Baltimore HipHop Blurred Lines

So as I continue to cover independent hip-hop in Baltimore, I have had several debates with people. The main argument I have is that a lot of artist have a conflict of interest that hinders their advancement and the overall advancement of the culture in this city.

Let’s look at some of the factors I am alluding to. Baltimore City has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, a stifling graduation rate and high levels of mass incarceration. Did I mention the drug addicition, life below the poverty level and unemployable skills. So coming from a place where such situational depression exists, it’s hard to imagine where creative life can exists.

Well it does. the city has had a burgeoning music culture for decades, even in hip-hop however most home grown hip-hop artist have not been able to fully break on a national stage.  There are a few that are close but for the majority it’s just a dream. However for many such as Lor Scootor, and his manager, Young Moose’s brother, G-Rock, FMG Twizzle, Lor D’Shaun and others that dream has been deferred. With the violent nature of the city, many artist music reflect the harsh realities of street life, but here that line between entertainment  or art has been inexplicably blurred.

young-moose

So much so that more often than not what is being spoken is being carried out in the streets. No longer do we hear the cautionary tales of an ex hustler, now we get the killer or dope dealer on the come up. High on prescription meds saying RIP to a dead homie. Why rap if not to get away from that lifestyle.  I asked on IG are you an artist or the plug. What happens when you have the talent but your charge sheet is as long as your discography?

Is art imitating life or is life imitating art. Hustlers have always influenced or financed hip-hop we know,but to what extent have we reached when what we are hearing is actively happening in the streets.  How can we fix this issue.  Is that what Baltimore hiphop is going to ultimately be known for. What happens when you have a break throught then something you have done comes up. Do you have a Bobby Shmurda/ GS-9 situation? Do you think the person who pulled the trigger on any of those that happened to up and coming artist really cared that they were trying to rap as a career, not at all  that’s not believeable.

There are plenty of artist in the city making inroads in the business, but my fear is the the Murdaland reputation proceeds them.

You have the Damond Blue’s, Tate Kobangs, Los, YGG Tay, Tadoe, YBS Skolas, Lil Key and a host of others but will they fully reach their potential.  Lets not let another potential star fade because of hood politics.

This is my concern for Baltimore HIPHOP.. we must get better.

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2 thoughts on “ Baltimore HipHop Blurred Lines

  1. This is an interesting commentary, I wasn’t aware that so many emcees here lost their lives.
    The line between hip hop and street violence does blur because of the fact that a lot of these guys are active participants in the street life. What we…or some of us have to realize as outsiders is, the people they deal with in the streets don’t care that they rap. All they care about is the street part. I don’t buy into the idea that Lor Scoota was killed out of hate for his ‘success’ in music. I believe he, and his manager, were killed as a result of their street lives that weren’t publicized like their music. We don’t know how deep they were in the streets. Keeping up their lifestyle and competing in the hip hop industry takes a LOT of money. Lor Scoota’s brand had already outgrown the ‘local’ tag and he couldn’t just continue dropping mixtapes like lower level rappers. His releases have to be events, he’s paying for big name features, trips to Cali and ATL. None of this is cheap. And music doesn’t really pay on his level, albeit, he was above most artists here in Baltimore. He still didn’t have the ‘machine’ behind him.
    While I don’t know why he was killed, I’m sure it wasn’t because of jealousy. The way he was killed wasn’t at all typical of the murders here in Baltimore. RIP Lor Scoota.
    As far as artists like Young Moose, I believe he needs to leave. He has done all he can here in Baltimore. I believe Moose is super talented and has the potential to do a lot. People my age, the 30+ crowd, likes to hate on Moose but dude can spit. But, he will face the same pitfalls over and over…and that is jail, if he remains here. Loyalty is one thing, but you have to be smart. As soon as he can, he needs to split town. He has close ties to Boosie and I know he’s spent a lot of time with Boosie in the past…Moose needs to make that the present. Staying in Baltimore will only hender his progress and creativity. He needs to experience more life than the streets to realize the full spectrum of his potential.

  2. I agree with you man… thank you for your take on the article. I was up last night thinking about this as I been talking to younger kids and hearing there love for these dudes, but proclaiming them not because of their talent but their street ties..where alot of them have real talent but are again living that life.

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