Pop Life

Spank Rock Makes EDM Just a Little More Ratchet

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.

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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).

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Camilo Hannibal Smith started writing for the Houston Press in 2014. A former copy editor, he was inspired to focus on writing about pop culture and entertainment after a colleague wrote a story about Paul Wall's grills. His work has been published in the Los Angeles Times and the Source magazine.