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Baltimore's Ckrisis Gets Interscope Digital Deal, Collaborates With Mims

Baltimore's Ckrisis Gets Interscope Digital Deal, Collaborates With Mims

In early 2007, a rapper named

started making some noise around Baltimore with the mixtape

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Muscle Up Vol. 1

and the single "Tore Up," in which producers the Pornstars married a Baltimore club-inspired "Think" breakbeat to a saxophone riff that sounded like it was sampled from a 1950s rock ‘n' roll record. More mixtapes and singles followed, garnering less noise, but fast forward four years later: Ckrisis now has a digital distribution deal with Interscope Records specifically for "Tore Up," which is currently being pushed as his

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. Coming at the same time is Ckrisis' guest spot on a new single by Mims, the Harlem rapper alternately loved and hated for his chart-topping 2007 hit "This Is Why I'm Hot." Ckrisis gets the third verse on "Convertible Flow," which will presumably be on Mims' third album for Capitol Records due out later this year. Ckrisis is far from the first Baltimore rapper to attract a major label, but he's the first in at least a few years, after short-lived deals for the likes of Bossman and Young Leek, among others, failed to lead to album releases. The climate for new artists to break into mainstream hip-hop is crowded and competitive to say the least, but sometimes all it takes is one hit, and "Tore Up" could very well be that song. DJ Booman was still pushing the song pretty enthusiastically in Baltimore in 2009 after it'd been out for two years, and a couple more years later, it still sounds good. It's a funny coincidence that Interscope is pushing Ckrisis' 2007 club track right now, since one of the label conglomerate's subsidiaries also just released Baltimore club producer

and its lead single, a reworking of the song "Rider Girl," which was already a local club hit way back in 2006. As club music continues to infiltrate the mainstream, it'll be interesting to see if Baltimore artists hit it big with new songs or with reissued oldies.

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