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    May 18, 2006
    Black Clubs = Bad experience???
    I am not 100% sure how I fit into the larger puzzle, but one of my personal goals is to become a "familiar" voice for Baltimore Hip Hop. I have made a few blunders along the way, but every day I progress. I have grown increasingly aware of the dangers that have hindered this area's progress in the past and will continue to do so unless we enact some change immediately. The immediate change that is required concerns our thinking. Because I know this to be true...I am very careful about the words I used to describe things.
    Disclaimer: I am NOT tryna pick on him...because I think his blog [Status Ain't Hood] and other writing [Pitchfork/ City Paper] is on point, but when I read the following line....I was kinda perplexed [for lack of a better word].
    ".....The track*s organic thump resonates with Miami*s bass history and the stranglehold that mutant house music still holds on Baltimore*s black clubs, but it could work just as well in New York, where hopefully an Afrika Bambaataa sample can still trigger memories the same way a dusty jazz loop can....."[source: 4/17/06]
    Which are the *white* clubs and which are the *black* clubs in Baltimore? And what do those distinctions mean? Thanks Tom for gettin this party started!!! LOL!
    Aiiiiiiiight!!! I am no dummy....the division in the scene would be OBVIOUS to Stevie Wonder, but until recently it never even mattered to me. I hang out with people I am familiar with....so for the most part...I*d always hung out with black people. It wasn't until I started getting really involved with local rap that I started to realize that white folk wanted to hear more than Green Day in the club. I was ignorant and lacked exposure. I care now. Shucks ...there are some white folk that are bigger Hip Hop junkies than I...That's whats up!!! Buuuuuuuuut...I never made a decision to not go to a place because it was a "white" club. I wonder....do white people make the decision to not attend events at let*s say...The 5 Seasons because it's been added to white Baltimore*s list of "black" clubs? I have given plenty events at the 5 Seasons and always put my flyers in the same spots that Sonar advertises as well as the other spots like Good Love, Ottobar, Fletchers, Red maple....shucks I live in Charles Village....Record and Tape Traders is next door to my "hang out"....But I can literally count on my hands how many non-black faces I*ve ever seen in the spot. What's up with that?? How can I get a copy of that list?
    Is it my name?.....Does C Love sound "Black"???...LOL!
    Is it the name of the event? I guess *Get Throwed* is out of the question for the next show!!!
    Is it the design of the flyer [what looks black or *ghetto*? Nooooow....I do see how the first *In the Field Flyer* was crossing the line...LOL!]
    is it the venue??? I view the club scene and Hip Hop scenes as 2 separate entities. Maybe that is where the problems with labels begin. Have we made the mistake of not picking venues that white people already frequent.
    Are the drink specials [or lack thereof] indicative of a black sponsored event???
    Please...tell me!!! I am asking all this b/c I want to do better! I don't want to be known for giving *black* events if that is a bad thing. But if that is the case...WHY?...when we love Hip Hop [Do you know what Hip Hop iz?]....Im confused
    There are very few events where there is an equal sampling of the Baltimore population. This has to improve!!! None of us will truly experience the joy that TRUE diversity could bring. I love that Hip Hop has enabled me to form friendships and alliances with people of other races, nationalities and persuasions....I wish others could feel a lil bit of what I feel.
    Creating more of a melting pot at Baltimore Hip Hop events is one of the biggest obstacles that must be overcome. Our artists need the support of EVERYONE. Ghood music is supposed to be ghood music.....white folk know what is hot just like we do....and I am SORRY, but some of those local groups [who happen to also be white] that KEEP ON getting booked at SONAR suck!!!! Why give the people the impression that there is only one viewpoint that deserves consideration. We need to start spicing these shows up a bit!!!
    I pray that the people who are out here writing under stand that since not many other people are mentioning us by name...we are responsible for shaping public perception. I am always very curious about what others think about our city....I love the fact that everyone sees something different. I appreciate the bouncing of ideas. I just pray that people give Baltimore Hip Hop [regardless if it's at a black club or white] a chance. Lots of Baltimore artists are on Myspace ...really trying to get their name out there. Get to know them....check out MY page...I switch my music up often. Find a few acts that you like and when you see they have a show advertised GO. That should be your thought process. I have been going to events for almost 2 years on a regular basis and the only fight I EVER saw was at a *white* club....feel me. People*s perceptions of Baltimore will determine if they are willing to venture out to a club or event.....can we all promise to keep that in mind. I could say stuff that would make black people not want to go to some of the "white" clubs, but I don*t cause at the end of the day....It's all Hip Hop & opportunities are already limited.
    As time goes on....I hope that more people will come out of the wood work and start talking about Baltimore Hip Hop. This is the only way that Baltimore as a whole can generate a buzz...a BUZZ for Baltimore as a whole is the only way that the whole City can benefit from our music.
    If anyone wants to talk about how we can get some collaborative efforts together that will bring everyone together ...let*s talk. Make sure you are ready to keep it real or please believe I will call you on it. I can*t stand phony *ss people.

    Food for thought:
    Have black people stop liking Hip Hop?
    Do we not like being around one another or around other races?
    Do the promoters at the traditionally white clubs not care about the black dollar?
    Is our presence not desired? If not, why? Are we perceived as trouble makers? Does our presence take away from the authenticity of the event? I ask myself the question of...."does it take away from the authenticity of the event"...because it seems like the only events that are labeled and celebrated as "real hip hop" generally are being given by non-black people.
    Are we just harder to impress? Do we expect more from the acts than non-blacks?
    Are all the things that are said about our superficialness true?
    Does it take for someone else to show us something is hot before it becomes hot?

