TT The Artist, Baltimore's Finest, Toughens Up in New Video

The genre known as Baltimore club music remains one of America's greatest cultural inventions, thank you Baltimore for that, and B'more rapper TT the Artist is a key part of its freshest, most recent incarnation. In " Thug It Out," from the Art Royalty EP, she lobs bullet-powerful lyrics with the authority of a don diva, and problem-solves street cornballs by simply dancing their faces off. "Gotta couple goons ready to bust a move," indeed.


Last summer, TT played a sweaty, tiny shed behind grove behind a parking lot next to a warehouse in Brooklyn, as part of a Baltimore club edition of the underground music broadcast Boiler Room. She was the only woman on a setlist full of men—not unusual, though historically Baltimore club has made way more room for women DJs and MCs than, say, your average mainstream rap radio playlist—and though she was early on the bill (at like 8 PM!), she absolutely owned the room, bringing up a crowd of lightweight wary fans to a sweaty collective bounce. (I'm in there somewhere, dripping like a high school gym class.)

Regional club music, as a rule, doesn't often permeate the mainstream. There will be blips every few years, as when MIA brought Bmore's Rye Rye and Blaqstarr to her inner circle, or (arguably) the present, now that Missy Elliott's artist Sharaya J is making tracks on Jersey club music (Bmore's spiritual cousin). More often in this polyglot universe, it seems like that doesn't matter as much, though it helps when there's a face to associate with a name—and TT's cold charisma could be just the thing to push Bmore into its next phase. She's rad as hell.


Tabby Gevinson

Thank you again, Jia.

This is now the fourth or fifth time that I've purchased an album immediately after first being introduced to it through your work here.