Spank Rock Makes EDM Just a Little More Ratchet
Spank Rock's new EP album builds off the Baltimore-club, alt-rap vibe he helped pioneer.
Bad Blood/ Boys Noize Records
Cocaine, sex, weed and mad booty are some of the main ingredients of Spank Rock's music. This week the Philly-via-Baltimore EDM/alt-rapper, released an EP called The Upside, which proves he's still one of the most prominent club-rappers we have to offer.
Released on the artist's Bad Blood Records, his latest features production by EDM producers such as New Orleans' Kid Kamillian and Philly beatmaker Noah Breakfast. Parsing EDM's many subgenres, this wing is where Spank Rock holds a solid spot alongside Philly cohort Amanda Blank. Their entire oeuvre is ratchet with thumping bass drops.
Signed to the Boys Noise label after a short run with Downtown Records, Spank has kept his Internet game strong by releasing EPs and remix compilations to keep music blogs bubbling. "Rappers sound like garbage, but I'm the one who's crazy right?", he raps on "Assassin," a standout from the EP also featuring Blank. All the whirring sirens and to-the-point sex talk make it a surefire dance-floor banger.
With all of his swag, Spank Rock is unique in how he brings the streets to the dance club in a journey through Baltimore Club and Miami Bass thumps. This is raver music at its most street-influenced. It's not a new formula, but Spank Rock has been at it for a while, so much so that he caught the attention of Germany's popular EDM outfit Boys Noize, who signed him to their rotating roster of MCs.
Instead of looking to Europe, though, Spank Rock still crafts music with the streets in mind. As he explained to Entertainment Weekly about writing the for the EP, he uses his background as inspiration.
"I just kinda wanted to think about some of the friends I lost back home and think about youth culture in Baltimore," he said about his track "12 O'Clock Boys," a reference to B'more's motorcycle culture and the recent documentary about it (now available on Netflix).
Story continues on the next page.
His street bona fides are further evidenced by the retro handclaps on the track "Gully," which gets even better with the remix version. "Gully (With You Remix)," a slow brewing club track, was put together by ex-Major Lazer producer Switch and delivers a pounding four-on-the-floor bounce.
"Burning Man," named after the famous California-desert hedonist festival, gets to the point ("I'm going to party in the pussy like Burning Man"), but also sheds some of the energy of the other tracks. Other lesser tracks on the short compilation include the middling "One Hunnid" and "Back Up"; the latter could become a hit, but feels like overkill between the EDM buildups and stew of gangster ethos over repeated hi-hats.
While fans wait for a follow-up to Spank's sophomore album, Everything is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar, this EP is a sure sign that the veteran rapper will continue to keep the dance floors soaking wet.
The Upside is available for free streaming on SoundCloud or purchase on iTunes.
Like what you read? Or think you can do better? We'd love for you to join our team.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.