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The Club Beat With DJ Tigga

has only been making noise in Baltimore club music as a producer for two years now, but the 27-year-old has long been part of the community as a DJ and dancer. "I've been messin' with DJ-in' and music for like at least five, seven years," he explains on the porch in his Northeast Baltimore Hillen neighborhood, recounting how he grew up learning to play instruments such as trumpet, drums, and piano well before his involvement in club music. "I just got tired of hearing the same things over and over and playing 'em, so I started to make my own [tracks], and people liked it." Tigga, aka Mr. Xclusive, has of late been best known as a dependable supplier of club remixes of whatever mainstream songs are hot on the radio at the moment, from Rich Boy's "Throw Some D's" to Omarion's "Ice Box." "Right now, the remix thing is what everybody likes," he says. "Some guys will come to me, and they're like, 'Can you make this into a club song so we can dance to it?' And that's how the remix comes about, so they can perform with it," referring to the increasingly more complex and choreographed routines that groups of teenagers have been inventing on Baltimore dance floors lately. But Tigga's repertoire also includes original songs, as well as more obscure samples, such as his hugely popular remix of Three 6 Mafia's "Slob on My Knob," which for some reason features frequent interjections from

The Family Guy

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's Stewie. Tigga got the inspiration for his track "Independence Day" from a local hip-hop song, Comp's "Groupie," from the rapper's 2006 mixtape

Independence Day

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. And Tigga's been connecting Baltimore club to hip-hop and R&B more explicitly with collaborations with rappers such as J-Poet and singers like

. Mostly, though, DJ Tigga has been helping out young artists through his own company,

. "I go to so many places and I see a lot of different people, and they say, 'Oh, I heard you're starting a company,'" he says. "I had a meeting, and we had about 50-plus people come. That was about six months ago, and I found out who really wanted to do it, and that's who I'm workin' with. So we got a good, maybe 35 people in it." Tigga clearly takes his leadership role seriously as more than just a way to build a street team to support his own ambitions. "I got a lot of younger people that's still in school, giving 'em the right direction they need," he says. "As far as instead of having them out here getting in trouble, I give 'em something to do with their time. Like, they like to dance, they like to sing. I can go around and I can get the singers studio time, get the rappers studio time. I got places for my dancers to go and practice on the regular." Tigga's current and upcoming projects include a regular Saturday night gig spinning at Pennsylvania Avenue roller rink Shake N Bake, his club mix CD series,

It's Not a Fucking Game

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, which already has a staggering 21 volumes, and a documentary on club music with which Baltimore legend Frank Ski has already consented to help. But mostly he sounds concerned with the common goal of uplifting the city's music scene. "We a family," he says. "Everybody trying to do the same thing, try and get other people to recognize what we got going on here. Because when you look on the news, you just hear, 'Well, Baltimore is this.' You got a lot of talent, but ain't nobody seeing it." In other news, one of our favorite club-related finds of late is from YouTube, via local blogger

. A VJ (er, video DJ) by the name of Corunography has stumbled on an idea so perfectly obvious that we're shocked noone thoguht of it sooner: video mixes of pop culture-sampling Baltimore club tracks that sync the beats up with the visuals from the source material, including favorites like

Chappelle's Show

and the

South Park

-sampling "Uncle Fucka." Our favorite so far, though, would have to be this brilliant chop-up of the scene from

Scarface

that references Baltimore:

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