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Introduction

B-More Hip-Hop Don't Stop

The 2006 Big Music Issue

Frank Hamilton

Big Music Issue 2006

B-More Hip-Hop Don't Stop The 2006 Big Music Issue

The Come-Up Baltimore Hip-Hop Waits Anxiously For Its Big Moment | By Jason Torres

Baltimore Hip-Hop Trading Cards Whether you're a longtime head or brand new to the game, Baltimore hip-hop can be a confusing scene.... | By Al Shipley, Jason Torres and Jess Harvell; Illustrations by Alex Fine

The Best Of Both Worlds Baltimore Hip-Hop Finally Has A Sound Of Its Own-Just Don't Call It "Club-Hop" | By Al Shipley

Spitting Game A Small But Vocal Local Scene Looks To Revive The Ancient Art Of Beatboxing | By J. Bowers

Stream of Consciousness Looking For The Hip-Hop You Won't See On TV? Try The Breakdown | By Jess Harvell

Turning The Tables DJ Spontaneous Goes From West Side To Morning Drive | By Jaye Hunnie

Big Music Thing v2.0 Our Second Annual Downloadable Mixtape Of Local Music

Posted 7/19/2006

Don't get it twisted: We here at Baltimore's Most Dilettantish Alternative Weekly still got plenty of love for rock, jazz, reggae, classical, bluegrass, techno, and that inimitable Baltimore brand of post-art school, unclassifiable weirdness. But this Big Music Issue is a little bit different. We've put all the rest on hold this year. Because, whether you know it or not, you live in the epicenter of one of the biggest and best hip-hop scenes on the East Coast, and that's something we want to celebrate.

Six years ago, we asked, "can Baltimore hip-hop come up from underground?" ("On the Down Low," July 12, 2000.) Well, the groundswell has been building for a while, and the signs of a movement are everywhere. You can't walk down the street these days without seeing posters advertising a freestyle showcase. A new mixtape drops practically every week. Local hip-hop is all over the radio. Hipster zines like The Fader and mainstream rags like Blender are showing the scene mad love. Nominal rock clubs like the Ottobar and Sonar regularly host hip-hop shows. And chances are, when you hear hip-hop at a stoplight, it's been made by someone who lives a few blocks away.

So we've dispatched our B-boys and -girls to bring you just a sample of the full spectrum of Baltimore hip-hop in '06, a scene too diverse to squeeze into even our most overstuffed Big Music Issue yet. Jason Torres talks to some biggest names in local urban music about the state of the union, and City Paper presents the first set of official Baltimore Hip-Hop Trading Cards. Al Shipley asks what the sound of Baltimore hip-hop is and discovers it's been here all along. J. Bowers finds a tiny community of local beatboxers making waves with both rock bands and ballet dancers. Jess Harvell talks to the Breakdown TV, creators of the first online video channel devoted to underground hip-hop. And Jaye Hunnie profiles DJ Spontaneous, the early bird of Baltimore hip-hop. All this, plus the return of our Big Music Mix Thing, filled with all kinds of music from all kinds of local artists--just in case you can't stand rap.

Is Baltimore hip-hop about to blow? B-more rappers are getting signed to six-figure deals, hooking up with hot producers, and even getting a little play on MTV. But that's hardly the point. After years of obscurity, Baltimore hip-hop is doing it locally. And that's something to be proud of whether you're a hip-hop fan or not.

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Big Music Issue 2010 (7/14/2010)

Might Don't Make It (7/14/2010)
Baltimore hip-hop may never go mainstream--is it up to its iconoclasts to carry the torch if it doesn't?

Brand of Outsiders (7/14/2010)
Boutique labels reinvent the artist-label relationship

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Q&A: Alco in Q+A 2/18/2009

Q&A: MC Chinchilla in Q+A 2/18/2009

Q&A: Boodamonk in Q+A 2/18/2009

The Elements of Style : Labtekwon and Other Local Hip-Hop Vets Offer a Way Forward For The Scene--Looking Back 2/18/2009

Baltimore Hip-Hop: An iTunes Playlist in Noise 8/23/2007

Turning The Tables : DJ Spontaneous Goes From West Side To Morning Drive 7/19/2006

Stream of Consciousness : Looking For The Hip-Hop You Won't See On TV? Try The Breakdown 7/19/2006

Spitting Game : A Small But Vocal Local Scene Looks To Revive The Ancient Art Of Beatboxing 7/19/2006

The Best Of Both Worlds : Baltimore Hip-Hop Finally Has A Sound Of Its Own-Just Don't Call It "Club-Hop" 7/19/2006

Baltimore Hip-Hop Trading Cards in Big Music Feature 7/19/2006

Tags: baltimore hip hop

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