"all these fake djs, fake producers trynta make baltimore club, ya'll not makin bmore club, ya'll makin fake club" - "sex machine" by labtekwon feat. dj booman
i guess every generation of Black Americans experiences it, the straight up pilfering (reverse signifying?) of their cultural expression by white hipsters/enterprisers that then go on to success, fame, and fortune. we seem to have taken it all in stride though, proving ourselves artistically dynamic in the face of it all (i.e. the exodus from rock to rap in the late '70s/early '80s; enough was enough i guess). imitation is the most sincere form of flattery we're told.
but this aggression will not stand man! the latest case of stylistic hijacking is of great significance to me, as my hometown is the battleground. baltimore club has gained a relatively broad national audience in the last few years (like miami bass a while back), and a number of artists that i respect and love have used the staccatto, repetitive beats as backing for their flows and rhymes. but honestly. honestly?! it was cool when M.I.A. and Diplo hooked some shit up. but honestly!? ya basta!
the permeation of bmore club into the hipster remixer scene is indelible; in a recent downloading frenzy on limewire and the mp3 blogs, a huge number of the remixers used bmore club as backing for songs (remixes?) that were otherwise unchanged.
don't get me wrong, when this shit is done well and with some restraint, it pops off. but when i hear a track by some swedish cat that's completely off tempo and not mixed well, it's just plain horrific.
i grew up with this shit, this bizarre genre of music that's rooted deeply in the house, detroit ghettotech tradition and that often samples doo-wop and r+b/soul tracks from the previous generation (as well as the spongebob theme, southern rap, and chris rock stand-ups). repetitive, but hard hitting, grimy shit to get your gun off to.
summers spent banging 92q's club mixes, feverishly recording the joints onto cassette straight off the radio. shady nights as a kid spent at club choices (a local strip club that 92q broadcasts from; i grew up with the owner's son). hotboxing SUVs and storming around town bumping 90-track club mix CDs straight from the radio station. good times in general.
it should make me feel good/proud that two cats from new york tried to con me and my boys (all baltimore natives) into believing that baltimore club started in new york. but all i can think is that all this sampling from the bin is gonna deplete the supply that much more quickly. but hey, i can look forward to the shit that blows up in its wake, right?
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