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Baltimore Club

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Baltimore Club

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Baltimore club, also called Baltimore breaks, Baltimore house, knucklehead, thump and Dew Doo beat, is a genre of house and dance music. A blend of hip-hop and electronica, it was created in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1990s by Scottie B., Frank Ski, Miss Tony aka Big Tony and DJ Spen and has since been performed by artists such as Rod Lee, KW Griff, Rod Braxton, Karizma, D.J. Technics, D.J. Phinesse, Diamond K, DJ Patrick, and DJ Kenny B. Female DJ K Swift is currently one of the most popular DJ's in Baltimore, with her radio shows on 92.3 WERQ.

Baltimore club is exemplified by its 8/4 beat structure and tempos at or near 130 beats per minute. It combines repetitive, looped vocal snippets similar to ghetto house with humorous vocal samples from television shows like Sanford and Son and Sponge Bob SquarePants, and also includes heavy breakbeats and call and response stanzas similar to those found in the go-go music of Washington, D.C.. More often than not, the breakbeats are pulled from two records; "Sing Sing" by Gaz, and "Think" by Lyn Collins and James Brown. Much like the rave-era sub-genre of techno music known as breakbeat hardcore, Baltimore Club sounds as if the music was purposely produced in a hurried manner as the each song is made with a limited pallette of sounds and is based on a similar templates.


Some say Baltimore Breaks grew out of Miami Bass, largely due to Frank Ski working with Luke Skyywalker Records in the early 1990s, remixing songs such as Disco Rick's "Wiggle Wiggle" in 1992. Frank's production of the 1991 track "Doo Doo Brown" by 2 Hype Brothers and a Dog samples heavily from the 1989 "Doo Doo Brown edit" of "C'mon Babe" by the X-rated Miami bass group known as 2 Live Crew. This most likely explains the genre's nickname of "Dew Doo Beat". Despite its roots nearer to Miami bass, the sound of the music itself more closely resembles ghetto house. Ski helped to pioneer the sound with his nightly radio show on now defunct V103, playing many breakbeat hardcore songs such as "Acid Party", "Too much Energy" and others, alongside his newly released Doo Doo Brown track. The influence of the UK's breakbeat hardcore was critical in the development of the genre. Soon after the release of "Doo Doo Brown", Frank Ski teamed with Miss Tony and Scottie B. on the release of "What's up What's up" and "Pull Ya Guns Out", two of the earliest examples to feature the signature Baltimore Club sound.

Baltimore club has long been popular in Baltimore, largely in African-American venues where DJs spin exclusively Baltimore Club. DJ K-Swift, initially popular for her sets at various clubs, now hosts a nightly radio show on 92Q that plays exclusively club music. Recently, club music spread beyond the city's borders to Philadelphia and New York City and inspired offshoots in New Jersey (D.J.Tamiel /Brick City club), and Alabama (D.J. Taj/Bamabounce ]. This expansion is due largely to the success and influence of the DJ duo Hollertronix, who present Baltimore Club in conjunction with hip-hop, rock, and other dance music.

Spank rock is a popular American musical group influenced by Baltimore club. These natives of Charm City began their ascent to popularity in 2003 and continue the international spread of the Baltimore dance craze.

The warehouse club The Paradox, along with smaller clubs such as Club Choices, 32nd Street Plaza, Odell's and "Louie Louie" night at the rock club HammerJacks, have all been popular hotspots to hear Baltimore club the way it was meant to be heard: On a very large, very loud and bass heavy sound system. Club Paradox also hosted one of the most poplular rave-themed club nights on the east coast, "Fever", and helped to spread the popularity of Baltimore club with a wider audience.

Club Mo's, located in Kingsville, Maryland, was host to the most scandalous Baltimore Club parties between 1996 and 2001. Although the genre truly inspired primal dance forms, eventually the club was shut down by the local authorities due to improprieties involving young women and club employees.

Recently the genre has gained popularity in Baltimore's rock underground thanks to Baltimore Club nights at the Talking Head Club and others. There was also a feature on Baltimore Club in Spin Magazine in January 2006.

What many don't know, is that in the late 90s, Baltimore club music also grew a cult following in the Northern New Jersey club scene, mostly from the spread of mix tapes and traveling Baltimore deejays.

Free streamed Baltimore Club radio by DJ Technics [ K-Swift, iconic female DJ

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

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