Best of 2006: City of the Year
by Winston "Stone" Ford
“This is not a rich city in terms of money, so people become rich in spirit and soul.”
If Atlanta beat New York down to the ground to take the crown for City of the Year in ’05, then Baltimore snuck in from the back to give the final lethal body blow in ’06. B-more doesn’t have any national artists right now, but the city sent a shockwave throughout the cultural underground in 2006. Baltimore has The Wire, the show that is so authentically real that its scary at times. We were also graced with the rise of Baltimore Club, which spread its wings up from the hood to become a dance floor sensation in places as far away as Alaska and Finland. Baltimore Hip-Hop is getting recognition from such places as Rolling Stone and the New York Times.
Sure Oakland and The Bay made strides to get on the national scene with E-40 and the hyphy movement breaking out. Chicago produced some prolific MC’s in Rhymefest and Lupe Fiasco as well as some killer club cuts from Kid Sister and Hollywood Holt. Even Miami got back on the map with Rick Ross and Pitbull.
But there is something about Bodymore, Murdaland that stands out above those cities though. B-more just has that grit and authenticity that no other city can possess. Baltimore is a city that’s not trying to change who it is to bow down to Madison Avenue stereotypes. Acts such as Spank Rock, Young Leek, Labtekwon, Aaron LaCrate, and Diablo are making the hipsters and the hood happy. Some people see B-more following Atlanta’s path to greatness. Does this this city hold the next Luda or Outkast? We just have to find out.
Related: Baltimore is Having the Best Year Ever
For the next couple weeks, I’ll be highlighting the best songs, albums, tracks, artists, and cultural events of 2006. Our “Best of 2006″ entry starts out with the Best City of 2006…Baltimore.