9 December 2011
B-more or Bmore, adjective, aka B-more Club
Uptempo (120 – 140 BPM) hip hop / breaks originally from Baltimore, with an 8/4 time signature, using short, repetitive vocal samples – often call-and-response-style raps or chants – over old school drum breaks, staccato snares/ claps and heavy bass.
Origins: Laying the now-ubiquitous drum break from Lyn Collins’ Think over a familiar vocal sample from A Tribe Called Quest and some jazz-style scatting, Scottie B & DJ Equalizer’s I Got The Rhythm is the record usually credited with having established a template exclusive to Baltimore, in 1989. Shawn Caesar’s Yo Yo Where The Hos At is another, with both tunes inspired by the flourishing hip house movement in Chicago. Scottie B and Shawn Caesar went on to launch a record pool and then the Unruly label in 1994, releasing a slew of B-more records and compilations throughout the late Nineties and the early Noughties.
Key figures: Rod Lee (Club Kingz) is also widely perceived as one of B-more’s original dons, while DJs Patrick, Kenny B, Class, Diamond K, Technics, Frank-Ski, Miss Tony and Spen all had a hand in cultivating B-more in the Nineties, plus Booman, KW Griff and K- Swift (RIP) in the Noughties. However, the sound only spread beyond the city when a raft of articles appeared in the media in 2005, subsequently blowing up internationally after it was embraced by soon-to-be-A-list artists Diplo (from Philadelphia) and MIA (from London). Assisted by DJ Low Budget, genius marketeer Diplo’s magpie influence was felt primarily via mixtapes and consequently B-more remixes commissioned for his Hollertronix and Mad Decent labels, while MIA had Scottie B remix her massive hit, Paper Planes. Many have ridden the wave of B-more’s crossover success, most notably Aaron La Crate & Debonair Samir, via the Club Crack and Gutter Music series (Milkcrate), Tittsworth & Ayres (Hollertronix) and Blaqstarr (Mad Decent).
This feature was originally published in July 2011 by The List magazine. It has been reproduced with their permission.