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Blaqstarr
Birth name Charles J. Smith
Also known as DJ Blaqstarr
Born September 1985
Origin Baltimore, Maryland, US
Genres Rap, Club, Baltimore Club
Occupations Rapper, Producer, Singer, DJ
Years active 2000s
Labels Mad Decent
Associated acts M.I.A., Rye Rye, Diplo
Website Blaqstarr Myspace

Charles Smith, better known as Blaqstarr or DJ Blaqstarr, is a Baltimore, Maryland area rapper, singer, producer, and DJ. He is best known for his work with M.I.A. and for his association with Diplo's label, Mad Decent.

Contents

Biography

Charles Jamal Smith grew up in a working-class neighborhood on the east side of Baltimore, with his mother Brenda Smith, a secretary, and his younger sister Jasmine. He began working under the stage name DJ Blaqstarr while still attending Lake Clifton High School.[1]

Blaqstarr experienced local success in early 2000s with the songs "Get My Gun", "Ryder Girl", "Jiggle It", "Hands Up Thumbs Down", and "Feel It In the Air".[2] In April 2007 his EP Supastarr was released through the Mad Decent record label. The EP's first single "Shake It To the Ground" featured Rye Rye, an affiliate of Blaqstarr's in Baltimore, Maryland. Rye Rye caught the attention of M.I.A., which led both her and Blaqstarr to tour with M.I.A. and Blaqstarr to collaborate with M.I.A. on her album Kala.[2] Another song on the Supastarr EP, "Tote It", has gained popularity on the internet and is now associated with the SpongeBob dance.

In December 2007, he released another EP, titled Shake It To the Ground through the Mad record label. The EP featured remixes of the single "Shake It To the Ground".[3]

In January 2008, Blaqstarr released the album King of Roq, under the Mad Decent record label.[4] He toured with Diplo, M.I.A., Rye Rye, and participated in the Rock the Bells tour. He also produced and recorded tracks with M.I.A., Mos Def, Switch, and Rye Rye. In June 2008, he contributed a track to the album Hollertronix 8, along with DJ Sega.

In early 2009, Blaqstarr released a single in collaboration with DJ Diplo titled "Get Off".[5] He also produced some of the tracks for the 2009 K-Swift album Greatest Hits.[6]

In 2009, Blaqstarr was chosen to perform at the People's Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C., one of the pre-inaugural events which took place in the days leading up to the inauguration of Barack Obama.[7]

Blaqstarr has also been added to the lineup for the SXSW Festival, which will take place in Austin, Texas from March 13-22 2009.[8]

Critical reception

Music critic Chris Richards of The Washington Post, in reviewing the 2008 recording I'm Bangin' 2, wrote, "If Blaqstarr's hallucinogenic odes to sex, drugs and Baltimore don't make him a legend in his day, they should certainly cement his cult status in some dystopian future."[9] Billboard wrote, regarding King of Roq, "Much of the music sounds like standard hip-hop fare but sped up to Alvin & the Chipmunks speed; it's fast, furious and dirty."[10]

Discography

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Albums

EPs

  • Supastarr (2007)
  • Shake It to the Ground (feat. Rye Rye) (Mad Decent, 2007)
  • Hollertronix #8 (2008)

Videography

  • 2007: "Shake It to the Ground"

References

  1. ^ Barrett, Paul M. (2001-05-31). "Working Model: A Baltimore Academy Focuses on Careers – And Staying in School – It Succeeds at Those Goals Against All the Odds, But Do the Basics Suffer? – Why Jamal Cut His Braids", The Wall Street Journal, p. A1.
  2. ^ a b DJ Blaqstarr at Allmusic
  3. ^ "Shake it to the Ground". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:a9fyxzqjld6e.  
  4. ^ "King of Roq". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:jzfyxzejldde.  
  5. ^ Brandon Soderburg (2009-01-20). "Know Your Product: Blaq Starr/Diplo, "Get Off," (Mad Decent)". Baltimore City Paper. http://www.citypaper.com/digest.asp?id=17363.  
  6. ^ Michael Byrne (2009-02-02). "Know Your Product: K-Swift, Greatest Hits". Baltimore City Paper. http://www.citypaper.com/digest.asp?id=17446.  
  7. ^ David Isaacson (2009-01-18). "Visitors guide to Inauguration weekend music events". Indie Rock Examiner. http://www.examiner.com/x-498-Indie-Rock-Examiner~y2009m1d18-Visitors-guide-to-Inaguration-weekend-music-events.  
  8. ^ "Crystal Method, Blaqstarr, others on board for SXSW". Live Daily. 2009-01-08. http://www.livedaily.com/news/15480.html.  
  9. ^ Richards, Chris (2008-11-04). "Quick Spins: Blaqstarr: I'm Bangin' 2", The Washington Post, p. C5.
  10. ^ Harding, Cortney (2008-08-09). "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", Billboard 120 (32): 44.

External links


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