video -- it's got 4 tracks from his 2005 album Mullymania (including the collabs with Freeway and Memphis Bleek and the Skarr Akbar-produced track with the late Mr. Wilson) mixed in among freestyles over recent singles like "Pop Champagne" and "Single Ladies." Not really anything new here if you already follow Mully, but still not a bad listen.
Mullymania - "One Of Da Greatest" (mp3)
Real talk, this has always been one of my favorite songs of his, but I've never posted it here before because the version on Mullymania is at the end of the album and has a bonus track tacked on, so this is the first time I've gotten anything where it's just this song on its own track. Anyway, killer song, I remember 92Q played it a little bit when it first dropped.
Labels: DJ Booman, mixtape/album review, mp3, Mr. Wilson, Mullyman, Skarr Akbar, Verb
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Labels: Baltimore club, Club One, DJ Tigga, flyer
This is for the people that need promo.
This is for the people that need heads to listen to there music.
This is for the heads that need to learn more about this business.
This is for the people that need to meet people involved in the Baltimore music scene.
Wanna know where the shows are between MD & VA?
There arew so many things you need to do before you take your career to that next level. You may want a BIG recording contract or you may want to put your music out independently and be the next MASTER P or you may just want to be heard in your city, but at the end of the day YOU need to know how to get it to that next level instead of running around in circles. EVERYDAY I get emails about people wanting me to listen to there music or watch there video's or they just want to ask questions. I dont have time in my day to actually do that for everybody so i came up with a plan.
Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month I am hosting a monthly meeting of the Baltimore music family. DC and VA is welcomed as well. It will be called A&R TUESDAYS. At A&R Tuesdays i will invite A&R's, producers, DJ's, and emcees, and promoters to come thru and speak about there experiences in the game and show you how they maximized there potential. I will be giving artist time to get on stage and let the people know where they can cop there music and i am going to let the artist have there music played so that there own peers can here there stuff. If you have a video you just did and you want us to watch it? well instead of a few people have a filled house watch it. You have a event your starting? promote it here. You have a new album coming out? promote it here? you have a new label starting? Let us know... here at 830 North Guilford Street at the 5 seasons. DJ BRUCE LEROY will be playing the music.. SONNY BROWN as your host, Honey management and Street Legal Entertainment will be in the building. Drink specials all nite long, food, great music from Baltimores own all nite long... NO PERFORMANCES STRICTLY NETWORKING.. Something I think we all 4get from time to time.. think about it.. how can you finish a mixtape and expect to sell it to people who know NOTHING about YOU?
$10 to get in
$1 shots all nite long
Baltimore local music all nite long
Lets make it happen BALTIMORE!!!!!!! The time is NOW!
Labels: 5 Seasons, flyer, Sonny Brown, Street Legal
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Back in 2007 I met up with some guys who were making a documentary about Baltimore hip hop, and they interviewed me in a Reisterstown parking lot. And now the film, Paused In Time is coming out on DVD, and I'm going to be in it apparently. The trailer is on YouTube and there's going to be a release party at Sonar next week.
Labels: E Major, flyer, G.E.M./Tha Plague, Sonar, Sonny Brown, video
Articulate - #musicmonday (please RT) the mixtape
Articulate's really been one of the growing number of MCs in Baltimore that's really using the internet well to get his music out there on a really frequent basis, so it's apt that he's the first rapper I've heard of to do a Twitter-themed mixtape (Soulja Boy did one, too, but Artic beat him to the punch by a couple weeks). Don't get me wrong, I hate Twitter and think it's the lamest web 2.0 trend ever, I'm just saying it's shrewd of him. I'm still not sure how much I like Artic as an rapper, he writes verses well enough but he's got that kind of hoarse grain to his voice like he's pushing out the words too hard that kinda bothers me about a lot of newer rappers like Wale or Charles Hamilton. Still, there's some definite good music on his recent releases and I think he's got some real promise. Anyway, you can get this on ItsArtic.com, and guests include Wordsmith, Bex, PenDragon and Rickie Jacobs.
Articulate - "Motion Poetry" (mp3)
I really like the off-the-cuff feel of the track and the way he just flows and flows, and then shrugs it off at the end with "this ain't even a song, it's just a verse I wrote just to be leakin' somethin'."
Labels: Articulate, mixtape/album review, mp3, PenDragon, Wordsmith
Monday, June 22, 2009
Labels: flyer, Kane, Mania Music Group, Midas, Ron G.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
41Yo has run some notable interviews lately, and I haven't really linked to any of them, so I'm just gonna do a whole rundown of them: a video interview with Kneel Knaris, an audio interview with DJ Excel where Excel actually remixes his own interview and puts a whole musical backdrop under it, a video interview with Skarr Akbar, a written feature on Ogun, and video interviews with Get Em Mamis, and Doo-Dew Kidz and Mullyman. Brandon only provides a YouTube version of the last one, "if you prefer your videos to look really terrible," but my computer really hates Vimeo so that's the only one I've really been able to watch in full. What I was able to watch was cool, though.
