Downstairs at the Crown in Station North, Butch Dawson kicked off a mosh pit on a night in July with his recent local anthem, “Feel Nobody.” As the bass line rumbled, the Baltimore rapper quickly jumped in the middle, microphone in hand as he jumped up and down alongside the modest-sized crowd.
Months later, sitting inside his manager’s makeshift home studio in Charles Village, Dawson — the 25-year-old born Jujuan Allen — smiles at the memory.
“I’m ready to sweat. I want to feel energy,” Dawson said of his approach to performing. “I’m just so down-to-earth with people that they have no choice but to go crazy.”
These days, Dawson is a leading voice in Baltimore’s evolving...