A hail of bullets greets Baltimore MC Ryeisha "Rye Rye" Berrain in the club. Well, the crowd hails the sound of bullets. There's nothing outright dangerous about a Rye Rye performance, and only her mike's packin' heat.
But her music holds your ear's attention like a stickup. It features a mesmerizing military feel, with its rapid-fire clip-clip, the sound of rounds popped off included between the beats' sheet-metal clang. At other times, the 18-year-old demands you to "throw your fuckin' sets up!" Rye Rye and her crew have an arsenal of tracks cocked and loaded, aimed to help the club get ignorant.
In particular, the track reintroducing Rye Rye to the world outside of East Baltimore is "Bang," produced by B-More's Blaqstarr. The producer first featured her on 2007's independent single "Shake It to the Ground," released on journeyman DJ/producer Diplo's Mad Decent label. The Philadelphia-based Diplo has become somewhat of a global emissary for "Baltimore Club" music, a 20-year-old bastard child of Chicago house, deep tribal garage and Miami bass.
Blaqstarr, a major player in the Baltimore scene since the early 2000s, heard Rye Rye was a club MC on the come-up through her sister. After auditioning on Blaqstarr's answering machine, Rye Rye went with him to Diplo's studio. And from there she met Sri Lanka-born, London-bred rhythm globalizer MC M.I.A., who invited her to tour internationally in the summer between her junior and senior years of high school. Coincidence turned into providence, and Rye Rye helped introduce the world firsthand to B-More's syncopated swagger, showing London isn't the only place that gets grimy.
"She's got mad energy, she's like a pitbull," M.I.A. says in an online promo for "Bang." M.I.A. also directed the video for "Bang" after signing Rye Rye to her Interscope imprint N.E.E.T. And what Rye Rye brings to N.E.E.T. is a pack of club/electro/ghetto-funk/fidget-house riddims from producers including Blaqstarr, Diplo, Egyptian Lover and Sinden, who all collaborate with her on upcoming full-length Go! Pop! Bang!
Baltimore Club is equally the sound of run-down streets and runnin' the streets, a booty-bass block party that's rated neXXXt for fans of leavin' it all on the dance floor. Rye Rye packs a full cartridge of that musical aspiration, perspiration and excitation.
The deaths just keep on coming. Last week Frankie Cooper, a Friendswood native and guitarist for local horrorcore group Grave Robbers, passed away from complications due to a congenital defect that enlarged his heart. Horrorcore is a subgenre of hardcore distinguished by its fixation on zombie movies and blood in general; Cooper was 23 years old. "Your big, warm smile will be missed," posted Houston hardcore promoter Willow on the Press's Rocks Off music blog. An all-ages benefit for Cooper's family, organized by Willow and featuring the remaining Grave Robbers, Your Mistake, Full Contact, the Burden and Killer Ape, is 8 p.m. Friday at Walter's on Washington, 4215 Washington. Cover, which goes to Cooper's family, is $10.
On a much happier note, don't forget to vote for your favorites in this year's Houston Press Music Awards, either in this issue on p. 46 or online at www.houstonpress.com.
2110 Portsmouth, 713-526-9272
1. Mars Volta, Octahedron
2. Parachute, Losing Sleep
3. Charlie Robison, Beautiful Day
4. Dinosaur Jr., Farm (deluxe edition)
5. Regina Spektor, Far
6. Pete Yorn, Back & Fourth
7. George Harrison, Let It Roll: The Songs
8. Todd Snider, The Excitement Plan
9. Sonic Youth, The Eternal
10. Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca
Funk and Soul
KTRU (91.7 FM), Thursday 7-8 p.m.
Selections from DJ JaeM's June 25 playlist
1. Michael Jackson, "I Can't Help It"
2. Undisputed Truth, "Space Machine"
3. Rose Royce, "Keep On Keepin' On"
4. Bill Withers, "Lovely Day"
5. Barry White, "Baby We Better Try to Get It Together"
6. Con Funk Shun, "Tell Me What" (instrumental 12")
7. Isley Bros., "Winner Takes All"
8. Ray Parker Jr., "For Those Who Like to Groove"
9. Joan Armatrading, "Get In the Sun"
10. Dennis Coffey, "Black Belt Jones Theme"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)
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