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Baltimore club
Stylistic origins Hip hop, house, dance
Cultural origins 1990s Baltimore nightclubs
Typical instruments Rapping, turntable
Mainstream popularity 1990s in Baltimore, MD and Newark, NJ. 2000s in other parts of the United States and worldwide[1]
Derivative forms Detroit club, Philly Party Music, Brick City club

Baltimore club, also called "Bmore Club" or "Club Music" is a genre of house and dance music. A blend of hip hop and chopped, stacatto house music, it was created in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1990s by pioneers Scottie B., Frank Ski, Big Tony (or Miss Tony), and DJ Spen.[2]

Baltimore club is based on an 8/4 beat structure, and includes tempos around 130 beats per minute.[3][4] It combines repetitive, looped vocal snippets similar to ghetto house and ghettotech. These samples are often culled from television shows such as Sanford and Son and SpongeBob SquarePants,[4], though can also be simple repeated calls and chants. The instrumental tracks include heavy breakbeats and call and response stanzas similar to those found in the go-go music of Washington, D.C.. The breakbeats have been notably pulled from records such as: "Sing Sing" by disco band Gaz, and "Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins.[1] Much like the rave-era sub-genre of techno music known as breakbeat hardcore, Baltimore club sounds as if the music was intentionally hurried, as each song is made with a limited palette of sounds and is based on similar frameworks.



Baltimore club was born in nightclubs such as Club Fantasy, the Paradox, Hammerjack's, Odell's and Club Choices.[2] The original musicians of the genre were influenced by Michael Jackson, and it was later combined with elements of Miami bass, [3] but influence from hip-house is the cornerstone of the style. Club Paradox also hosted one of the most popular hip hop-themed club nights on the East Coast, "Fever", and helped to spread the popularity of Baltimore club with a wider audience. The Paradox Friday night club DJs, KW Griff and Rod Braxton, took some inspiration for their sets and production from the British breakbeat hardcore records[3] they heard at Fever and on V103 mix shows. The Blapps! Records (UK) label released several records between 1989 and 1992 that are considered classics in the Baltimore genre, as well as in the British rave scene. "Don't Hold Back", "Too Much Energy" and "Let the Freak" were sampled and played heavily by DJs and producers, and would define the Baltimore club sound.

In the mid 1990s, Baltimore club music developed a cult following in the North Jersey club scene, particularly in the Brick City club genre of Newark, New Jersey. This spread stems from the distribution of mix tapes from traveling Baltimore deejays. There were also a number of Boston-area radio shows in the mid-nineties that played Baltimore club music. It has also spread down south to Virginia club scene with DJ Larrikan and DJ Jonty who have developed a Virginia styled Club Music genre and even farther south in Alabama with DJ (7)+-> formaly known as DJ Taj developed Bamabounce.

Recently the genre has gained popularity in Baltimore's rock underground, due to Baltimore club nights at the Talking Head Club and others. Baltimore club was featured in Spin Magazine in January 2006.


  1. ^ a b Shipley, Al (2006-01-19). "The Best Of Both Worlds". Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  2. ^ a b Deveraux, Andrew (December 2007). "What You Know About Down the Hill?": Baltimore Club Music, Subgenre Crossover, and the New Subcultural Capital of Race and Space". Journal of Popular Music Studies 19 (4): 311–341. doi:10.1111/j.1533-1598.2007.00131.x (inactive 2008-06-23). Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  3. ^ a b c Reid, Shaheem; Paco, Matt (2007). "Young Leek & the Baltimore Scene". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  4. ^ a b Bernard, Patrick (2006-07-03). "Scottie B and Baltimore Club". The Wire. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 

Further reading

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