Baltimore’s Ckrisis Gets Interscope Digital Deal, Collaborates With Mims
In early 2007, a rapper named Ckrisis started making some noise around Baltimore with the mixtape Muscle Up Vol. 1 and the single ‚ÄúTore Up,‚ÄĚ in which producers the Pornstars married a Baltimore club-inspired ‚ÄúThink‚ÄĚ breakbeat to a saxophone riff that sounded like it was sampled from a 1950s rock ‚Äėn’ roll record. More mixtapes and singles followed, garnering less noise, but fast forward four years later: Ckrisis now has a digital distribution deal with Interscope Records specifically for ‚ÄúTore Up,‚ÄĚ which is currently being pushed as his “new” single.
Coming at the same time is Ckrisis‚Äô guest spot on a new single by Mims, the Harlem rapper alternately loved and hated for his chart-topping 2007 hit ‚ÄúThis Is Why I‚Äôm Hot.‚ÄĚ Ckrisis gets the third verse on ‚ÄúConvertible Flow,‚ÄĚ which will presumably be on Mims‚Äô third album for Capitol Records due out later this year.
Ckrisis is far from the first Baltimore rapper to attract a major label, but he‚Äôs the first in at least a few years, after short-lived deals for the likes of Bossman and Young Leek, among others, failed to lead to album releases. The climate for new artists to break into mainstream hip-hop is crowded and competitive to say the least, but sometimes all it takes is one hit, and ‚ÄúTore Up‚ÄĚ could very well be that song. DJ Booman was still pushing the song pretty enthusiastically in Baltimore in 2009 after it‚Äôd been out for two years, and a couple more years later, it still sounds good.
It‚Äôs a funny coincidence that Interscope is pushing Ckrisis‚Äô 2007 club track right now, since one of the label conglomerate‚Äôs subsidiaries also just released Baltimore club producer Blaqstarr‚Äôs Divine EP and its lead single, a reworking of the song ‚ÄúRider Girl,‚ÄĚ which was already a local club hit way back in 2006. As club music continues to infiltrate the mainstream, it‚Äôll be interesting to see if Baltimore artists hit it big with new songs or with reissued oldies.