Labels: 41yo, Baltimore club, DJ Booman, DJ Excel, G.E.M./Tha Plague, Mullyman, Ogun, PX, Skarr Akbar, video
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Cutthroat and Bear - Silent Flutes (For The People Entertainment)
Almost two years ago, I posted "Splurge," a track by two artists from the For The People Entertainment label, from a duo album they were working on together called Silent Flutes. And when I wrote an article about FTP they talked about the album more and sounded really excited about it. So I'm really happy to say that the album is finally here, and it's probably the pinnacle of what these two MCs, and maybe the whole crew, have been working toward the past few years. Beat and Cutthroat are both kind of humble, low key rappers, but together they really have a rapport and make dope songs together, and FTP's producers, mainly Nacktronics but also D.J. Auz and Sketch, really create a whole unique sound that covers so much ground from track to track. It's very much an underground album and isn't flashy or virtuosic, but somehow all these songs hang together really well ("Splurge" is on here but has since been retitled "Tony Montana"). They're looking to get the album available on iTunes this summer, and FTP will be having an event at Fletcher's on Friday, June 26th and Silent Flutes will be available there.
Cutthroat and Bear - "Brilliant" (mp3)
This probably gives me the strongest Wu Tang vibes of the whole album.
Labels: Bear, Cutthroat, For The People Entertainment, mixtape/album review, mp3
Friday, June 19, 2009
Labels: 5 Seasons, flyer, Huli Shallone, Ogun
Labels: Baltimore club, DJ Pierre, flyer, Paradox
Thursday, June 18, 2009
James Nasty - Good Times EP (Club City Records)
James Nasty is a Baltimore club producer that first sent me some music last year, and I recently decided to feature him in my Club Beat column. I don't usually cover a lot of newer club guys unless a lot of DJs are already playing their stuff, but Nasty really got my respect right off the bat with some breakbeat-heavy tracks that really capture the same vibe as a lot of my favorite '90s club music. This is his latest 4-song EP available from his website, the title track is a remix of the TV show's theme song.
James Nasty - "Drinkers Anthem" (mp3)
This is one of those great examples of someone taking a little piece of dialogue from a movie or a comic's stand-up routine -- in this case Bill Cosby -- and picking the perfect parts to chop up into a club track.
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, Baltimore club, mixtape/album review, mp3, Noise
I wrote a feature about Sonny Brown that's in the City Paper this week. I've known Sonny for a few years and have a lot of respect for him, everyone in Baltimore knows him from hosting shows but I don't think they necessarily realize that he's a talented MC and hopefully the music he's getting ready to release this year will show that.
(photo by Christopher Myers)
Labels: Baltimore City Paper, magazines/newspapers, Sonny Brown
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This Thursday is gonna be special! Because Arsonists Camp has finally copped a building to house the furnace. Which will now be named Firehouse! Come out to Lava Lounge to party extra crazy with us Thursday. We have G-Major & Mr 1st In Time on the 1 and 2's all night. With a special performance from Ms.Stress aka The Madame of Murdaland. So come on out and get drunk for next to nothing @ The Lava Lounge. 1301 Ponca St. Ladies admission is $5 or 3 for $10 (yeah we rich so we can do this) Fellas $8.
Once you are in the place. Bottled drinks are $2. Ladies can drink all they want til midnight for only $5. Fellas drink all they want for $15. You can't beat that. This happens every thursday. But this particular thursday is special to the A.C.E.-O.T.G. Family. So come out mingle get furred and meet new people. Its always crazy. And with the recession u can drink your depression away for next to nothing.
THREESOME THURSDAYS @ LAVA LOUNGE
1301 PONCA ST. Canton Md.
Labels: flyer, G Major, Ms. Stress
Labels: Baltimore club, Club One, flyer
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Chubb Rock & Wordsmith - Bridging The Gap (Godigital/Unruly/Koch Records)
Over the past couple years that Wordsmith has been flooding Baltimore and the internet with tons of solo material, he's been teasing this collaborative album with old school hip hop institution Chubb Rock. And after the last few weeks that have included an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, the release of a video, and a warm-up mixtape, the album is finally out today. And it's the second big national release from Unruly Records since they got distribution from E1/Koch (after the K-Swift best-of), which is great to see. The whole feel of the LP is nice, Chubb Rock is such a genial, laid back presence and Wordsmith is a good foil as kind of a more intense, lyrical MC, good beats produced primarily by Strada. One of my favorite parts of the album is the 2-part "Chocolate City," which is kind of a weird conceptual storytelling thing. The album is out everywhere this week, stores and iTunes and Amazon and all that.
