The Club Beat with Dirty Nation Entertainment
Considering how much Baltimore club is defined by high energy and fast tempos, it’s no mean feat to make some of the most aggressive, in-your-face music the genre has to offer. But that’s just what’s being accomplished these days by Dirty Nation Entertainment, a pair of college kids making their own noise that DJ Pierre recently put us onto. The pair, who go by the names Mel Torcha and Scorp Meta, have bypassed the clubs and the mixtape route and gone straight to the internet to spread their sound with videos and an online radio show (more on that in next week’s City Paper).
Dirty Nation calls its variation on club music Baltimore Klub Krank. “We really get into it, we crank it up,” Torcha explains. “That’s why it’s called that.” The sensory overload of these tracks comes from the combination of Blaqstarr-style rapid-fire vocal samples, vocals Torcha and Meta themselves lay over the tracks, which lie somewhere between chants, rapping, and DJ shout-outs.
“It’s not really talking, it’s kinda hypin’ it up,” Torcha says. “I loop [the vocals] all over the tracks, chop ‘em up in there.” Like Lil Jon, Dirty Nation recognizes some of the parallels between heavy metal and its loud approach to hip-hop-derived dance music, naming its recent CD Klub Rock Music.
In addition to its own tracks, Dirty Nation has collaborated with established DJs on new versions of its hits, including the Mike Mumbles classic “Muscle Up” and K.W. Griff’s popular club mix of Lil Scrappy’s “No Problems.” “We’re trying to turn it into more like a group than just record DJs,” Torcha says about Dirty Nation, which spun off of a previous group, the Tomahawk Klan. Dirty Nation affiliated itself with influential younger club DJs such as K-Spin, DJ Cornbread, and Tigga to help spread its sound locally, though it hasn’t yet broken through to audiences in Baltimore’s larger clubs and mix shows.
Though there are literally hundreds of videos on YouTube of kids dancing to club music in their bedrooms and on the streets, Dirty Nation has taken to the video site with fully produced videos and TV segments, featuring interviews with local figures and mainstream rap stars alike. Recent shows have featured Three 6 Mafia and Yung Joc, who, after jumping on a remix of D.O.G. and Blaqstarr’s local hit “Ryda Gyrl” a couple years ago, is no stranger to Baltimore club. And these videos, for Dirty Nation songs like “Krazy Legz” (above), are fully edited music videos in a hip-hop style, featuring Torcha and Scorp Meta as performers, instead of straight-up dance videos.
“The whole movement is bringing a visual element along with the music,” Torcha says. His idea is that that extra element is one key that’s been lacking in attempts to bring Baltimore club to a wider national audience. “There are a lot of videos of dancing [to club music on YouTube], but we’re trying to put a real visual to it.”