    These are the kind of questions I ask myself?
    Other stuff in the NEWS:

    I found out that there is NEW show on UPN that is set in a Baltimore barbershop. Who's seen *Cuts*?
    WBAL Health Alert
    Police: Gangs Recruiting Elementary Kids
    Baltimore's Rebel Sun is here to let all you fake gangstas out there know a thing or 2 about living in a war zone.
    Big Titts - EVERY girl's dream
    ......The Q remains the best rap station I*ve ever heard, far-reaching and good-natured and locally connected to the point where they*ll throw an hour-long old-school Baltimore club mix on at noon on a Wednesday, with virtually no bourgie silk-shirt slow jams except during the obligatory midnight-love show...
    They need to give you a job!!! Great writing!!!
    posted by C Love "The Rap Addict" @ 5/18/2006 02:14:00 PM  
    • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:11:00 PM, Blogger Al Shipley said…

      You brought up some really good points, but I don't know if you should read too much into Tom's comment about "black clubs," I don't think it was meant to go any deeper than, say, descriptions of "black neighborhoods" and "white neighborhoods." It's probably not the best or most accurate way to describe places, and it can cause stigmas, but places do tend to be categorized on the basis of who most of the people there are, whether it's by race or gender or income or whatever. But yeah, if someone asks me where I'm going out on any given night, I'll tell them "a hip hop show" or "a local artist's concert," not "a black club." And hey, if you really want to see more racially balanced audiences at those shows, I'm happy to do my part and show up, and sometimes bring white friends, like Tom's brother Jim, who I introduced you to at Style Warz a couple months ago.

      "Cuts" and "One On One" are both Baltimore-based shows on UPN. I haven't seen much of either, but they didn't seem particularly good and weren't shot on location or anything, and are both probably about to get cancelled. Anyway, there's no topping "ROC" as the greatest Baltimore-based sitcom of all time.

    • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:31:00 PM, Anonymous kelly said…

      interesting topic... i'll try to come back more to add something thought out (lol). in the meantime, i might be stating the obvious, but in many ways, baltimore is still a segregated city, period. so, obviously, that is going to be seen in the realm of nightlife.

    • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:23:00 PM, Blogger Al Shipley said…

      True that.

    • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:17:00 PM, Blogger C Love "The Rap Addict" said…

      No offense was taken...really. He was keeping it real...if I sounded prechy...that's just b/c I am that kind of person...LOL! Him actually saying the "words" presented the perfect opportunity for me to expound on a topic that I always wanted to bring up, but didn't want to rub anyone the wrong way.

      I really do dig his perspective. We need more people to say what they feel however it comes to them.

      I just worry so much about perception b/c i recognize that I need to make my product attractive to all people.

      Its an obvious problem that not many artists from Baltimore are actually profitting from making music. I hear all the stories about how people just won't buy their mixtape.

      I know that this has a lot to do with the fact there is no real industry here. Media is one of the most influential...so anybody the reps B'more's perspective is important to me b/c it effects my bottom line.

      I am sorry...I never intended to damn near write another blod entry...LOL!

      If we want B'more Hip Hop to bubble ....

      We need several sucessful consistent events with an emphasis on showcasing talent. This event is for those individuals that are truly talented and offer music that is industry ready...Not mixtape ish.

      We need the media [print, net, radio]interested in the scene. If no one is talking about the events 1) there is no anticipation for the next or feeling of missing out if you didn't attend. Words are so powerful.

      2) You need someone a historian. If there is no documentation of the history...you might as well say it never existed. We need to know the history of the scene...the common thread between us all is no doubt located somewhere in our past. Also, when trying to justify why you deserve some money or special consideration...record keeping is essential.

      3) You need true Fans - we all agree you appreciate and love your supporters just like you fans, but supporters are not buying folk's albums and other merchandise. They know you....you aren't a mystery to them. On a local level...the lack of fans is the reason that most shows are unsuccessful and why the average artist can't rise above the flooded Baltimore underground mixtape circuit.

      And as Kelly pointed out...this is a segregated city...SAD BUT TRUE...I've exressed that observation before. The black artists [and this is just an observation] could benefit from the exposure to white audiences and white audiences could benefit from the exposure to black music [black style - with extra black on top and on the side]....LOL!

      I know that much of the lyrical content is not liked by many....but that is another issue that can be addressed on a case by case basis.

      There are so many good acts that are just not selling primarily b/c they don't have the proper platform to market themselves. I want to help change that.

      I guess the main thing I wanted to come of this some clarity on the issue of perception

      ....I just don't know which venues are acceptible to both sets. Which DJs are appealing....what kind of marketing is an immediate red flag?

      If I knew which venues aren't cool that would help too ...not tryna diss no establishments, BUT..as a promoter...I want to know.

      And as fan of the music...I want to see us all come together, but don't have the foggiest idea of how to make that happen. WOW! Is this 06 or 66?

      Thanks for you comments!

      Oh and Al you are hillarious!! I hope you and your white friends continue to come too!

    • At Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:12:00 PM, Blogger samax said…

      first off, i'm not from Baltimore. not even close...

      HipHop in Dallas has a lotta the same issues. i rarely see dallas hipHop repped correctly (we are not all into crunk, screw,etc down here, no matter what slim thugg said in the Source or XXL)...

      when i first got to dallas, i thought only white people liked what i consider "real" hipHop...

      it's getting better. the local media is getting a clue, and hipHoppers (like me!)are coming out of their shell of possessive, top-secret antipop scorn. blogging and networking sites like mySpace (which allow the passionate hipHop enthusiasts to serve as amateur experts) are a big help. keep doin' yours!

      good luck in Baltimore...
      i'm watching.


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