DJ Rich: Straight to the Point #4
This proves beyond any doubt that the songs of Baltimore summer 2005 are Rod Lee’s “Dance My Pain Away” and Blaq Starr’s “You Keep on Fucking Around (I’m Gon Git My Gun),” which both make another appearance on this CD-R club mix tape. DJ Rich’s touch with Baltimore club is really just a more lively house approach, nowhere near as turbocharged ornate as collage queen K-Swift or as starkly bass and drums as Rod Lee’s Zen approach to the hook. Rich keeps the breaks spicy and the repeated calls circling in a perpetual body motion swirl. The result isn’t as immediately arresting a mix as Swift’s Strictly for Da Streets: Vol. 3, but it is one of the more accessible treatments of roughneck club.
This casual mood is best pitched in “Rich Beat,” a percolating rhythm track knitted out of some JB’s-esque guitar and piano jitterbugging and James Brown-ian vocal motion that kick-starts the hips but never erupts into the sort of round-chambering, car-window-smashing, house-raiding accents that make club such a gloriously expressive dance music. Consider Straight to the Point #4 a kinder, gentler club.
For example, even when Rich tries to go gully—threading Denzel Washington’s “ . . . you motherfuckers will be playing basketball in Pelican Bay when I get finished with you” Training Day tirade into “I’m a Good Man”—it feels more like a backgrounded house motif than club’s aggressive taunt. He uses it to great effect—“King Kong ain’t got shit on me” melting into “Aww, you motherfuckers” is a wickedly lovely fade-out—but club at its sweaty best isn’t really supposed to be lovely.
Which is why Rich’s unfussy mixing on the front end of this mix—chock-full of local anthems “What They Gon Do?,” “You Keep on Fucking Around,” “Asses Wiggling,” “Where You From?,” “Down the Hill”—pleases most immediately and consistently on repeated listens. Rich zeroes in on the house heartbeat pumping deep inside Baltimore club and coaxes it to the surface, but if you want the real deal look elsewhere.