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What’s up with dance music

Photo: Jefferson Jackson Steele, License: N/A

Jefferson Jackson Steele

Noisey, a music site presented by Vice magazine, recently came to Baltimore to shoot an episode of The Backdrop, a web video series that examines the music scenes of American cities. The eight-minute video focuses on the state of Baltimore Club music, interviewing producers like DJ Say Whut and Murder Mark, as well as Mike Mumbles and Club-friendly rappers like DDM and TT the Artist (whose own full-length Baltimore club documentary, Dark City: Beneath the Beat, is forthcoming).

As 2012 comes to a close, Baltimore Club music’s biggest breakout track out-of-town is actually a song that was first released locally in 2010: KW Griff and Porkchop’s (pictured) “Bring in the Katz.” (In City Paper’s recent Top Ten issue, we ranked L Vis 1990’s recent remix as one of this year’s best Baltimore Club tracks.) XLR8R put the riotous “Katz” at No. 30 on its top tracks of 2012 and spoke to Griff about the song’s origins, with Porkchop shouting out its hilarious ad libs live on the air on 92Q: “He went into the radio-station studio and recorded all of his vocals in one take. He handed me the CD and said, ‘Here are the vocals for the track. You can go through the CD and grab all of the vocals that you think you can use. Work your magic!’”

If you want to celebrate the birthdays of some of Baltimore Club’s finest DJs with the men themselves, there are a couple opportunities to party with Club music Capricorns in the new year. On Jan. 12, the Dedication Party at Tony’s Diner will celebrate DJ B-Eazy’s birthday, with the man of the night spinning and Baltimore Club party-host par excellence Buck Jones on the mic. On Jan. 18, the DJ Jonny Blaze birthday bash will be held at Vernell’s Ice Paradise Inc, with free admission, drink specials, and guest DJs.

DJ Class has collaborated several times with Miami pop-rap superstar Pitbull since 2009 to bring the Baltimore Club sound to a broader international audience. But, as we recently broke down on the City Paper’s music blog, Noise, there’s an especially surreal moment on “Drinks For You (Ladies Anthem),” from Pitbull’s new album Global Warming, in which Jennifer Lopez not only sings over a DJ Class beat, but also interpolates a line from Class’ signature single “I’m the Ish.”

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