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| Image by Darkroom Productions

Low ratings on a premium channel be damned, HBO's

The Wire

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is hip-hop's favorite show, and has been since well before the reruns on BET started this year. Rappers constantly reference it in their rhymes and

, and it's as popular a topic on rap blogs and message boards as any MC. Some unfortunate side effects of all this: If

's interviews during

The Wire

Week are any indication, half of the show's cast members think they can rap, including Michael K. Williams, who has announced his extraordinarily tacky intentions to rap in character as Omar; and describing any rapper who talks about cooking crack as the audio equivalent to

The Wire

was arguably

the

Lazy Music Critic Cliché of 2006. (Seriously, there's a great drinking game just waiting to be based on that recurrent theme in the countless fawning reviews of Clipse's

Hell Hath No Fury

.) One rather fortunate side effect: Since the show's set in Baltimore, all this attention is finally starting to rub off on our fair city's underdog rap scene. As was covered last year in a

by fellow Noise contributor Jess Harvell, as well as articles in

The Sun

and

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, the fourth season of

The Wire

was significant for being the first in the show's history to feature a large amount of original music by local artists to match the show's homegrown, on-location depiction of Baltimore (though some B-more club tracks by DJ Technics can be found in the third season), which I documented obsessively on my blog,

. Many of the tracks were produced by

and weren't commercially available until this past January, a month after the Season 4 finale, when Darkroom released the long-awaited sequel to its 2005 mixtape

Hamsterdam

, which, as any

Wire

fan knows, took its name from the third season's legal drug zone. The HBO web site handily keeps track of all the music used in the show on

, including links to buy songs on iTunes where applicable. But, of course, that's not an option for most of the local tracks, which are scattered across various underground mixtapes and indie releases. So until the long-rumored official

Wire

soundtrack hits shelves, here's a handy guide to what Baltimore tracks appeared in Season 4, with links to places where you can buy the records they appear on:

Scene: In the car when the backpack is dropped off. Song: Diablo - "Jumpin Like Rope." Available on:

Hamsterdam Vol. 2: Stash to da Strip

by

. Scene: Re-up car drops drugs. Song:

- "Pumpkin."

Scene: Namond's corner. Song: Diablo - "Jail Flick." Available on:

Hamsterdam: The Best of Baltimore

by

. Scene: Bubbles and Sherrod on the street. Song: Rod Lee - "Dance My Pain Away." Available on:

Vol. 5: The Official

by Rod Lee on

.

Scene: Bunk in Andre's store. Song: Paula Campbell - "Won't Love You Back." Available on: Paula Campbell's forthcoming Sony album

I Am Paula Campbell

. Scene: Marlo's courtyard. Song: Fat Smoke Rickeyson, Kuan and Tyree Colion - "Soldierz." Available on:

Hamsterdam Vol. 2: Stash to da Strip

by

.

Scene: Chris and Marlo talk. Song: Mullyman - "Get Ready (Bodymore Soldiers)." Available on:

Hamsterdam Vol. 2: Stash to da Strip

by

.

Scene: Donut steals an SUV. Song: Dirty Hartz featuring Mullyman - "That's da Sound." Available on:

It Is What It Is Vol. 2

by

. Scene: Walker looks for Donut. Song: Tyree Colion - "Projects." Available on:

Hamsterdam Vol. 2: Stash to da Strip

by

.

Scene: Kenard and Namond on corner. Song: Diablo - "Round My Hood." Available on:

Hamsterdam Vol. 2: Stash to da Strip

by

.

Scene: Dukie sees Michael in bed. Song: Tha Plague - "Get 'Em Mami" Available on:

. Scene: Dukie outside the high school. Song: Squad Up/Darkroom Productions - "I'm a Baller" (unreleased). Scene: Namond sees Donut in SUV. Song: Mullyman - "The Life, the Hood, the Streetz." Available on:

Still H.I.M.

by

.

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