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Rod Lee

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Rod Lee


Don't let his nondescript name put you off: when it comes to Baltimore club music, Rod Lee is something close to royalty. Even the Washington Post called him "the original don of Baltimore club," suggesting how far he's risen from club's sub-basement-level underground. Like Miami bass, Detroit ghetto-tech or Brazilian funk carioca, B-more club is a steadfastly regional sound that keeps a leery eye on the national mainstream, and under Lee's watch, the long view has come sharply into focus. His 2005 mix Vol. 5: The Official was the first B-more mix to be distributed nationally, paving the way for colleagues like Blaqstarr and Scottie B. Lee's productions and DJ sets are the opposite of fussy, pumping out rough-and-ready breakbeat jams overlaid with pop-culture samples from Lil' Jon to Bernie Mac. Sampled gunshots pay tribute to the harsh realities of "Charm City" street life, while X-rated chants keep waistlines winding well into the wee hours.
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