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Kix Announce First Studio Album In 19 Years

April 16, 2014
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Kix Announce First Studio Album In 19 Years

Kix, the Hagerstown band who ruled the Baltimore hard rock scene in the ‘80s and scored national hits like “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” has announced that it will release a new studio album on July 22, though Loud & Proud Records. The band last released new music on 1995’s $how Bu$ine$$ and broke up...
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Posted in News | 2 Comments »

Ogun Pushes The Button To Launch A New All-Star Mixtape Series

April 10, 2014
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Ogun Pushes The Button To Launch A New All-Star Mixtape Series

In February, 5 Seasons held an event billed as a “Rap Retirement and Birthday Party” in honor of Baltimore hip-hop veteran Ogun. And while it appears that the days of Ogun solo releases are indeed over, he continues to make his presence felt in the local music community. Just a couple months later, he’s...
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Posted in Rap Sheet | 1 Comment »

J. Cole to headline Hopkins Spring Fair

February 14, 2014
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J. Cole to headline Hopkins Spring Fair

J. Cole was announced by video (below) this week as the headliner for the 2014 Johns Hopkins Spring Fair, the 43rd year of the largest student-run fair in the country. The concert will be held at 8pm on Friday, April 25th, at the Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center. North Carolina-based rapper J. Cole rose...
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92Q’s DJ Angelbaby gets pumped again with new club mix album

January 9, 2014
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92Q’s DJ Angelbaby gets pumped again with new club mix album

DJ AngelBaby opens her second Baltimore club mix album with one of her on-air colleagues from 92Q, Pork Chop, hyping up the new disc. “Now last year, we hit you in the head with Get Pumped, right?” he hollers. “It was like the biggest club CD ever to hit the planet earth.” He’s exaggerating,...
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Los Collaborates With Mark Battles and Wale On New Mixtape

January 2, 2014
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Los, Baltimore hip-hop’s rising star on Bad Boy Records, released his last solo mixtape, Becoming King, only 8 months ago, but he didn’t let 2013 end without dropping some more new music. In the last weekend of the year, Los and another up-and-coming MC, Indianapolis’s Mark Battles, put out their collaborative mixtape Broken Silence,...
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Posted in Album Review, Noise | No Comments »

Video: Ellis leads Styles P. to Baltimore for “Misled”

November 21, 2013
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Video: Ellis leads Styles P. to Baltimore for “Misled”

Independent Baltimore rappers frequently spend the cash or flex their industry connections to make songs with out-of-town stars, but rarely does the result feel like a true collaboration between similarly minded MCs. Local fixture Ellis, however, linked up with Styles P. for his new single, ”Misled,” and brought the New York veteran to Baltimore...
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OG Dutch Master reps #NewBaltimore, has a VEVO

October 22, 2013
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OG Dutch Master has quickly risen up the ranks of Baltimore hip-hop throughout 2013, with a busy year that’s included the February release of his debut mixtape Art Of War, an EP called 3.5 Gramz following in April, and #NewBaltimore, the memorable Broom Factory Factory concert he co-organized in June. More recently, that buzz...
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Posted in Noise | 1 Comment »

Mack Scott Pimps an EP Full of Southern Influences

October 11, 2013
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Mack Scott Pimps an EP Full of Southern Influences

“Heavily influenced by classic southern-pimp rap such as UGK, Outkast, and 8-Ball & MJG” is how Baltimore rapper Mack Scott describes the sound of his new EP, Still Mackin’. And while paying tribute to that particular era of hip-hop is an honored tradition in the deep south, it actually places him in a unique...
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CJ Hilton Unleashes Hours of New Music

September 30, 2013
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CJ-Hilton-This-Is-Me-Album-Download-400x330

Baltimore-bred R&B singer CJ Hilton has been in the music industry since he was a teenager, signing with Capitol Records and later J Records, and recording with legends like Stevie Wonder and Nas. But lately, his career has seemed to be in a frustrating standstill. A couple of his singles, including the Nas collaboration...
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Album Review: Nothing Was The Same, by Drake

September 25, 2013
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In 2009, Aubrey “Drake” Graham emerged as the biggest new star hip-hop had seen in years, breaking cultural precedent with his background (a Canadian, mixed race, former child star) while wearing his influences on his sleeve. His now-signature sound began as an almost exact 50/50 amalgam of rap’s two dominant figures of the time:...
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Posted in Album Review, Noise | 4 Comments »

Album Review: Love And War, by Tamar Braxton, and Rebellious Soul, by K. Michelle

September 13, 2013
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Album Review: Love And War, by Tamar Braxton, and Rebellious Soul, by K. Michelle

