Saturday, January 29, 2011
Is Baltimore Even A Part Of The DMV?
With the 5th Annual DMV Awards slated for March 5, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, the notion that comes to mind as a true Baltimorean is the often discussed, yet sometimes swept under the rug notion of Charm City not being a part of the DMV. With DMV being an acronym for DC/Maryland/Virginia, conventional thinking would be that Baltimore, being the largest city in the "M", would have to be a part of that ongoing conversation. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. From an outsider looking in, they may not truly understand the dynamics of Baltimore and Washington, DC as almost polar opposites. I don't quite see it that way, but our two cities do have distinct differences, even though these cities are separated by a mere 38 miles. Baltimore is a blue-collar city, so the personalities and ideals may reflect that, while DC, being the Nation's Capital, is more of a cosmopolitan locale. Musically, Charm City is well-known for its Club Music scene, and the District of Columbia has Go-Go Music as its heartbeat. Both are dynamic signature sounds that represent each city.
The issue gets trickier when you take into consideration that the music scene for the DC region also includes Northern Virginia and Prince Georges County (along with Montgomery County, Charles County, and even Anne Arundel County). I remember living in the Annapolis area years ago, and I was quite shocked to hear the younger set blasting Go-Go from suburban speakers, instead of what I deemed as more traditional hip hop music. Many individuals that I came into contact with in Annapolis considered themselves as part of the DC scene, even though Anne Arundel County is a part of the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Quite confusing indeed! It can get much deeper, but I don't want to lose sight of the original discussion, so I may discuss the differing lines of demarcation at a later timeframe.
With me being a part of the 80's Baltimore hip hop scene, I still had a great appreciation for what DC had to offer musically. From Trouble Funk, E.U., Rare Essence, Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, and even Junkyard Band, I loved the percussive nature of the music, which to me was a close cousin of hip hop. But growing up in my blue collar city I didn't quite notice the same appreciation surrounding me. Baltimore and DC have always seemed like two different entities altogether, with Baltimoreans saying DC was too far, and DC folks maybe not wanting to drive "up to Baltimore". Either way, both cities and surrounding areas have much to offer, not only each other, but to the rest of the world.
Now the topic at hand is Baltimore's inclusion or exclusion in the DMV region. I'm hoping that for the DMV Awards in March Baltimore is going to be represented, because we as a whole need to support each other. It goes without saying that the debate will continue regarding DMV and DC/Baltimore. Whatever you consider us, just make sure that you respect us! I will be in attendance to witness the region's best artists from different genres, be it R&B, Hip Hop, and other categories. I am sure that this year's 5th Annual DMV Awards will be a fascinating event because of the wealth of talented individuals in the District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia region. Tickets are available for this gala event, so visit htp://dmvawards.wordpress.com/ for further information. Support great music and artistry!