Chubb Rock & Wordsmith - "Clay Davis" (mp3)
Fans of The Wire will enjoy this one, which features Chubb Rock doing his best Clay Davis impression and going "sheeeeeit" on the hook.
Labels: mixtape/album review, mp3, Unruly Records, Wordsmith
Monday, June 15, 2009
Labels: Club Reality, flyer
New video from NOE called "Gladiator," directed by Jonah Schwartz and it looks really dope, first saw this on 41yo. Good song, too, hadn't heard this on any of his mixtapes so I guess it's new.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Bossman - Street Kings (1Up Ent./N.E.K./MySpace Records)
A few weeks ago, Bossman released 2 new mixtapes through his MySpace page, I thought it was odd at first, because he's released double CDs before, but not 2 separate mixtapes at the same time. Then I listened to them, and realized where they were separate -- the first one, ATM: After These Messages, is more a general mixtape of new music, featuring "Break Me Off" and material in that vein, but Street Kings is on a whole other vibe. It's pretty much a concept album about law enforcement, all stemming from an incident in March 2008 in which he was arrested but not charged, and says he was a victim of police brutality is apparently involved in a lawsuit against the Baltimore PD. Considering all the constant complaints and controversies about how Baltimore police officers treat people in the city, I think it's good that an artist as prominent as Bossman is kind of standing up and addressing it in his music, even if it kinda feels like he's more mad about the one thing that happened to him than really taking a political stance. The anger definitely comes across, though, I mean it's a 63-minute mixtape just about this one topic. The first song he had out with AutoTune on it, "Ghetto" featuring Scola, even sounds pretty aggressive in this context, and I never really heard it that way when it hit radio last year. I would say for people like me who are Bossman fans but aren't real into "Break Me Off," this would be a better mixtape to check out than A.T.M..
Bossman f/ D.O. and Tone - "Catch Me If You Can" (mp3)
That's how Dollars and Tony Manson are credited on these mixtapes, I guess that's the names they're going under now. Anyway this track is one of my favorites, great beat.
Labels: Bossman, mixtape/album review, mp3, One Up Entertainment
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Labels: Club Reality, flyer, open mic, Shaka Pitts
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Lynee' Michelle - Love, Lynee' Michelle (Arsonist Camp Entertainment)
Last month I linked to my City Paper feature about Baltimore R&B singer Lynee' Michelle, but it occurred to me I hadn't gotten around to dedicating a post to the abum she released in February or posting any music from it. She's signed to a local rap label, Arsonists Camp, and the album has some hip hop flavor from G Major and Nick Soprano, as well as some Baltimore club flavor from DJ Booman and Debonair Samir, but otherwise it's just a solid modern soul album. It's available now on CDBaby.com.
Lynee' Michelle - "Slow It Down" (mp3)
This is the Booman-produced song and it's probably my favorite on the album, has kind of a club feel but also some parts in a slower tempo and is just a catchy track.
Labels: Debonair Samir, DJ Booman, G Major, Lynee Michelle, mixtape/album review, mp3
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Labels: Baltimore club, Buck Jones, Club One, DJ Pierre, flyer
Dappa!!! Dan Midas - "Oh Baltimore (Bang On Ya Drums Mix)" (mp3)
RapMan Ron G. - "Baltimore (SP1200Remix)" (mp3)
A few years ago I wrote a blog post about Mullyman's "Oh Baltimore," and how it sampled Nina Simone's "Baltimore," which itself was originally recorded by Randy Newman, and I lamented that no Baltimore artists had yet sampled the Newman version. When 41yo recently did a post about the Mully song, I made a comment kinda reiterating that point, and pointing out that Jade Fox and Ron G. had recently done songs with the Nina Simone sample, but still noone had used the Newman track (ok, I said it was Midas, but I was away from my home computer and blanking on the details there). Anyway, apparently the Mania Music Group folks were paying attention, and decided to do a couple tracks off of the Randy Newman sample: a downtempo one from Ron G. with some typically dense, thoughtful lyrics, and a fun uptempo almost-club one from Midas. Between this and "Lunatic Fringe" these guys are using my thoughts all over the place, I might gotta start demanding a liner note shout out or something, haha.
