Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Our Problem" Baltimore Hip-Hop Scene

Our problem with why Baltimore artists haven't really made an impact in the Mainstream is a deep issue. And I say "Our Problem" b/c it truly is an internal issue. Other cities support systems to each other are on a scale to which we have yet to achieve. We have a larger playing and larger support for "Club Music" then the much larger Hip-Hop music genre in general. Its almost as if Hip-Hop plays 2nd fiddle here while Club Music is placed on the front burner. I have been trying to understand this since I was 16. While DJ's from other bigger cities where Hip-Hop is more prevalent (e.i. New York, Miami, and Houston) seem to expand their name and wealth it seems like DJ's from Baltimore only care about being local celebrities.... if that is what you want to call them. With the exception of a few DJ's such as Jabril, Radio, and DNA the DJ's actually being an outlet or showcasing Baltimore Hip-Hop are few and far between. As annoying as DJ Khaled is he put on for Miami...he plays hot records from Miami and has been doing that for years now he is President of Def Jam South. That's a goal, a major achievement. Fact is we don't have a Funk Flex, we don't have a DJ Clue, we don't have a DJ Screw...we don't have anybody here breaking records.

Also the outlet for which local music is heard and giving exposure is little to none. Recently arose with a great site for local acts to get their music out and more accessible. Not only does it showcase local talent but it is also a very well put together site that could and I'm sure does attract outside visitors. And I swear Al Shipley of Government Names is the only person that seriously writes about and posts local Hip-Hop. There are other viable Hip-Hop outlets here such as 88.9 Strictly Hip-Hop the long running Morgan State University radio show and shows like Spitts Mcman Radio were Host Shaka Pitts give people a chance to submit music and allow listeners on the phones and in the chat room the task of voting "1" or "2" (1 being pass 2 being fail) on the playing song in question. But no matter how much underground support Baltimore Hip-Hop may have, if it isn't being covered majorly by larger entities and embraced it's going to be in 2nd place for a much longer time.

My Head Hurts



Peat said...

oooooooooooh, I wholeheartedly disagree. Maybe back in the late 90s, early 00s I would have agreed. BTW, you put in work on the test bin on 88.9. I think you never got trashed, right?

But lets get to it. First off, you can NOT clam club music a regional, local entity anymore. It's world wide with strongholds in Philly, Jersey and NY. That chick M.I.A runs with Blaq Starr and signed that young chick, I forget her name. The Chavy Boys tour in Euraope a LOT! The Dew Doo Kids, Booman and 'nem also get in around the country.

And you can't say NY DJs, such as Clue, were more entreprenurial than ours, they were just in the middle of it all, where the industry was.

Now, folks like DJ Screw, I don't think he was thinking national either, he was just making screw TAPES, actual cassettes!!! He was making that sh!t for the hood. It just happened to be folks getting signed and shouting him out.

Another thing about the south, no matter how you slice it, they are at heart DIYers, from the jump even, and not just on the musical side. They are folks who make and enjoy their own goods. That's how No Limit and Cash money came up, they didn't really care about national attention when they could get money in their own region.

Baltimore, you can't blame radio, yes they pick and choose, yes there is payola, yes DJs have vested interests, but at the end of the day only a few will get played, a very few. 92Q needs competition. And local artists also have to understand that radio is a business.

Other than that, I'd say B-more artists need to themselves have more of an entreprenurial spirit and travel abroad with their music. And I know it's hard, 90% of artists have f/t jobs. You can't just make good music and sit on it or put it in the 'streets' bc that is the biggest crock of shit I ever heard, according to every rapper on earth, the 'streets' is behind them.

I could talk all day about this but i'm at work right now.

PenDragon said...

Rye-Rye's her name. Now Im'ma read the rest

PenDragon said...

Also another problem is we have more dealers than we have addicts here. Everybody rap and talks about support but let's be serious nobody is really walking around getting rich off selling their own Mixtape. And why would I buy it when I can download it for free. I can download a Lil Wayne mixtape for free why pay for yours?? Club music, House, Rave, Dance, what ever you want to call it is worldwide true...but so is Hip-Hop and now that I think about it ---it plays 3rd fiddle -- Club - RnB (Mario, Dru Hill (Paula Campbell (kidding)) then Hip-Hop. I don't blame the radio 100% they are gonna play what they are payed to play and who they have associations with 1st.

I think I my have lost once or twice...maybe. Thanks for noticing.

I wrote this as more of a conversation piece then substantial information.

Thanks for tuning in.

Peat said...

Seriously though, I used to listen to 88.9 religously, you used to kill on there. I thought you kind of sounded like Skarr at first, but you got better as songs came and went.

Anywho, 1st off, lets stop competing with club music and whetever else. I know your not adverse to spitting on it. You have to use it to your advantage. But, there is no 3rd fiddle.

I think you have YOU, down to a science. Your music that is. I think you are focused enough to put together a good project. It's all in how you position it. I know your working on that.

I do agree w/ too many rappers. I think the big folks like Skarr, Ogun, etc just need to tell their homeboys, NO! Not on my dime. Cause a lot of these dudes are just oppurtunist, just being at the studio and record a couple verses and now they are full fledged rappers. No offense to Skarr, Ogun, or anyone else. But if your homeboy never rapped, tell them to keep it that way unless they take the initiative themselves.

PenDragon said...

I def agree with that. Dudes that never rapped a day in there life will be working on a record and say "Man I'm not even a rapper." it's like damn homie then leave that alone then. I think it comes down to business. Dudes here be doing 100,000 shows at the same venues and it doesn't really mean anything you end up performing for the same audience over and over usually.

Peat said...

"Dudes here be doing 100,000 shows at the same venues and it doesn't really mean anything you end up performing for the same audience over and over usually."

YES!!! This this builds that false following where they SWEAR the 'streets' is feeling them, it's just a bunch of fellow artists that want to support.

And these shows, I wanted to speak on that earlier but I forgot, I'm STILL at work, homie, lol. Anyway, your right, we need more 'civilians'at shows. If dudes could get as many civilians as artists and people vested, then it'd be a GOOD thing. Dudes depend on artists though to fill the room and they shouldn't. That should be a plus that other artists come to support/network.

BTW, I haven't seent you on any bills lately, whats poppin fam???

PenDragon said...

For the same aforementioned reason. "Too many MC's not enuff Mics" (c) Pras . When I finish this album I will do get some shows lined up. And my homeboy owned Suite and they shut that down so that kinda sucked. But still gonna be making moves homie