The land of dark cities

    CULTURE: A saturated hybrid of a distinct musical subculture and the complicated city dynamics that help create it.

    The story of Baltimore, the capital of the US state of Maryland, mirrors those of many such once thriving metropolises now mired in economic inequality, systemic racism, gang violence, and opioid abuse. Like Detroit, Cleveland, St Louis, and virtually any other, it is a city with a rich and lengthy history that has since evolved into a case study for the widespread social and cultural destruction of unfettered Capitalism and America’s original sin. Yet, regardless of reality’s unfairness, Baltimore continues to carve out a culture (and subcultures) all its own, mostly a result of a robust African American population where sheer determination and talent are in constant tension with opportunity, resources, and space.


    Perhaps the most prized cultural export Baltimore has to offer comes via its nightlife scene. Its distinctive sound, Baltimore Club Music (aka Bmore Club, Bmore House, Bmore) is an upbeat, energetic hybrid of Hip Hop, Breakbeat, and House. As a genre, Baltimore Club Music is rooted in the all-around culture of Hip Hop, where DJ, MC, Producer, and Dancer merge into a single entity, representing social messaging and distinct presentation, yet created as the foundation of all night clubs, parties, and celebrations we in Europe may associate closer to House. Unlike the House oriented styles of Detroit or Chicago, however – the former employing a more industrial approach closer to Techno, the latter, a mixture of prophetic lyricism and laid back atmosphere – Baltimore Club Music finds its closest relative in Jackin’ House . . .

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    Steve Rickinson
    Communications Manager at Modern Times Review.
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