When I set out to create Baltimore Commercial Break 2, I wanted to do two things. First and foremost, I wanted to give everyone another look into my soul musically. But after that, I wanted to give folks a chance to see some of the diverse talent that Baltimore has given the indie world.
I was inspired, partly, by Joy Postell and the entire thing that went down regarding GoldLink’s album. I said to myself “hey, that was wild. Baltimore has a lot of dope talent and it should be recognized.” After that and getting a second (twelfth?) wind, I sat down and started to work. One person I knew I had to have on the album was Wayne Watts.
As I’ve said many times before, Wayne kind of acted like a musical big brother to me as a Terp. Before UMD and meeting Wayne, I knew I had talent. That was God-given. But I sucked at performing live. I’d get nervous and take a shot or two before I went on stage. Sometimes, it’d work and sometimes, I’d look like a complete ass on stage.
One of the first things I ever asked Wayne, and I don’t even know if he remembers this, was “how do you perform so calmly?” He said something along the lines of just get lost in the music and do what you do. It was simple advice, but advice that helped me overcome my performing stage fright and become a better artist. I stopped throwing shots back and approached the mic clear and sober. While I don’t perform as much anymore, I still apply that lesson to my recording style–and life.
Bringing it back to the present, “Baltimore Man” is a song that is triumphant but defiant. It speaks on some of the issues in my hometown while also showing the resiliency that the city gave me. It shows my scrappy nature (as I mention that I’d even start do non-traditional things again to provide for my kids) and the scrappy nature of my city. While even the politicians go off the rails, the city is stronger than certain people make it out to be. I added in my children on the hook because they’re a huge reason why this Baltimore Man keeps pushing and elevating.
Wayne’s contribution, a bridge of sorts, was added in because I needed that additional “hey we’ve been through hell, but we’re still standing” vibe. Its call and response nature was a team effort, as Wayne hit me up like “Speed, you should call out and then we drop in my vocals.” We did that and weeks later, “Baltimore Man” was ready to go.
Check it out above and remember to support dope music in all its forms.