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What’s up with hip-hop

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One of the more intriguing Baltimore rappers putting out music in 2012 has been Tombstone Da Deadman, a guy with an ominous name and grim reaper-themed cover art for Death Lives, the second album he’s released this year. Death Lives was released on Halloween and features songs like “Ballad of the Non-Believer,” which takes a thoughtful, incisive look at the rhetorical battles between religion and science. To hear Tombstone’s music, visit

Brandon “BeaLack” Lackey, one half of the production team behind the great local rap label Mania Music Group, recently started a blog, Audible Mention, to delve into some of the methods and dilemmas of modern hip-hop production. Over the last few months, he’s turned out to be an impressive writer, able to communicate incredibly detailed technological advice, with an eye on the ultimate impact certain production choices have on the listener. Lackey has also featured guest posts by another local producer, Ms. Tris Beats, who’s similarly adept at discussing both the art and science of beatmaking. Check out the blog at

Earlier this year, CP profiled Baltimore hip-hop veteran Tyree Colion (“Hustle And Flow,” Music, May 9), who at the time had ambitious plans to release over 20 volumes of his Back For Good mixtape series in the space of a year. But he’s slowed his pace and moved onto other projects. His latest mixtape, Raw Blow Music, is being celebrated with a release party on Nov. 30 at 5 Seasons. Another Colion-affiliated artist, female rapper PoisonIV No-Y, is also holding a release party, for her own new CD, on Dec.13 at Taste Lounge.

Members of the local hip-hop community have been patting each other’s backs an awful lot this month: on Nov. 3, the sixth annual Baltimore Crown Awards were held at 5 Seasons, with awards going to Los, Dat Girl Kesh, and Lil Tae, among others. And a week later, on Nov. 10, the second Baltimore Music Awards were held at Security Square Mall, inducting the We Rock Crew into its hall of fame. For a full list of BCA winners, visit, and for more info on the BMAs, visit

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