(photo by Al Shipley)
Labels: 41yo, Mania Music Group, Midas, mp3, Ron G.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Labels: Baltimore club, DJ Booman, flyer, G.E.M./Tha Plague, Scottie B., Sonar
Labels: Ab Rock, Club Reality, E Major, flyer
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Uncanny Click - "Flyer Than A Plane" (mp3)
There was a snippet of this song on the Uncanny Click's last mixtape, produced by Gator Tha King. But now they're pushing it hard as a single, selling it on iTunes and Emusic and Tunecore, I think it's pretty catchy, could be a hit.
Friday, June 05, 2009
It was a year ago today that Mr. Wilson passed away, rest in peace.
Labels: announcements, Mr. Wilson
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Kneel Knaris - Going Sane In A Crazy World (Street Legal Entertainment)
I posted a song from it a few weeks ago, but now the whole solo debut from Kneel Knaris is out. I've known him from PX (Parts Unknown), and from being a hip hop karaoke champ legend, but on this album he really comes into his own, weaving the whole album together into a cohesive theme, and making it all about his own struggles with bipolar disorder. There's a lot of introspective rap out there where you get an MC talking your ear off about their problems or addictions or whatever, and I feel like that can be a really indulgent and risky area to get into if the artist doesn't have a real focus or discipline, but he just goes at it really creatively, hitting a different angle with every song.
Last week I was sitting on the front steps at Street Legal talking with Sonny Brown and Kneel, and Sonny said this album was really inspirational to him and made him want to put more of his experiences in his music, which I thought was a huge compliment. The song I posted before, "Never Gonna Make It," I think really sums up the album well. And one thing Kneel said was that he wouldn't be able to make a record like this now, because he's feeling better now than he was when he wrote those songs, which was good to hear because really, some of this stuff is intense, he really goes into some dark feelings, and it's good that the music helped him get past them. E Major makes a guest appearance, and also did the cover art. The album is out now in stores, on iTunes, and on Amazon, where it's only $6.99, which is a great look. Also check out 41yo's review of the album.
Kneel Knaris - "Two Women (Night And Day)" (mp3)
This is one of my favorite songs on the album, because it really takes the bipolar theme of the album in a different direction and kind of looks at two different crutches, caffeine in the daytime and alcohol at night, and builds around that concept in a really dope way (which also explains the cover art).
Labels: 41yo, E Major, mixtape/album review, mp3, PX, Street Legal
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Labels: Baltimore club, Buck Jones, Club One, DJ Pierre, flyer
A few weeks ago I posted about a couple new Get Em Mamis songs, "Work" (produced by Darkroom Productions) and "Rock Wit Me" (produced by DJ Booman), now there's a video out for both songs, which was directed by Mr. Gray of 7/8 Productions and looks pretty great. Caught this over on 41yo.com.
Labels: 41yo, Baltimore club, Darkroom Productions, DJ Booman, G.E.M./Tha Plague, video
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
DJ Diamond K recently released The K-Swift Story, a DVD documentary about the life of DJ K-Swift and her passing last year, and he sent me a copy a little while back that I finally sat down and watched. It's about an hour long, and obviously it's a real passion project, low budget and a little awkwardly edited at times but with the best of intentions, a lot of what little video footage of Swift there is out there, news reports about her death, and a lot of interviews with friends and peers like Pork Chop, Rod Lee, Buck Jones, DJ Big L and others. If you buy it off of Diamond K's site some of the money goes to the Khia K-Swift Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Labels: Baltimore club, Buck Jones, Diamond K, K-Swift, Pork Chop, Rod Lee
PenDragon - "I'm The Ish (Remix)" (mp3)
Mullyman - "I'm The Ish (wiRemix)" (mp3)
There's nothing new about people doing their own version of DJ Class's "I'm The Ish" at this point, but it's kind of cool to see the song kind of go through this backwards path, where now other Baltimore artists are really jumping on it after we already heard people of Kanye West or Lil Jon's stature on the track. PenDragon sent me his version, as a preview of his HomeRun King mixtape that's dropping in June, and he added some new synths and production elements to the track, which is something he does a lot and is really one of the reasons I always check for Drag's stuff, whether it's a 'freestyle' or a new song, he puts that something extra in there. Mully goes in on the original beat, but his version is really cool because he's just congratulating DJ Class and showing some pride about Baltimore and club music. It really brings home something that's been refreshing about the whole last few months, the way virtually everyone around here who knows the song loves it and seems genuinely happy for Class. I mean people talk about jealousy in Baltimore music all the time, 'crabs in a bucket' and all, but there's really been none of that here, everybody knows Class paid his dues and has a hit because he made a hit.
Labels: Baltimore club, DJ Class, mp3, Mullyman, PenDragon
Monday, June 01, 2009
MELLO-D AND THE RADOS : GREENSPAN
Sat, Jun 6
Talking Head Club
Labels: flyer, Greenspan, Soul Cannon