The latest Billboard 200 album chart saw a #2 debut for Tamar Braxton, the Severn, Maryland-raised singer heretofore known as one of ’90s superstar Toni Braxton’s less famous younger sisters. In August, another R&B singer who’d been kicking around the industry for years with little success, K. Michelle, also enjoyed a #2 chart debut....
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Posted in Album Review | 19 Comments »

Kane Mayfield creates a musical travelogue for heading to A3C

September 9, 2013
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Kane Mayfield creates a musical travelogue for heading to A3C

Kane Mayfield, the New York transplant who’s made himself at home in Baltimore with the Mania Music Group crew, has rhymed in some unusual places lately, like over Thievery Corporation tracks and inside an MRI. His latest offbeat project finds him traveling to an Atlanta hip-hop festival in the highly entertaining 3-part song “A3C.”...
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Posted in Listen | 1 Comment »

Album Review: Stay Trippy, by Juicy J, and Age Against The Machine, by Goodie Mob

September 5, 2013
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Album Review: Stay Trippy, by Juicy J, and Age Against The Machine, by Goodie Mob

It’s hard out here for Southern hip-hop’s ’90s pioneers. If your name isn’t Scarface or Andre 3000, you’ll probably never be given your proper respect by the genre’s gatekeepers and historians. And while there are always new dirty south stars who’ll readily pay homage to your influence, they’ll also inevitably enjoy greater mainstream success...
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Posted in Album Review | 3 Comments »

Video: Greenspan Climbs the Stairway to Heaven with Smash

August 22, 2013
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Rapper Greenspan was one of the many musicians who contributed a previously unreleased track to City Paper’s Big Baltimore Playlist. And now that track, “Make Believe,” has a celebratory video directed by Akio Evans. Both the song and the video are vibrant and brimming with life, which is ironic since they heavily feature posthumous...
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Posted in Rap Sheet | 1 Comment »

Jay Wyse digs deep on second album

August 15, 2013
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Jay Wyse digs deep on second album

This week, the Baltimore MC Jay Wyse released Wyse Thoughts Wise Journey 2, the sequel to his 2012 debut project. True to his name, Jay Wyse is a young guy who’s trying to put across a thoughtful perspective, an image of being wise beyond his years, burdened by harsh realities like the death of...
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Posted in Know Your Product | No Comments »

Live Review: Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake

August 9, 2013
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Live Review: Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake

It was just Baltimore’s luck that Thursday, the first day the city would host an all-too-rare stadium concert in years, would be plagued by foreboding clouds and occasional rain. But things had finally cleared up, for the most part, by the time Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake arrived onstage at M&T Bank Stadium for their...
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Posted in Live Review | 4 Comments »

Album Review: Blurred Lines, by Robin Thicke

July 24, 2013
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Album Review: Blurred Lines, by Robin Thicke

Blurred Lines is Robin Thicke’s sixth solo album, and fifth with Star Trak Records, the label founded by hitmaking producer Pharrell Williams. Curiously, the title track, which has been topping charts and ruling radio all summer, is only the second actual collaboration between Thicke and Williams. Indeed, for most of his career, Thicke has...
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Posted in Album Review, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Mickey Free finally unveils “Unnies” video

July 22, 2013
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Baltimore rapper/producer Mickey Freeland keeps busy with a lot of projects, both as a member of the prolific Height With Friends crew and producing bands like Wye Oak alongside his brother, Chris Freeland. But his own records, as Mickey Free (and previously as Bow ‘N Arrow), don’t come out very often, and the last...
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Posted in Rap Sheet | No Comments »

TwoineyLo puts himself in Trayvon’s shoes on “The Usual Suspect”

July 10, 2013
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TwoineyLo puts himself in Trayvon’s shoes on “The Usual Suspect”

With the George Zimmerman trial winding down this week, just about everybody is anxious to hear the verdict, and decide for themselves if justice has been served. That includes young Baltimore rapper TwoineyLo, who, like many hoodie-wearing black teenagers these days, finds it easy to put himself in Trayvon Martin’s shoes and wonder if...
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Posted in Rap Sheet | 4 Comments »

Album Review: Magna Carta… Holy Grail, by Jay-Z

July 8, 2013
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Album Review: Magna Carta… Holy Grail, by Jay-Z

Jay-Z needs people, and he doesn’t. As a rapper of unparalleled financial success and name recognition, he doesn’t need collaborations to drum up interest in an album like most MCs. But he’s also not a producer, and has a limited facility for coming up with choruses, so invariably he needs some help with the...
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Posted in Album Review | 4 Comments »