Clubbers' Decktionary: B-more
DJ Hobbes guides us through clubbing's myriad genres
B-more or Bmore, aka B-more Club, adj: 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.
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 90s and the early 00s.
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 90s, plus Booman, KW Griff and K-Swift (RIP) in the 00s. 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’ (see below). 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).
Now effectively rinsed to death in the UK, but you may still hear the occasional B-more nugget at clubs such as Big’n’Bashy, Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sat 30 Jul.
Hobbes is resident DJ at Trouble.