B-More is another genre with a multitude of denominations: Baltimore Club, Bmore Club, Bmore House… there’s probably more. People often refer to the genre as simply B-more which is also the nickname of the city of Baltimore.
Beats for the Dance floor
This music can quickly be described as a fusion of House and Hip Hop. Subtlety isn’t what B-more producers are looking for. Dance floor efficiency is their motto. Beats are very repetitive and samples are often attention grabbers with sometimes very subversive sentences. The main specification of the genre is certainly the looped samples, which are very short and played at a fast pace.
The deep bass is also playing another important role and deepens the intensity of the beat. Played fast, its rhythm is like the wallpaper of the B-more beats and definitely contributes to the vibe. All this explains the high energetic emanation of these instrumentals… The result is a perfect DJ tool to heat up Clubs.
The genre started in the beginning of the 90s and had a long life in the underground. It took a while before its influences started to expand from its region in the East to the rest of the USA… The roots of the genre seem to be multiple. Surprisingly, some people are pointing out the British Hardcore Breakbeat scene as a connection. In the US, the Ghetto House / Ghettotech genres, which emerged around the same time but in different cities, must also have had an important impact.
A Mashup Culture
This kind of music is purely dedicated for dancing and club plays so the remix and mashup culture are performing here a significant role. All sort of energetic tunes are going through the meat grind: from Crunk / Dirty South Hip Hop like Lil Jon to old tunes from the 50s like Rod Lee’s tube “Come On Babe” which is a mashup of ”Let the Good Times Roll” from Shirley & Lee.
Rob Lee quickly became the master of the scene by popularising the genre with tracks such as “Dance My Pain Away”. The very productive producer released a huge amount of 12” and mixtapes and is probably the visible part of the iceberg that forms the B-more culture.
Another significant player in the scene is Blaqstarr. He contributed to spread the genre to an alternative crowd not use to the Baltimore vibe with his EP “Shake it to ground” was released on Diplo’s indie label Mad Decent. He even released an EP with the man himself in 2009 “Get Off” which is actually not as good as we could have expected.
In 2006, Spank Rock also participated in spreading the Baltimore vibe to a wider audience. Their album on the British record label Big Dada isn’t pure B-More music but more a sort of Hip Hop evolution of the genre. Still in the UK, the forward thinking young record label Night Slugs re-release the track “Bring The Katz” by KW Giff in 2012. More than a tribute, it definitely shows us that B-more is still thriving after more than a decade…